The Thing About Today – December 20

December 20, 2020
Day 355 of 366

December 20th is the 355th day of the year. It is Abolition of Slavery Day, also known as Fête des Cafres, in Réunion, French Guiana.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Sangria Day and Mudd Day.

Historical items of note:

  • In 1803, the Louisiana Purchase was completed at a ceremony in New Orleans.
  • In 1808, the original Garden Theatre in London was destroyed by a fire, along with most of the scenery, costumes, and scripts.
  • In 1939, actress Kathryn Joosten was born. She was the absolutely magnificent Mrs. Landingham in The West Wing.
  • In 1946, the popular Christmas film It’s a Wonderful Life was first released in New York City.
  • Also in 1946, director, producer, and screenwriter Dick Wolf was born. Among other properties, he is best known for the immense Law & Order franchise.
  • In 1950, Harvey premiered.
  • In 1951, the EBR-1 in Arco, Idaho became the first nuclear power plant to generate electricity. The electricity powered four light bulbs. (Captain Jean-Luc Picard could not be reached for comment.)
  • In 1952, actress Jenny Agutter was born.
  • In 1955, Cardiff was proclaimed the capital city of Wales, United Kingdom.
  • In 1970, actress Nicole de Boer was born.
  • In 1989, the United States invasion of Panama deposed Manuel Noriega.
  • In 2007, Elizabeth II became the oldest monarch of the United Kingdom, surpassing Queen Victoria, who lived for 81 years and 243 days.

December 20th is International Human Solidarity Day, an international annual unity day of the United Nations.

The observance was established under the influence of the U.N. Millennium Declaration that determines the civil and political rights of an individual in the modern era by establishing the foreign relations between the member states and the United Nations. It promotes the importance of sharing and the culture of solidarity to combat poverty and to encourage governments, NGOs, and almost every individual to organize programs and debates, on either a national or international level, so that poverty can be reduced by spreading the awareness.

The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.

For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.


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