The Thing About Today – December 22

December 22, 2020
Day 357 of 366

December 22nd is the 357th day of the year. It is Unity Day in Zimbabwe, commemorating the signing of the Unity Accord between Zimbabwe’s two major nationalists movements. The Zimbabwe African People’s Union led by Joshua Nkomo and the Zimbabwe African National Union led by Robert Mugabe signed the agreement on December 22, 1987, to form a united nationalist political party and end ethnic violence which had marred the country since the early 1980s.

There are nine days remaining in the year.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Date Nut Bread Day.

Historical items of note:

  • In 1808, Ludwig van Beethoven conducted and performed in concert at the Theater an der Wien, Vienna. The performance included the premiere of his Fifth Symphony, Sixth Symphony, Fourth Piano Concerto (performed by Beethoven himself), and Choral Fantasy (with Beethoven at the piano).
  • In 1858, Italian composer and educator Giacomo Puccini was born.
  • In 1891, asteroid 323 Brucia became the first asteroid discovered using photography.
  • In 1915, actress Barbara Billingsley was born.
  • In 1917, game show host Gene Rayburn was born.
  • In 1932, The Mummy was released.
  • In 1937, the Lincoln Tunnel opened to traffic in New York City.
  • In 1939, Indian Muslims observed a “Day of Deliverance” to celebrate the resignations of members of the Indian National Congress over their not having been consulted over the decision to enter World War II with the United Kingdom.
  • In 1945, journalist Diane Sawyer was born.
  • In 1947, author and screenwriter Brian Daley was born.
  • In 1948, actress and singer Lynne Thigpen was born.
  • In 1962, English actor Ralph Fiennes was born.
  • In 1964, the first test flight of the SR-71 Blackbird took place at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California.
  • In 1965, screenwriter David S. Goyer was born.
  • In 1968, actress Dina Meyer was born.
  • In 1989, Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate re-opened after nearly 30 years, effectively ending the division of East and West Germany.
  • In 2010, the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, the 17-year-old policy banning homosexuals from serving openly in the United States military, was signed into law by President Barack Obama.

December 22nd is National Mathematics Day in India.

The Indian government declared the date on February 26, 2012. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced it at Madras University during the inaugural ceremony of the celebrations that marked the 125th anniversary of the birth of the Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan. The announcement also contained the proclamation that 2012 would be celebrated as the National Mathematics Year.

Since that event, India’s National Mathematics Day has become an annual celebration with numerous educational events held at schools and universities throughout the country, especially the 2017 opening of the Ramanujan Math Park in Kuppam, Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh.

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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