The Thing About Today – December 27

December 27, 2020
Day 362 of 366

December 27th is the 362nd day of the year. It is Emergency Rescuer’s Day in Russia.

There are four days remaining in the year.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Fruitcake Day.

Historical items of note:

  • In 1571, German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer Johannes Kepler was born.
  • In 1657, the Flushing Remonstrance articulated for the first time in North American history that freedom of religion is a fundamental right.
  • In 1822, French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur was born.
  • In 1831, Charles Darwin embarked on his journey aboard HMS Beagle, during which he would begin to formulate his theory of evolution.
  • In 1901, actress and humanitarian Marlene Dietrich was born.
  • In 1922, the Japanese aircraft carrier Hōshō became the first purpose built aircraft carrier to be commissioned in the world.
  • In 1927, Kern and Hammerstein’s musical play Show Boat, considered to be the first true American musical play, opened at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Broadway.
  • In 1932, Radio City Music Hall, the “Showplace of the Nation”, opened in New York City.
  • In 1943, journalist and author Cokie Roberts was born.
  • In 1945, the International Monetary Fund was created with the signing of an agreement by 29 nations.
  • In 1960, English actress Maryam d’Abo was born.
  • In 1973, actor Wilson Cruz was born.
  • In 1974, Japanese-American actor and visual effects designer Masi Oka was born.
  • In 1981, Australian actress Emilie de Ravin was born.
  • In 1993, English actress Olivia Cooke was born.
  • In 2004, radiation from an explosion on the magnetar SGR 1806-20 reached Earth. It is the brightest extrasolar event known to have been witnessed on the planet.
  • In 2016, we lost Carrie Fisher. An award-winning actress, screenwriter, author, producer, speaker, comedian, and mental health advocate, she died at the age of 60. She wanted it reported that she “drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.”

December 27th is Saint Stephen’s Day in the Eastern Orthodox Church. It is also a public holiday in Romania.

Saint Stephen was the first Christian martyr, or protomartyr. According to the Acts of the Apostles, he was a deacon in the early church at Jerusalem who aroused the enmity of members of various synagogues by his teachings. He was a Greek-speaking Hellenistic Jew and one of seven deacons appointed by the Apostles to distribute food and charitable aid to poorer members and widows of the community, and he was the eldest deacon (called “archdeacon”).

He was accused of blasphemy and put on trial, during which he made a speech denouncing the Jewish authorities who were sitting in judgment on him. He was subsequently stoned to death. His martyrdom was witnessed by Saul of Tarsus, also known as Paul, a Pharisee and Roman citizen who would later become a Christian apostle.

The only source for information about Stephen is the New Testament book of the Acts of the Apostles.

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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