The Thing About Today – July 24

July 24, 2020
Day 206 of 366


July 24th is the 206th day of the year. It is Pioneer Day in Utah, celebrating the entry of Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847.


In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Thermal Engineer Day, National Tequila Day, National Drive-Thru Day, National Cousins Day, and National Amelia Earhart Day.


Historical items of note:

  • In 1567, Mary, Queen of Scots, was forced to abdicate and was replaced by her 1-year-old son James VI.
  • In 1701, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded the trading post at Fort Pontchartrain, which later became the city of Detroit.
  • In 1802, French novelist and playwright Alexandre Dumas was born. In 2002, on the 200th anniversary of his birth, his ashes were interred in the Panthéon in Paris in a televised ceremony.
  • In 1823, the naval Battle of Lake Maracaibo took place in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Admiral José Prudencio Padilla defeated the Spanish Navy, thus culminating the independence for the Gran Colombia.
  • In 1847, inventor Richard March Hoe patented the rotary-type printing press.
  • In 1866, Tennessee became the first state to be readmitted to the Union following the American Civil War. Georgia was the last state.
  • In 1897, pilot and author Amelia Earhart was born.
  • In 1936, actor Mark Goddard was born.
  • In 1948, Marvin the Martian debuted in the short “Haredevil Hare”.
  • In 1950, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station began operations with the launch of a Bumper rocket.
  • In 1951, actress and wonder woman Lynda Carter was born.
  • In 1968, actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth was born.
  • In 1969, Apollo 11 splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean.
  • Also in 1969, actress and singer Jennifer Lopez was born.
  • In 1981, actress Summer Glau was born.
  • In 1982, actress Anna Paquin was born.
  • Also in 1982, actress Elisabeth Moss was born.
  • In 1987, Hulda Crooks climbed Mt. Fuji. At 91 years of age, Crooks became the oldest person to climb Japan’s highest peak.
  • Also in 1987, actress Mara Wilson was born.
  • In 1991, actress Emily Bett Rickards was born.
  • In 2001, Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the last Tsar of Bulgaria when he was a child, was sworn in as Prime Minister of Bulgaria. He was the first monarch in history to regain political power through democratic election to a different office.


July 24th is the Carnival of Awussu.

Carnaval d’Aoussou in French, it is an annual festive and cultural event in Sousse, Tunisia. The parade of symbolic chariots, fanfares, and folk groups from Tunisia and elsewhere takes place near the beach of Boujaafar at the eve of the beginning of ‘Awussu (the heat wave of the month of August according to the Berber calendar).

Originally a Pagan feast called Neptunalia, which celebrates the god of the seas, Neptune in the Roman province of Africa, it has transformed over time and lost all religious connotations. In the modern era, prior to the Tunisian revolution, the festival was used for political propaganda.


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

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