The Thing About Today – November 4

November 4, 2020
Day 309 of 366

November 4th is the 309th day of the year. It is Flag Day in Panama.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Chicken Lady Day, National Candy Day, and National Stress Awareness Day (which is typically observed on the first Wednesday in November).

Historical items of note:

  • In 1783, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 36 was performed for the first time in Linz, Austria.
  • In 1847, Sir James Young Simpson, a Scottish physician, discovered the anesthetic properties of chloroform.
  • In 1879, actor and screenwriter Will Rogers was born.
  • In 1916, journalist, voice actor, and producer Walter Cronkite was born.
  • Also in 1916, businesswoman Ruth Handler was born. She created the iconic Barbie fashion doll.
  • In 1924, Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming became the first woman elected as governor in the United States.
  • In 1937, actress and singer Loretta Swit was born.
  • In 1950, actress Markie Post was born.
  • In 1952, the United States government established the National Security Agency, also known as the NSA.
  • In 1953, English animator, director, and producer Peter Lord was born. He co-founded Aardman Animations.
  • In 1961, actor Ralph Macchio was born.
  • In 1969, actor and producer Matthew McConaughey was born.
  • In 1973, the Netherlands experienced the first Car-Free Sunday caused by the 1973 oil crisis. Highways were used only by cyclists and roller skaters.
  • In 2001, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone premiered. I really enjoy the books and movies, but their creator… not at all.
  • In 2008, Barack Obama became the first person of biracial or African-American descent to be elected President of the United States.

November 4th is Community Service Day in Dominica.

Community Service Day, also known as National Day of Community Service or Community Day of Service, is a public holiday focused on a nationwide clean-up that follows Independence Day celebrations.

On November 4th, or the following Monday or Tuesday if Community Service Day falls on a weekend, Dominicans from all around the island participate in community projects. Notably, the government of Dominica provides assistance to communities, encouraging them to undertake specific projects. Ultimately, communities are free to choose any project to engage in.

The day has also focused on beautification initiatives, including through improvement committees and village councils. National Day of Community Service aims to promote volunteering, especially among young people, and the building of stronger communities.

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

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