The Thing About Today – November 30

November 30, 2020
Day 335 of 366

November 30th is the 335th day of the year. It is Independence Day in Barbados (which separated from the United Kingdom in 1966) and South Yemen (which separated from the United Kingdom in 1967).

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Personal Space Day, National Mason Jar Day, National Mousse Day, National Meth Awareness Day, Computer Security Day, Stay Home Because You’re Well Day, National Mississippi Day, and Cyber Monday (typically observed on the Monday after Thanksgiving).

Historical items of note:

  • In 1667, Irish satirist and essayist Jonathan Swift was born.
  • In 1786, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, under Pietro Leopoldo I, became the first modern state to abolish the death penalty. The date was later commemorated as Cities for Life Day.
  • In 1835, novelist, humorist, and critic Mark Twain was born.
  • In 1872, Canadian physician, soldier, and poet John McCrae was born. He wrote In Flanders Fields.
  • In 1874, English colonel, journalist, politician, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and Nobel Prize laureate Winston Churchill was born.
  • In 1927, actor Robert Guillaume was born.
  • In 1929, television host and producer Dick Clark was born.
  • Also in 1929, screenwriter and producer Joan Ganz Cooney was born. She co-created Sesame Street.
  • In 1934, the LNER Class A3 4472 Flying Scotsman became the first steam locomotive to be authenticated as reaching 100 mph.
  • In 1936, in London, the Crystal Palace was destroyed by fire.
  • In 1937, English director, producer, and production designer Scott Ridley was born.
  • In 1954, the Hodges meteorite crashed through a roof in Sylacauga, Alabama and hit a woman taking an afternoon nap. This is the only documented case in the Western Hemisphere of a human being hit by a rock from space.
  • In 1955, actor Kevin Conroy was born.
  • In 1962, computer programmer and author Daniel Keys Moran was born.
  • In 1979, Pink Floyd’s rock opera, The Wall was released.
  • In 1982, Michael Jackson’s sixth solo studio album, Thriller, was released worldwide. It ultimately became the best-selling record album in history.
  • Also in 1982, Canadian actress Elisha Cuthbert was born.
  • Also in 1982, Richard Attenborough’s 1983 Best Picture film Gandhi premiered.
  • In 1985, actress Kaley Cuoco was born.
  • In 1993, Steven Spielberg’s 1994 Best Picture film Schindler’s List premiered.
  • In 2000, NASA launched mission STS-97 with Space Shuttle Endeavour, the 101st Space Shuttle mission.

In 2005, Cyber Monday was established by Ellen Davis of the National Retail Federation and Scott Silverman.

Cyber Monday, also known as Blue Monday, is a marketing term for a day created by retailers to convince people to shop online after Black Friday. It’s original purpose was to offer a way for smaller retail websites to compete with larger chains.

Of course, that hasn’t stopped major retailers like Amazon from engaging as well.

In 2017, Cyber Monday online sales grew to a record of $6.59 billion. That’s compared with $2.98 billion in 2015 and $2.65 billion in 2014.

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.