The Thing About Today – June 2

June 2, 2020
Day 154 of 366


June 2nd is the 154th day of the year. It is International Sex Workers Day, which honors sex workers and recognizes their often exploited working conditions. The event commemorates the occupation of Église Saint-Nizier in Lyon by more than a hundred sex workers on June 2, 1975, an event that drew attention to their inhumane working conditions. It has been celebrated annually since 1976.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Rotisserie Chicken Day, National Rocky Road Day, National Bubba Day, and National Leave The Office Early Day. That last one is typically observed on June 2nd unless the date falls on a weekend, in which case it is observed on the closest working day.


Historical items of note:

  • In 455, vandals entered Rome and plundered the city for two weeks.
  • In 1740, French philosopher and politician Marquis de Sade was born.
  • In 1774, the Quartering Act was enacted. It allowed a governor in colonial America to house British soldiers in uninhabited houses, outhouses, barns, or other buildings if suitable quarters are not provided.
  • In 1840, English novelist and poet Thomas Hardy was born.
  • In 1857, English composer and educator Edward Elgar was born.
  • In 1896, Guglielmo Marconi applied for a patent for his wireless telegraph.
  • In 1907, journalist and author Dorothy West was born.
  • In 1910, Charles Rolls, co-founder of Rolls-Royce Limited, became the first man to make a non-stop double crossing of the English Channel by plane.
  • In 1924, United States President Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act into law. It granted citizenship to all Native Americans born within the territorial limits of the United States.
  • In 1930, astronaut Pete Conrad was born.
  • In 1936, actress Sally Kellerman was born.
  • In 1944, composer and conductor Marvin Hamlisch was born.
  • In 1951, artist, gay rights activist, and designer of the rainbow flag Gilbert Baker was born.
  • In 1953, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II occurred. She was crowned Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Her Other Realms and Territories & Head of the Commonwealth, and the coronation was the first major international event to be televised.
  • In 1954, actor and producer Dennis Haysbert was born.
  • In 1966, Surveyor 1 landed in Oceanus Procellarum on the Moon, becoming the first United States spacecraft to soft-land on another world.
  • In 1977, actor and producer Zachary Quinto was born.
  • In 1978, actress Nikki Cox was born.
  • In 1979, actress Morena Baccarin was born.
  • In 1982, actress Jewel Staite was born.
  • In 2003, Europe launched its first voyage to another planet. The European Space Agency’s Mars Express probe launched from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.


June 2nd is Decoration Day in Canada.

Decoration Day recognizes veterans of Canada’s military. It began on June 2, 1890, and was originally a form of protest for veterans of the Battle of Ridgeway. They felt that their contributions to the protection of Canada during the Fenian Raids were being overlooked by the government, and they protested by placing decorations at the Canadian Volunteers Monument near Queen’s Park in Toronto on the anniversary of the battle.

It became an annual event and accumulated more participants as the ranks of Canadian veterans grew, including veterans of the Fenian Raids, the North-West Rebellion, the Second Boer War, and the First World War.

This all resulted in Great Britain creating service medals recognizing participants in the pre-First World War Canadian conflicts. Commemoration of Decoration Day became less prominent in the early 1900s, although it returned to some prominence when the First World War began. A Ridgeway monument was created in 1916 and made a National Historic Battlefield in 1921.

In 1931, the Armistice Remembrance Day Act established November 11th, Remembrance Day, as the official day commemorating military service in Canada. Despite that, some recognition of Decoration Day continues each year.


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

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