The Thing About Today – October 3

October 3, 2020
Day 277 of 366

October 3rd is the 277th day of the year. It is National Day in Iraq as they celebrate their 1932 independence from the United Kingdom.


In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Techies Day and National Boyfriend Day.


Historical items of note:

  • In 2457 BC, Hwanung (환웅) purportedly descended from heaven. This event is observed today as Gaecheonjeol, or South Korea’s National Foundation Day.
  • In 42 BC, Triumvirs Mark Antony and Octavian fought a decisive battle with Caesar’s assassins Brutus and Cassius at the Battle of Philippi.
  • In 1283, Dafydd ap Gruffydd, prince of Gwynedd in Wales, became the first nobleman to be executed by hanging and drawing and quartering.
  • In 1789, George Washington proclaimed a Thanksgiving Day for that year.
  • In 1863, the last Thursday in November was declared as Thanksgiving Day by United States President Abraham Lincoln.
  • In 1941, singer-songwriter Chubby Checker was born.
  • In 1949, WERD, the first black-owned radio station in the United States, opened in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • In 1952, the United Kingdom successfully tested a nuclear weapon and became the world’s third nuclear power.
  • In 1955, Captain Kangaroo premiered on television.
  • In 1961, Mr. Ed premiered on television.
  • In 1962, astronaut Wally Schirra launched from Cape Canaveral in Sigma 7 for a six-orbit flight.
  • In 1964, actor Clive Owen was born.
  • In 1969, singer-songwriter, actress, and fashion designer Gwen Stefani was born.
  • In 1973, Canadian actress and producer Neve Campbell was born.
  • Also in 1973, actress Lena Headey was born.
  • In 1983, actress Tessa Thompson was born.
  • In 1984, actress Jessica Parker Kennedy was born.
  • In 1985, the Space Shuttle Atlantis made its maiden flight on mission STS-51-J.
  • In 1988, actress Alicia Vikander was born.
  • In 1994, Gary Larson announced his retirement from producing his Far Side comic.
  • In 1995, the O. J. Simpson murder case ended with a verdict of not guilty.


In 1990, the German Democratic Republic was abolished and became part of the Federal Republic of Germany. The day is celebrated as German Unity Day. The reunification marked the first time since 1945 that there existed a single German state.

An alternative choice would have been November 9, 1989, the day that the Berlin Wall came down – the date coincided with the anniversary of the proclamation of the German Republic in 1918, and the defeat of Hitler’s first coup in 1923 – however, it was also the anniversary of the first large-scale Nazi-led pogroms against Jews in 1938 (also known as Kristallnacht), so the day was considered inappropriate as a national holiday.

Therefore, October 3, 1990, the day of the formal reunification, was chosen instead and replaced the “Day of German Unity” on June 17th, the national holiday of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1954.


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

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