The Thing About Today – November 20

November 20, 2020
Day 325 of 366

November 20th is the 325th day of the year. It is Teachers’ Day (also known as Ngày nhà giáo Việt Nam) in Vietnam.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Peanut Butter Fudge Day, National Absurdity Day, and National Child’s Day.

Historical items of note:

  • In 1789, New Jersey became the first U.S. state to ratify the Bill of Rights.
  • In 1805, Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio, premiered in Vienna.
  • In 1820, an 80-ton sperm whale attacked and sank the Essex, a whaling ship from Nantucket, Massachusetts. The event happened 2,000 miles from the western coast of South America, and was a partial inspiration for Herman Melville’s 1851 novel Moby-Dick.
  • In 1889, astronomer and cosmologist Edwin Hubble was born.
  • In 1924, Polish-American mathematician and economist Benoit Mandelbrot was born. He coined the term fractal.
  • In 1932, actor and game show host Richard Dawson was born.
  • In 1942, Joe Biden, the forty-sixth President of the United States, was born.
  • In 1945, trials against 24 Nazi war criminals began at the Palace of Justice at Nuremberg.
  • In 1946, newscaster Judy Woodruff was born.
  • In 1947, The Princess Elizabeth married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, who became the Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in London.
  • In 1956, actress and producer Bo Derek was born.
  • In 1959, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child was adopted by the United Nations.
  • Also in 1959, actress Sean Young was born.
  • In 1962, in response to the Soviet Union agreeing to remove its missiles from Cuba, United States President John F. Kennedy ended the quarantine of the Caribbean nation.
  • In 1963, Chinese-American actress Ming-Na Wen was born.
  • In 1968, astronaut James Dutton was born.
  • In 1969, Native American activists seized control of Alcatraz Island until being ousted by the United States Government on June 11, 1971. The protest group chose the name Indians of All Tribes for their movement, and they that, under the Treaty of Fort Laramie between the United States and the Lakota tribe, all retired, abandoned, or out-of-use federal land was returned to the Indians who once occupied it. When Alcatraz was closed and declared as surplus federal property in 1964, the activists felt that the island qualified for reclamation.
  • In 1974, the United States Department of Justice filed its final anti-trust suit against AT&T Corporation. This suit later led to the breakup of AT&T and its Bell System.
  • In 1998, the first space station module component, Zarya, for the International Space Station was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
  • In 2002, the twentieth James Bond film, Die Another Day, was released.

November 20th is International Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Also known as the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), the International Transgender Day of Remembrance has been observed annually, from its inception, on this date to memorialize those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia. It is a day to draw attention to the continued violence endured by transgender people.

Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender woman, to memorialize the murder of transgender woman Rita Hester in Allston, Massachusetts. It has slowly evolved from the web-based project started by Smith into an international day of action. In 2010, the day was observed in over 185 cities throughout more than 20 countries.

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.