July 9, 2020
Day 191 of 366
July 9th is the 191st day of the year. It is Constitution Day in both Australia and Palau, and it is Independence Day in both Argentina (from Spain as the United Provinces of South America by the Congress of Tucumán in 1816) and South Sudan (from Sudan in 2011).
In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Sugar Cookie Day. My “cyber-mom” Janis is going to love this one.
Historical items of note:
- In 1609, Bohemia was granted freedom of religion through the Letter of Majesty by the Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolf II.
- In 1755, the Braddock Expedition was soundly defeated in the Battle of the Monongahela by a smaller French and Native American force. This was in Braddock’s attempt to capture Fort Duquesne in what is now downtown Pittsburgh.
- In 1762, Catherine the Great became Empress of Russia following the coup against her husband, Peter III.
- In 1776, General George Washington ordered the Declaration of Independence to be read out to members of the Continental Army in Manhattan, while thousands of British troops on Staten Island prepared for the Battle of Long Island.
- In 1793, the Act Against Slavery in Upper Canada banned the importation of slaves. It also freed those who are born into slavery after the passage of the Act at 25 years of age.
- In 1850, United States President Zachary Taylor died after eating raw fruit and iced milk. Having served only sixteen months as the twelfth President of the United States, he was succeeded in office by Vice President Millard Fillmore.
- In 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, guaranteeing African Americans (on paper, at any rate) full citizenship and all persons in the United States due process of law.
- In 1937, the silent film archives of Fox Film Corporation were destroyed by the 1937 Fox vault fire.
- In 1938, actor Brian Dennehy was born.
- In 1945, author and screenwriter Dean Koontz was born.
- In 1955, actor and producer Jimmy Smits was born.
- In 1956, Dick Clark made his first appearance as host of American Bandstand.
- Also in 1956, actor Tom Hanks was born.
- In 1957, actress Kelly McGillis was born.
- In 1976, actor, director, and producer Fred Savage was born.
- In 1978, actress Linda Park was born.
In 1993, the Parliament of Canada passed the Nunavut Act. This led to the creation of Nunavut in 1999, which divided the Northwest Territories into arctic (Inuit) and sub-arctic (Dene) lands based on a plebiscite (essentially, a referendum).
In 2000, “Nunavut Day” was celebrated on April 1, the day that Nunavut became a legally distinct territory. However, the 1993 Nunavut Land Claims Agreement had greater significance to the people of Nunavut, so the holiday was moved to July 9 the following year.
Nunavut comprises a major portion of Northern Canada and most of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. It is the fifth-largest country subdivision in the world, as well as North America’s second-largest after Greenland. The capital Iqaluit (formerly “Frobisher Bay”), on Baffin Island in the east, was chosen by the 1995 capital plebiscite. Other major communities include the regional centers of Rankin Inlet and Cambridge Bay.
Nunavut also includes Ellesmere Island to the far north, as well as the eastern and southern portions of Victoria Island in the west, and all islands in Hudson, James, and Ungava Bays, including Akimiski Island far to the southeast of the rest of the territory. It is Canada’s only geo-political region that is not connected to the rest of North America by a highway.
Nunavut is the second-least populous of Canada’s provinces and territories and is home to the world’s northernmost permanently inhabited place, Alert.
The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.
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