The Thing About Today – October 29

October 29, 2020
Day 303 of 366

October 29th is the 303rd day of the year. It is Coronation Day in Cambodia, celebrating the anniversary of King Sihamoni’s coronation in 2004.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Cat Day, National Oatmeal Day, National Hermit Day, and World Stroke Day.

Historical items of note:

  • In 1390, the first trial for witchcraft in Paris led to the death of three people.
  • In 1618, English adventurer, writer, and courtier Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded for allegedly conspiring against James I of England.
  • In 1675, Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz, a prominent German polymath and one of the most important logicians, mathematicians and natural philosophers of the Enlightenment, made the first use of the long s (∫) as a symbol of the integral in calculus.
  • In 1787, Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni receives its first performance in Prague.
  • In 1863, eighteen countries met in Geneva and agreed to form the International Red Cross.
  • In 1888, the Convention of Constantinople was signed, guaranteeing free maritime passage through the Suez Canal during war and peace.
  • In 1929, the New York Stock Exchange crashed in what became known as “Black Tuesday”, ending the Great Bull Market of the 1920s and beginning the Great Depression.
  • In 1938, director, producer, and screenwriter Ralph Bakshi was born.
  • In 1942, artist and television host Bob Ross was born. I really love his philosophies on life.
  • In 1947, actor and activist Richard Dreyfuss was born.
  • In 1948, actress, director, and producer Kate Jackson was born.
  • In 1957, actor, voice artist, comedian, singer and producer Dan Castellaneta was born.
  • In 1960, Cassius Clay (who later took the name Muhammad Ali) won his first professional fight in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • In 1964, a collection of irreplaceable gems, including the 565 carat Star of India, was stolen by a group of thieves from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
  • In 1967, English actor Rufus Sewell was born.
  • In 1969, the first-ever computer-to-computer link was established on ARPANET, the precursor to the Internet.
  • In 1971, actress and producer Winona Ryder was born.
  • In 1972, actress and producer Gabrielle Union was born.
  • In 1991, the Galileo spacecraft made its closest approach to 951 Gaspra, becoming the first probe to visit an asteroid.
  • In 1998, Space Shuttle Discovery blasted off on mission STS-95 with 77-year-old John Glenn on board, making him the oldest person to go into space. During this mission, ATSC HDTV broadcasting in the United States was inaugurated in conjunction with the launch.
  • In 2008, Delta Air Lines merged with Northwest Airlines, creating the world’s largest airline and reducing the number of United States legacy carriers to five.
  • Also in 2008, Quantum of Solace premiered. It was the twenty-second James Bond film, and was widely criticized in many aspects, one of which was its title. It followed the events of Casino Royale, which ended with Bond suffering a very traumatic loss, this one ended with him finding a measure of resolution. One might say, while armed with a thesaurus, a quantum of solace?
  • In 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast of the United States, killing 148 directly and 138 indirectly, while leaving nearly $70 billion in damages and causing major power outages.
  • In 2015, China announces the end of One-child policy after 35 years.

In 1923, Turkey became a republic following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk made the declaration, but Turkey had de facto been a republic since April 23, 1920, upon the establishment of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, but the official confirmation came three-and-a-half years later. The status of the nation as a republic was declared and its official name was proclaimed to be Türkiye Cumhuriyeti (“the Republic of Turkey”).

After that, a vote was held in the Grand National Assembly, and Atatürk was elected as the first President of the Republic of Turkey

The anniversary is marked by the celebration of Republic Day (Cumhuriyet Bayramı), a public holiday lasting 35 hours and starting at 1:00 pm.

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.