The Thing About Today – June 9

June 9, 2020
Day 161 of 366


June 9th is the 161st day of the year. It is Autonomy Day in Åland, celebrating the anniversary of the first congregation of the regional government. The Åland Islands, or more simply, Åland, is an archipelago province at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia in the Baltic Sea belonging to Finland. They were granted autonomy in 1921.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Donald Duck Day, National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day, National Earl Day, and Call Your Doctor Day (observed on the second Tuesday in June).


Historical items of note:

  • In 1732, James Oglethorpe was granted a royal charter for the colony of the future U.S. state of Georgia.
  • In 1891, composer and songwriter Cole Porter was born.
  • In 1922, pilot and poet John Gillespie Magee, Jr. was born.
  • In 1934, Donald Duck made his first appearance in a cartoon called “The Wise Little Hen”.
  • In 1951, composer, conductor, and producer James Newton Howard was born.
  • In 1954, Joseph Welch, special counsel for the United States Army, lashed out at Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Army–McCarthy hearings, giving McCarthy the famous rebuke, “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”
  • In 1959, the USS George Washington (SSBN-598) was launched. It was the first nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine.
  • In 1961, actor, producer, and author Michael J. Fox was born.
  • Also in 1961, screenwriter, producer, and playwright Aaron Sorkin was born.
  • In 1963, actor Johnny Depp was born.
  • In 1964, actress Gloria Reuben was born.
  • In 1973, Secretariat won the U.S. Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing.
  • In 1978, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints finally opened its priesthood to “all worthy men”, ending a 148-year-old policy of inexplicably excluding black men from one of the most important aspects of their faith.
  • Also in 1978, actress Michaela Conlin was born.
  • In 1981, actress and filmmaker Natalie Portman was born.
  • In 1989, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier premiered.
  • In 2014, Laverne Cox became the first transgender woman to appear on the cover of Time Magazine.


June 9th is Coral Triangle Day.

The day celebrates and raises awareness of ocean conservation and protection, especially on the Coral Triangle, the world’s epicenter of marine biodiversity.

The Coral Triangle is the vast ocean expense located along the equator and the confluence of the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans. The region covers the exclusive economic zones of six countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and East Timor, collectively known as the “CT6” countries. The Coral Triangle is considered one of the three mega ecological complexes on Earth. The other two are the Congo Basin and the Amazon Rainforest.

The region represents the global epicenter of marine life abundance and diversity, containing 76% of all known coral species, 37% of all known coral reef fish species, 53% of the world’s coral reefs, the greatest extent of mangrove forests in the world, and spawning and juvenile growth areas for the world’s largest tuna fishery.

The area also may have a buffer against the future of climate change, making it potentially the world’s most important “refuge” for marine life. The combined resources provide profound benefits to the 363 million people who reside within the CT6 countries and benefit many millions more outside the region.

That said, the region is under significant threat by warming, acidifying, and rising seas.

Coral Triangle Day was first observed in 2012, working in conjunction with World Oceans Day.


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.



The Thing About Today – June 8

June 8, 2020
Day 160 of 366


June 8th is the 160th day of the year. It is World Brain Tumor Day, an international commemoration of brain tumor patients and their families.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Best Friends Day, National Name Your Poison Day, and National Upsy Daisy Day.


Historical items of note:

  • In 1783, the Laki volcano in Iceland began an eight-month eruption that killed over 9,000 people and started a seven-year famine.
  • In 1789, James Madison introduced twelve proposed amendments to the United States Constitution in Congress. Of those proposed amendments, ten were ratified as the Bill of Rights on December 15, 1791. Another became the Twenty-Seventh Amendment (dealing with Congressional salary changes) on May 5, 1992. The last one, concerning Congressional apportionment, is still pending before the states with an indefinite time limit.
  • In 1860, Irish-English mathematician and theorist Alicia Boole Stott was born.
  • In 1867, architect Frank Lloyd Wright was born. He designed the Price Tower and Fallingwater.
  • In 1887, Herman Hollerith applied for United States patent #395,781 for the “Art of Compiling Statistics”, which was his punched card calculator.
  • In 1906, Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act into law. This authorized the President to restrict the use of certain parcels of public land with historical or conservation value.
  • In 1912, Carl Laemmle incorporated Universal Pictures.
  • In 1918, Air Force captain, actor, and singer Robert Preston was born.
  • In 1933, comedian, actress, and television host Joan Rivers was born.
  • In 1936, actor and singer James Darren was born.
  • In 1940, singer and actor Nancy Sinatra was born.
  • In 1943, Sixth Doctor (Doctor Who) Colin Baker was born.
  • In 1949, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four was published.
  • In 1953, the United States Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. John R. Thompson Co. that restaurants in Washington, D.C., cannot refuse to serve black patrons.
  • In 1959, USS Barbero (SS-317) and the United States Postal Service attempted the delivery of mail via Missile Mail. The cost of continued service could not be justified.
  • In 1966, an F-104 Starfighter collided with XB-70 Valkyrie prototype number 2, destroying both aircraft during a photo shoot near Edwards Air Force Base. Joseph A. Walker, a NASA test pilot, and Carl Cross, a United States Air Force test pilot, were both killed.
  • Also in 1966, actress Julianna Margulies was born.
  • In 1972, nine-year-old Phan Thị Kim Phúc was burned by napalm, an event captured by Associated Press photographer Nick Ut moments later while the young girl was seen running down a road. The resulting photograph would become an iconic, Pulitzer Prize-winner.
  • In 1973, model and actress Lexa Doig was born.
  • In 1984, homosexuality was declared legal in the Australian state of New South Wales.
  • Also in 1984, the original Ghostbusters was released.
  • Also in 1984, Gremlins was released.


In 1992, the first World Oceans Day was celebrated. It coincided with the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

World Oceans Day was officially recognized by the United Nations in 2008. The international day supports the implementation of worldwide Sustainability Development Goals and fosters public interest in the management of the ocean and its resources. The day is marked in a variety of ways, including information campaigns and initiatives, special events at aquariums and zoos, outdoor explorations, aquatic and beach cleanups, educational and conservation action programs, art contests, film festivals, and sustainable seafood events.


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.