October 10, 2020
Day 284 of 366
October 10th is the 284th day of the year. It is Independence Day in Cuba, commemorating the proclamation of their independence from Spain and the beginning of the Ten Years’ War in 1868.
It is also World Against the Death Penalty Day, a day to advocate for the abolition of the death penalty and to raise awareness of the conditions and the circumstances which affect prisoners with death sentences.
In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Angel Food Cake Day, National Cake Decorating Day, National Handbag Day, National Chess Day, National Costume Swap Day, National Motorcycle Ride Day, and I Love Yarn Day. The last four events are typically observed on the second Saturday in October.
Historical items of note:
- In 1731, French-English chemist, physicist, and philosopher Henry Cavendish was born. He is noted for his discovery of hydrogen, which he termed “inflammable air”.
- In 1813, Italian composer and philanthropist Giuseppe Verdi was born.
- In 1845, the Naval School (later the United States Naval Academy) opened in Annapolis, Maryland with 50 students.
- In 1846, Triton, the largest moon of the planet Neptune, was discovered by English astronomer William Lassell.
- In 1903, the Women’s Social and Political Union was founded in support of the enfranchisement of British women.
- In 1917, pianist and composer Thelonious Monk was born.
- In 1927, actor and director Dana Elcar was born.
- In 1941, actor, director, and screenwriter Peter Coyote was born.
- In 1946, actor, singer, and dancer Ben Vereen was born.
- In 1957, the Windscale fire resulted in Britain’s worst nuclear accident.
- In 1959, actor and producer Bradley Whitford was born.
- In 1961, voice actress Jodi Benson was born.
- In 1963, From Russia With Love premiered.
- In 1964, the Tokyo Summer Olympics opening ceremony became the first to be relayed live by satellites.
- In 1966, The Beach Boys released one of their biggest singles, “Good Vibrations”. It is ranked as the 6th greatest song by Rolling Stone.
- In 1967, the Outer Space Treaty – formally the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies – came into force.
- Also in 1967, composer Michael Giacchino was born.
- In 1973, United States Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned after being charged with evasion of federal income tax.
- In 1978, model and actress Jodi Lyn O’Keefe was born.
- In 1988, actress Rose McIver was born.
- In 2017, Thor: Ragnarok premiered.
October 10th is observed as World Mental Health Day.
This international day exists to promote global mental health education, awareness, and advocacy against social stigma. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries.
On this day, each October, thousands of supporters come to celebrate this annual awareness program to bring attention to mental illness and its major effects on peoples’ lives worldwide.
The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.
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