The Thing About Today – October 10

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.

For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.

The Thing About Today – October 9

October 9, 2020
Day 283 of 366

October 9th is the 283rd day of the year. It is Fire Prevention Day in the United States and Canada.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Leif Erikson Day and National Moldy Cheese Day.

Historical items of note:

  • Today in 1410 marks the first known mention of the Prague astronomical clock.
  • In 1446, the hangul alphabet was published in Korea.
  • In 1604, Supernova 1604 was sighted. It was the most recent supernova to be observed within the Milky Way.
  • In 1701, The Collegiate School of Connecticut, later renamed as Yale University, was chartered in Old Saybrook.
  • In 1824, slavery was abolished in Costa Rica.
  • In 1825, Restauration arrived in New York Harbor from Norway. It was the first organized immigration from Norway to the United States.
  • In 1834, The Dublin and Kingstown Railway opened. It was the first public railway on the island of Ireland.
  • In 1847, slavery was abolished in Saint Barthélemy.
  • In 1926, the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) was formed.
  • In 1936, Boulder Dam (later Hoover Dam) began generating and transmitting electricity for Los Angeles, California.
  • Also in 1936, actor Brian Blessed was born.
  • In 1951, actor Robert Wuhl was born.
  • In 1954, actor Scott Bakula was born.
  • In 1964, director Guillermo del Toro was born.
  • In 1979, actor Brandon Routh was born.
  • In 1986, The Phantom of the Opera, eventually the second longest running musical in London, opened at Her Majesty’s Theatre.
  • In 2006, North Korea conducted its first nuclear test.
  • In 2017, producer Harvey Weinstein was fired from The Weinstein Company after allegations of sexual abuse. This gave birth to the #MeToo Movement against sexual abuse and sexual harassment where people publicized allegations of sex crimes committed by powerful and/or prominent men.

In 1874, the Universal Postal Union was created by the Treaty of Bern. It is a specialized agency of the United Nations that coordinates postal policies among member nations, in addition to the worldwide postal system.

The Universal Postal Union was the start of the global communications revolution, introducing the ability to write letter to others all over the world. Postal systems have been in operation for many centuries, operating on foot or on horseback by special messengers. From the 1600s, the first national postage systems began springing up in many countries. International mail exchange followed, giving birth to a global postal service, but it was slow and complicated. The Universal Postal Union opened the way for the efficient postal service.

To celebrate the anniversary, World Post Day started in 1969. To celebrate, post offices in some countries hold special stamp collection exhibitions, hold workshops on postal history, and organize international letter writing competitions for young people.

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.