Almanac ~ Friday, 2/17/17

Feb 17, 2017

Today is Friday, February 17th, 2017.

  • Sunrise: 6:57am
  • Sunset: 5:51pm

68% of the waning moon visible, setting at 10:46am

Tides at the Golden Gate:

  • High: 3:50am/4:46pm
  • Low: 10:24am/10:02pm

Special celebrations today:

  • National Public Science Day
  • Random Acts of Kindness Day
  • World Information Architecture Day
  • World Human Spirit Day

It’s also…

  • National Cafe Au Lait Day
  • Feast of Shesmu, Egyptian god of the Wine Press
  • Fornacalia: Old Roman Bread Festival or Feast of Ovens

On this day in…

1801 - The U.S. House of Representatives broke an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. Jefferson was elected president and Burr became vice president.

1817 - The first gaslit streetlights appeared on the streets of Baltimore, MD.

1865 - Columbia, SC, burned. The Confederates were evacuating and the Union Forces were moving in.

1876 - Julius Wolff was credited with being the first to can sardines.

1878 - In San Francisco, CA, the first large city telephone exchange opened. It had only 18 phones.

1897 - The National Congress of Mothers was organized in Washington, DC, by Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst. It was the forerunner of the National PTA.

1913 - The Armory Show opened at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City. The full-scale exhibition was of contemporary paintings and was organized by the Association of Painters and Sculptors.

1924 - Swimmer Johnny Weissmuller set a world record in the 100-yard freestyle. He did it with a time of 57-2/5 seconds in Miami, FL.

1933 - "Newsweek" was first published.

1933 - Blondie Boopadoop married Dagwood Bumstead three years after Chic Young’s popular strip first debuted.

1934 - The first high school automobile driver’s education course was introduced in State College, PA.

1944 - During World War II, the Battle of Eniwetok Atoll began. U.S. forces won the battle on February 22, 1944.

1947 - The Voice of America began broadcasting to the Soviet Union.

1964 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that congressional districts within each state had to be approximately equal in population. (Westberry v. Sanders)

1965 - Comedienne Joan Rivers made her first guest appearances on "The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson" on NBC-TV.

1968 - The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame opened in Springfield, MA.

1985 - U.S. Postage stamp prices were raised from 20 cents to 22 cents for first class mail.

1992 - In Milwaukee, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced to life in prison. In November of 1994, he was beaten to death in prison.

1995 - Colin Ferguson was convicted of six counts of murder in the December 1993 Long Island Rail Road shootings. He was later sentenced to a minimum of 200 years in prison.

1996 - World chess champion Garry Kasparov beat the IBM supercomputer "Deep Blue" in Philadelphia, PA.

1997 - Pepperdine University announced that Kenneth Starr was leaving the Whitewater probe to take a full-time job at the school. Starr reversed the announcement four days later.

2005 - U.S. President George W. Bush named John Negroponte as the first national intelligence director.

Birthday celebrants today include (or included)…

  • Thomas Malthus 1766
  • Raphael Peale 1774
  • Rene Laennec 1781
  • Montgomery Ward 1843
  • H.L. Hunt 1889
  • Marian Anderson 1902
  • Red Barber 1908
  • Marjorie Lawrence 1909
  • Arthur Kennedy 1914
  • Wayne (DeWayne) Morris 1914
  • Raf (Raffaele) Vallone 1918
  • Kathleen Freeman 1919
  • Buddy (Boniface) DeFranco 1923
  • Hal Holbrook 1925 - Actor
  • Chaim Potok 1929
  • Bobby Lewis 1933
  • Alan Bates 1934
  • Dame Edna 1934 - Comedian
  • Johnny Bush 1935 - Country singer
  • Jim Brown 1936 - Football player
  • Mary Ann Mobley 1939 - Actress
  • Gene Pitney 1941
  • Brenda Fricker 1945
  • Dodie Stevens 1947
  • Zina Bethune 1950
  • Rene Russo 1954 - Actress
  • Richard Karn 1956
  • Lou Diamond Phillips 1962 - Actor
  • Larry the Cable Guy 1963 - Actor, comedian ("Blue Collar TV")
  • Michael Jordan 1963 - Basketball player
  • Michael Bay 1964 - Director
  • Timothy J. Mahoney 1970 - Musician (311)
  • Denise Richards 1971 - Actress
  • Taylor Hawkins 1972 - Musician (Foo Fighters)
  • Billie Joe Armstrong 1972 - Musician (Green Day)
  • Bryan White 1974
  • Jerry O'Connell 1974 - Actor
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt 1981 - Actor ("3rd Rock From the Sun")
  • Paris Hilton 1981