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Friday April 26, 2013
By Joe Burke
- 116th Day of 2013 / 249 Remaining
- 56 Days Until The First Day of Summer
- 13 Hours 38 Minutes of Daylight
- Moon Rise:9:22pm
- Moon Set:6:53am
- Moon’s Phase: 99 %
- The Next Full Moon
- May 24 @ 9:27pm
- Full Flower Moon
- Full Corn Planting Moon
- Full Milk Moon
In most areas, flowers are abundant everywhere during this time. Thus, the name of this Moon. Other names include the Full Corn Planting Moon, or the Milk Moon.
- Rainfall (measured July 1 – June 30)
- This Year:16.32
- Last Year:15.62
- Normal To Date:22.81
- Annual Seasonal Average:23.80
- National Pretzel Day
- Hug an Australian Day
- Richter Scale Day
- Union Day-Tanzania
- On This Day In …
- 1514 --- Copernicus made his first observations of Saturn.
- 1607 --- An expedition of English colonists went ashore at Cape Henry, Va., to establish the first permanent English settlement in the Western Hemisphere. (They later settled at Jamestown.)
- 1803 --- Over 2,300 meteorite stones, weighing between one quarter ounce and 20 pounds, rained down on the people of L’Aigle in northeastern France. The meteorites poured down along an 8-mile-long strip in this little town, 100 miles west of Paris. No one was hurt; but it was the first time scientists could verify that stones could come from outer space.
- 1865 --- John Wilkes Booth is killed when Union soldiers track him down to a Virginia farm 12 days after he assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. Twenty-six-year-old Booth was one of the most famous actors in the country when he shot Lincoln during a performance at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C., on the night of April 14. Booth was a Maryland native and a strong supporter of the Confederacy. As the war entered its final stages, Booth hatched a conspiracy to kidnap the president. He enlisted the aid of several associates, but the opportunity never presented itself. After the surrender of Robert E. Lee's Confederate army at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, on April 9, Booth changed the plan to a simultaneous assassination of Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State William Seward. Only Lincoln was actually killed, however. Seward was stabbed by Lewis Paine but survived, while the man assigned to kill Johnson did not carry out his assignment. After shooting Lincoln, Booth jumped to the stage below Lincoln's box seat. He landed hard, breaking his leg, before escaping to a waiting horse behind the theater. Many in the audience recognized Booth, so the army was soon hot on his trail. Booth and his accomplice, David Herold, made their way across the Anacostia River and headed toward southern Maryland. The pair stopped at Dr. Samuel Mudd's home, and Mudd treated Booth's leg. This earned Mudd a life sentence in prison when he was implicated as part of the conspiracy, but the sentence was later commuted. Booth found refuge for several days at the home of Thomas A. Jones, a Confederate agent, before securing a boat to row across the Potomac to Virginia. After receiving aid from several Confederate sympathizers, Booth's luck finally ran out. The countryside was swarming with military units looking for Booth, although few shared information since there was a $20,000 reward. While staying at the farm of Richard Garrett, Federal troops arrived on their search but soon rode on. The unsuspecting Garrett allowed his suspicious guests to sleep in his barn, but he instructed his son to lock the barn from the outside to prevent the strangers from stealing his horses. A tip led the Union soldiers back to the Garrett farm, where they discovered Booth and Herold in the barn. Herold came out, but Booth refused. The building was set on fire to flush Booth, but he was shot while still inside. He lived for three hours before gazing at his hands, muttering "Useless, useless," as he died.
- 1877 --- Minnesota held a state day of prayer to plead for an end to a 4 year plague of Rocky Mountain locusts. In southwestern Minnesota, locusts had been eating crops, trees, tobacco, fence posts, leather, dead animals, sheep's wool - everything but the mortgage. Two days later a snowstorm moved through and the locusts were never seen again. No one knows what caused the locust plague, nor why the Rocky Mountain locust became extinct after the plague.
- 1921 --- Weather broadcasts were heard for the first time on radio when WEW in St. Louis, MO aired weather news. Weather forecasts continue to be the top reason why people listen to radio; rating higher than music, news and sports.
- 1937 --- During the Spanish Civil War, the German military tests its powerful new air force--the Luftwaffe--on the Basque town of Guernica in northern Spain. Although the independence-minded Basque region opposed General Francisco Franco's Nationalist forces in the Spanish Civil War, Guernica itself was a small rural city of only 5,000 inhabitants that declared nonbelligerence in the conflict. With Franco's approval, the cutting-edge German aircraft began their unprovoked attack at 4:30 p.m., the busiest hour of the market day in Guernica. For three hours, the German planes poured down a continuous and unopposed rain of bombs and gunfire on the town and surrounding countryside. One-third of Guernica's 5,000 inhabitants were killed or wounded, and fires engulfed the city and burned for days.
- 1941 --- An organ was played at a baseball stadium for the first time in Chicago, IL.
- 1954 --- The Salk polio vaccine field trials, involving 1.8 million children, begin at the Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, Virginia. Children in the United States, Canada and Finland participated in the trials, which used for the first time the now-standard double-blind method, whereby neither the patient nor attending doctor knew if the inoculation was the vaccine or a placebo. On April 12, 1955, researchers announced the vaccine was safe and effective and it quickly became a standard part of childhood immunizations in America.
- 1954 --- In an effort to resolve several problems in Asia, including the war between the French and Vietnamese nationalists in Indochina, representatives from the world's powers meet in Geneva. The conference marked a turning point in the United States' involvement in Vietnam.
- 1964 --- The Boston Celtics wrapped up an unprecedented sixth consecutive NBA championship. The Celtics still had two more crowns to win, however, before the string would come to an end.
- 1968 --- Students seized the administration building at Ohio State University.
- 1975 --- On top of the Billboard popular music chart was B.J. Thomas, with the longest title ever for a number one song. “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” was number one for one week.
- 1986 --- The world's worst nuclear power plant accident occurs at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in the Soviet Union. Thirty-two people died and dozens more suffered radiation burns in the opening days of the crisis, but only after Swedish authorities reported the fallout did Soviet authorities reluctantly admit that an accident had occurred. The Chernobyl station was situated at the settlement of Pripyat, about 65 miles north of Kiev in the Ukraine. Built in the late 1970s on the banks of the Pripyat River, Chernobyl had four reactors, each capable of producing 1,000 megawatts of electric power. On the evening of April 25, 1986, a group of engineers began an electrical-engineering experiment on the Number 4 reactor. The engineers, who had little knowledge of reactor physics, wanted to see if the reactor's turbine could run emergency water pumps on inertial power. As part of their poorly designed experiment, the engineers disconnected the reactor's emergency safety systems and its power-regulating system. Next, they compounded this recklessness with a series of mistakes: They ran the reactor at a power level so low that the reaction became unstable, and then removed too many of the reactor's control rods in an attempt to power it up again. The reactor's output rose to more than 200 megawatts but was proving increasingly difficult to control. Nevertheless, at 1:23 a.m. on April 26, the engineers continued with their experiment and shut down the turbine engine to see if its inertial spinning would power the reactor's water pumps. In fact, it did not adequately power the water pumps, and without cooling water the power level in the reactor surged. To prevent meltdown, the operators reinserted all the 200-some control rods into the reactor at once. The control rods were meant to reduce the reaction but had a design flaw: graphite tips. So, before the control rod's five meters of absorbent material could penetrate the core, 200 graphite tips simultaneously entered, thus facilitating the reaction and causing an explosion that blew off the heavy steel and concrete lid of the reactor. It was not a nuclear explosion, as nuclear power plants are incapable of producing such a reaction, but was chemical, driven by the ignition of gases and steam that were generated by the runaway reaction. In the explosion and ensuing fire, more than 50 tons of radioactive material were released into the atmosphere, where it was carried by air currents. On April 27, Soviet authorities began an evacuation of the 30,000 inhabitants of Pripyat. A cover-up was attempted, but on April 28 Swedish radiation monitoring stations, more than 800 miles to the northwest of Chernobyl, reported radiation levels 40 percent higher than normal. Later that day, the Soviet news agency acknowledged that a major nuclear accident had occurred at Chernobyl. In the opening days of the crisis, 32 people died at Chernobyl and dozens more suffered radiation burns. The radiation that escaped into the atmosphere, which was several times that produced by the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, was spread by the wind over Northern and Eastern Europe, contaminating millions of acres of forest and farmland. An estimated 5,000 Soviet citizens eventually died from cancer and other radiation-induced illnesses caused by their exposure to the Chernobyl radiation, and millions more had their health adversely affected. In 2000, the last working reactors at Chernobyl were shut down and the plant was officially closed.
- 1998 --- Auxiliary Bishop Juan Gerardi Conedera, a leading Guatemalan human rights activist, was bludgeoned to death two days after a report he'd compiled on atrocities during Guatemala's 36-year civil war was made public.
- 2000 --- Vermont Gov. Howard Dean signed the nation's first bill allowing same-sex couples to form civil unions.
- 2006 --- Chicago banned the sale of foie gras.
- Carol Burnett
- Jet Li
- Duane Eddy
- Roger Taylor
- Channing Tatum
- Ma Rainey
- Anita Loos
- Cass Canfield
- John James Audubon
- Bernard Malamud
- Gary Wright
- Donna de Varona
- Joan Chen
- Kevin James
- David Hume