5:04am

Fri December 21, 2012
KALW Almanac

Friday December 21, 2012

1970 - Elvis meets Nixon

  • 356th Day of 2012 / 10Remaining
  • 1st Day of Winter
  • Sunrise:7:21
  • Sunset:4:55
  • 9 Hours 34 Minutes of Daylight
  • Moon Rise:12:40pm
  • Moon Set:1:18am
  • Moon’s Phase: 66 %
  • The Next Full Moon
  • December 28 @ 2:22 am
  • Full Cold Moon
  • Full Long Nights Moon

During this month the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. It is also sometimes called the Moon before Yule. The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long, and because the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun.

  • Tides
  • High: 6:28am/7:31pm
  • Low: 1:20pm
  • Rainfall (measured July 1 – June 30)
  • This Year:9.36
  • Last Year:3.32
  • Normal To Date:7.56
  • Annual Seasonal Average:23.80
  • Holidays
  • Crossword Puzzle Day
  • Forefathers' Day
  • Humbug Day
  • Phileas Fogg Wins a Wager Day
  • National French Fried Shrimp Day
  • Yalda-Iran
  • Las Posadas-Mexico
  • Winter Solstice
  • Alban Arthuan/Alban Heruin-Celticism
  • Litha/Yule-Paganism
  • Saturnalia
  • On This Day In …
  • 1620 --- Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower went ashore for the first time at present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts
  • 1909 --- McKinley and Washington schools in Berkeley, became the first authorized, junior-high schools in the U.S.
  • 1913 --- The "New York World" Sunday edition included a crossword puzzle as an added feature of the "Fun" supplement. It was the first crossword puzzle to be published.
  • 1914 --- Marie Dressler, Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand and Mack Swain appeared in the first six-reel, feature-length comedy. The film was directed by Mack Sennett and was lovingly titled, Tillie’s Punctured Romance.
  • 1937 --- Walt Disney presented the first full-length, animated feature. It debuted on this day at the Carthay Circle Theatre in Hollywood, CA. The cost to produce “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was $1.5 million. Disney got his total investment back in the first year of the film’s showing. “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”: is 83 minutes in length and is the work of 750 artists. Nearly one million drawings were made, of which 250,000 were used in the final print of the classic film. The wicked queen’s voice was that of Lucille LaVerne and Adriana Caselotti spoke for Snow White; Margery Belcher Champion was the model for the cartoon star. Disney won a special Oscar in 1938 (presented to him by Shirley Temple). The film is said to have been Disney’s finest moment and certainly the turning point of his career. Critics said that the adaptation of Grimm’s fairy tale would be Disney’s folly.
  • 1958 --- Three months after a new French constitution was approved, Charles de Gaulle is elected the first president of the Fifth Republic by a sweeping majority of French voters. The previous June, France's World War II hero was called out of retirement to lead the country when a military and civilian revolt in Algeria threatened France's stability.
  • 1968 --- Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the moon, is successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, Jr., and William Anders aboard.On Christmas Eve, the astronauts entered into orbit around the moon, the first manned spacecraft ever to do so. During Apollo 8's 10 lunar orbits, television images were sent back home, and spectacular photos were taken of Earth and the moon from the spacecraft. In addition to being the first human beings to view firsthand their home world in its entirety, the three astronauts were also the first to see the dark side of the moon.
  • 1970 --- Elvis Presley is greeted at the White House by President Richard M. Nixon. Presley's visit was not just a social call: He wanted to meet Nixon in order to offer his services in the government's war on drugs. Three weeks earlier, Presley, who wanted to distance himself from rock-and-roll's unseemly association with drug use and the counterculture, had met Nixon's vice president, Spiro Agnew, in Palm Springs, California and offered to use his celebrity status to help promote the administration's anti-drug campaign. Presley then flew to Washington, checking into a hotel under an alias on December 20. The next day, he and two of his bodyguards proceeded to the White House gates, where Presley handed the guard a handwritten letter. In the letter, Presley told Nixon he did not associate or agree with the "Drug Culture, hippie elements," student protestors and "Black Panthers," whom he believed hated America. He declared that he wanted nothing but to "help the country out" and asked to be designated a "federal agent-at-large." The guard immediately recognized Presley, but followed protocol and asked for permission to send him on to the White House. He apparently was not searched before being granted admission: Upon meeting Nixon he presented the president with a gift--a World War II-era Colt .45 pistol. The two were photographed shaking hands, Nixon in a conservative suit and tie and Elvis wearing tight purple velvet pants and an open-collared shirt with jeweled chains, a purple velvet cape slung over his shoulders and an enormous belt buckle. Nixon and "The King" exchanged pleasantries and agreed that "those who use drugs are in the vanguard of American protest." Presley again reiterated his desire to do whatever he could to help influence young people and fellow musicians to reject drugs and anti-Americanism. At the conclusion of the brief meeting, Presley surprised Nixon with a hug.
  • 1985 --- Bruce Springsteen’s album, Born in the USA, passed Michael Jackson’s Thriller to become the second longest-lasting LP in the top 10. It stayed there for 79 weeks. Only The Sound of Music, with Julie Andrews, lasted longer: 109 weeks.
  • 1991 --- In a final step signifying the dismemberment of the Soviet Union, 11 of the 12 Soviet republics declare that they are forming the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Just a few days later, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev announced he was stepping down from his position. The Soviet Union ceased to exist. The 11 republics-Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan-signed an agreement creating the CIS. Only Georgia, embroiled in a civil war, abstained from participation. Exactly what they created was open to debate. The CIS was not a new nation, but merely an "alliance" between independent states. The political meaning of the alliance was hazy. The independent states each took over the former Soviet government facilities within their borders. The military side of the CIS was even more confusing. They agreed to sustain any arms agreements signed by the former Soviet Union. The former Soviet defense minister would retain control over the military until the CIS could agree on what to do with the nuclear weapons and conventional forces within their borders. Complicating the situation were terrific economic problems and outbreaks of ethnic violence in the new republics. For Gorbachev, the announcement was the final signal that his power—and the existence of the Soviet Union—was at an end. Four days later, on Christmas Day, he announced his resignation.
  • 1995 --- The city of Bethlehem passed from Israeli to Palestinian control.
  • 1998 --- A Chinese court sentenced two dissidents to long prison terms for attempting to organize an opposition party. A third man was sentenced to 12 years in prison on December 22, 1998.
  • 2012 --- ‘Y12’ - The end of the Long Count Maya Calendar Cycle (5,125.37 years). The End of the World; the beginning of a new enlightened age; or just another Friday afternoon? Take your pick.
  • Birthdays
  • Josh Gibson
  • Florence Griffith Joyner
  • Phil Donahue
  • Jane Fonda
  • Albert Lee
  • Chris Evert
  • Ray Romano
  • Andy Dick
  • Kiefer Surtherland
  • Benjamin Disraeli
  • Samuel L. Jackson
  • Josef Stalin
  • Walter Hagen
  • Paul Winchell
  • Frank Zappa
  • Carl Wilson
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