5:55am

Fri March 9, 2012
KALW ALMANAC

Friday March 9, 2012

 

  • 69th Day of 2012 / 297Remaining
  • 11 Days Until Spring Begins
  • Sunrise:6:29
  • Sunset:6:12
  • 11 Hr 43 Min
  • Moon Rise:8:14pm
  • Moon Set:6:54am
  • Moon’s Phase: 97 %
  • The Next Full Moon
  • April 6 @ 2:20pm
  • Full Pink Moon
  • Full Fish Moon
  • Full Sprouting Grass Moon
  • Full Full Fish Moon

This name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month’s celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Full Fish Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

  • Tides
  • High:11:21am/11:41pm
  • Low:5:08am/5:18pm
  • Rainfall
  • This Year:7.40
  • Last Year:18.34
  • Normal To Date:18.13
  • Annual Average: 22.28
  • Holidays
  • Learn What Your Name Means Day
  • Lent Begins
  • Panic Day
  • Registered Dietitian Day
  • National Crabmeat Day
  • World's Largest Rattlesnake Roundup-Sweetwater, Texas
  • False Teeth Day
  • Baron Bliss Day-Belize
  • On This Day In …
  • 1822 --- Charles Graham, a New York dentist, received a patent for false teeth.
  • 1832 --- Abraham Lincoln of New Salem, IL announced that he would run for political office for the first time. He sought a seat in the Illinois state legislature. ‘Honest Abe’ was not successful. Less than thirty years later, however, he become President of the United States.
  • 1841 --- At the end of a historic case, the U.S. Supreme Court rules, with only one dissent, that the African slaves who seized control of the Amistad slave ship had been illegally forced into slavery, and thus are free under American law. In 1807, the U.S. Congress joined with Great Britain in abolishing the African slave trade, although the trading of slaves within the U.S. was not prohibited. Despite the international ban on the importation of African slaves, Cuba continued to transport captive Africans to its sugar plantations until the 1860s, and Brazil to its coffee plantations until the 1850s. On June 28, 1839, 53 slaves recently captured in Africa left Havana, Cuba, aboard the Amistad schooner for a life of slavery on a sugar plantation at Puerto Principe, Cuba. Three days later, Sengbe Pieh, a Membe African known as Cinque, freed himself and the other slaves and planned a mutiny. Early in the morning of July 2, in the midst of a storm, the Africans rose up against their captors and, using sugar-cane knives found in the hold, killed the captain of the vessel and a crewmember. Two other crewmembers were either thrown overboard or escaped, and Jose Ruiz and Pedro Montes, the two Cubans who had purchased the slaves, were captured. Cinque ordered the Cubans to sail the Amistad east back to Africa. During the day, Ruiz and Montes complied, but at night they would turn the vessel in a northerly direction, toward U.S. waters. After almost nearly two difficult months at sea, during which time more than a dozen Africans perished, what became known as the "black schooner" was first spotted by American vessels. On August 26, the USS Washington, a U.S. Navy brig, seized the Amistad off the coast of Long Island and escorted it to New London, Connecticut. Ruiz and Montes were freed, and the Africans were imprisoned pending an investigation of the Amistad revolt. The two Cubans demanded the return of their supposedly Cuban-born slaves, while the Spanish government called for the Africans' extradition to Cuba to stand trial for piracy and murder. In opposition to both groups, American abolitionists advocated the return of the illegally bought slaves to Africa. The story of the Amistad mutiny garnered widespread attention, and U.S. abolitionists succeeded in winning a trial in a U.S. court. Before a federal district court in Connecticut, Cinque, who was taught English by his new American friends, testified on his own behalf. On January 13, 1840, Judge Andrew Judson ruled that the Africans were illegally enslaved, that they would not be returned to Cuba to stand trial for piracy and murder, and that they should be granted free passage back to Africa. The Spanish authorities appealed the decision, but another federal district court upheld Judson's findings. President Van Buren, in opposition to the abolitionist faction in Congress, appealed the decision again. On February 22, 1841, the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing the Amistad case. U.S. Representative John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts, who served as the sixth president of the United States from 1825 to 1829, joined the Africans' defense team. In Congress, Adams had been an eloquent opponent of slavery, and before the nation's highest court he presented a coherent argument for the release of Cinque and the 34 other survivors of the Amistad. On March 9, 1841, the Supreme Court ruled that the Africans had been illegally enslaved and had thus exercised a natural right to fight for their freedom. In November, with the financial assistance of their abolitionist allies, the Amistad Africans departed America aboard the Gentleman on a voyage back to West Africa. Some of the Africans helped establish a Christian mission in Sierra Leone, but most, like Cinque, returned to their homelands in the African interior. One of the survivors, who was a child when taken aboard the Amistad as a slave, eventually returned to the United States. Originally named Margru, she studied at Ohio's integrated and coeducational Oberlin College in the late 1840s, before returning to Sierra Leone as evangelical missionary Sara Margru Kinson.
  • 1858 --- Albert Potts was awarded a patent for the letter box.
  • 1932 --- Henry Pu Yi, who reigned as the last emperor of China from 1908 to 1912, becomes regent of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo, comprising the Rehe province of China and Manchuria. Enthroned as the emperor Hsian-T'ung at the age of three, he was forced to abdicate four years later in Sun Yat-sen's republican revolution. He took the name of Henry and continued to live in Beijing's Forbidden City until 1924, when he was forced into exile. He settled in Japanese-occupied Tianjin, where he lived until his installment as the puppet leader of Manchukuo in 1932. In 1934, he became K'ang Te, emperor of Manchukuo. Despite guerrilla resistance against his puppet regime, he held the emperor's title until 1945, when he was captured by Soviet troops in the final days of World War II.
  • 1954 --- President Eisenhower writes a letter to his friend, Paul Helms, in which he privately criticizes Senator Joseph McCarthy's approach to rooting out communists in the federal government. Two days earlier, former presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson had declared that the president's silence on McCarthy's actions was tantamount to approval. Eisenhower, who viewed political mud-slinging as beneath the office of the president, declined to comment publicly on Stevenson's remark or McCarthy's tactics. Eisenhower was not the only respected American to criticize McCarthy on March 9. Earlier in the day, in a congressional session, Senator Ralph Flanders had publicly censured McCarthy for his vicious persecution of innocent Americans whom he suspected of communist sympathies. That evening, journalist Edward R. Murrow warned in a newscast that McCarthy was treading a fine line between investigation and persecution in pursuing suspected communist infiltration of the federal government. Although Eisenhower had yet to criticize McCarthy in public, according to an aide's memoirs, he did not hesitate to criticize McCarthy in private. On March 9, he referred to McCarthy as a pimple on the path of progress in a telephone call to Republican National Committee Chairman Leonard Hall. Later that evening, Eisenhower let off more steam about McCarthy in his letter to Helms. Ike worried that the country's obsession with the bombastic McCarthy, whether pro or con, drew attention away from equally important matters facing the nation. He complained to his friend that public policy and ideals have a tough time competing for headlines with demagogues [like McCarthy] "It is a sad commentary on our government when such a manifestly useless and spurious thing can divert our attention from all the constructive work in which we could and should be engaged." Ike also defended himself from Stevenson's criticism in the letter, writing, "[I have not] acquiesced in, or by any means approve, the methods that McCarthy uses in his investigatory process. I despise them."
  • 1954 --- WNBT-TV (now WNBC-TV), New York, broadcast the first local color television commercials – for Castro Decorators of New York City. Castro were the folks who made the Castro convertible sofa beds. The TV commercial featured a little girl (a member of the Castro family) opening a big couch into a bed. It was so-o-o easy! Let me see you try it.
  • 1959 --- The Barbie doll goes on display at the American Toy Fair in New York City. Eleven inches tall, with a waterfall of blond hair, Barbie was the first mass-produced toy doll in the United States with adult features. The woman behind Barbie was Ruth Handler, who co-founded Mattel, Inc. with her husband in 1945. After seeing her young daughter ignore her baby dolls to play make-believe with paper dolls of adult women, Handler realized there was an important niche in the market for a toy that allowed little girls to imagine the future. Barbie's appearance was modeled on a doll named Lilli, based on a German comic strip character. Originally marketed as a racy gag gift to adult men in tobacco shops, the Lilli doll later became extremely popular with children. Mattel bought the rights to Lilli and made its own version, which Handler named after her daughter, Barbara. With its sponsorship of the "Mickey Mouse Club" TV program in 1955, Mattel became the first toy company to broadcast commercials to children. They used this medium to promote their new toy, and by 1961, the enormous consumer demand for the doll led Mattel to release a boyfriend for Barbie. Handler named him Ken, after her son. Barbie's best friend, Midge, came out in 1963; her little sister, Skipper, debuted the following year. 
  • 1961 --- A Soviet dog named Blackie became the first animal to return alive from outer space aboard the spacecraft Sputnik-9. The dog Laika that orbited the earth in Sputnik-2 did not return alive.
  • 1964 --- The first Mustang rolled off of the Ford assembly line.
  • 1969 --- CBS-TV cancelled "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour," indicating that though the show’s irreverent comedy had high ratings, the network was caving in to political pressure from advertisers. The replacement was called "Hee Haw."
  • 1981 -- A nuclear accident at a Japan Atomic Power Company plant in Tsuruga, Japan, exposes 59 workers to radiation on this day in 1981. As seems all too common with nuclear-power accidents, the officials in charge failed to timely inform the public and nearby residents, endangering them needlessly. Tsuruga lies near Wakasa Bay on the west coast of Japan. Approximately 60,000 people lived in the area surrounding the atomic power plant. On March 9, a worker forgot to shut a critical valve, causing a radioactive sludge tank to overflow. Fifty-six workers were sent in to mop up the radioactive sludge before the leak could escape the disposal building, but the plan was not successful and 16 tons of waste spilled into Wakasa Bay.
  • 1983 ---The official Soviet news agency TASS says that U.S. President Reagan is full of "bellicose lunatic anti-communism."
  • 1997 --- Christopher Wallace, a.k.a Biggie Smalls, a.k.a. the Notorious B.I.G., is shot to death at a stoplight in Los Angeles. The murder was thought to be the culmination of an ongoing feud between rap music artists from the East and West coasts. Just six months earlier, rapper Tupac Shakur was killed when he was shot while in his car in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. Wallace was the most prominent East Coast practictioner of "gangsta rap," peppering his song with profane, violent and misogynistic lyrics. His 1994 record Ready to Die sold millions. That same year, Shakur, the West Coast's leading rapper, was shot several times in a robbery at a recording studio in New York. The murder of Wallace has never been solved, though it has been suggested that either Marion "Suge" Knight, the former head of Death Row Records, Shakur's label, or the Crips gang may be be responsible. Knight was also shot (but not wounded seriously) in the fatal Las Vegas attack on Shakur and is rumored to have engineered a retaliatory strike against Wallace, whom he held responsible for the Las Vegas shooting. Since Wallace's death, Knight had been in and out of court and prison on a variety of charges.
  • Birthdays
  • Amerigo Vespucci
  • Juliette Binoche
  • Charles Gibson
  • Robin Trower
  • Emmanuel Lewis
  • Yuri Gagarin
  • Modest Mussorgsky
  • Leland Stanford
  • Will Geer
  • Raul Julia
  • Mark Lindsay
  • Bobby Fischer
  • Benito Santiago
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