Mon April 1, 2013
KALW Almanac

Monday April 1, 2013


  • 91st Day of 2013 / 274 Remaining
  • 81 Days Until The First Day of Summer
  • Sunrise:6:52
  • Sunset:7:33
  • 12 Hours 41 Minutes of Daylight
  • Moon Rise:12:42am
  • Moon Set:10:53am
  • Moon’s Phase:%
  • The Next Full Moon
  • April 25 @ 12:59pm
  • Full Pink Moon
  • Full Sprouting Grass Moon
  • Full Egg Moon
  • Full Fish Moon

This moon’s  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 Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

  • Tides
  • High:2:44am/4:47pm
  • Low:9:41am/9:43pm
  • Rainfall (measured July 1 – June 30)
  • This Year:15.17
  • Last Year:12.88
  • Normal To Date:21.47
  • Annual Seasonal Average:23.80
  • Holidays
  • April Fool's Day
  • All Fool's Day
  • National Sourdough Bread Day
  • Boomer Bonus Day
  • National Fun Day
  • National Fun at Work Day
  • Reading is Funny Day
  • Sorry Charlie Day
  • Islamic Republic Day-Iran
  • Cyprus National Day-Cyprus
  • Youth Day-Benin
  • On This Day In …
  • 1700 --- English pranksters begin popularizing the annual tradition of April Fools' Day by playing practical jokes on each other. Although the day, also called All Fools' Day, has been celebrated for several centuries by different cultures, its exact origins remain a mystery. Some historians speculate that April Fools' Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes. These included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as "poisson d'avril" (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person. Historians have also linked April Fools' Day to ancient festivals such as Hilaria, which was celebrated in Rome at the end of March and involved people dressing up in disguises. There's also speculation that April Fools' Day was tied to the vernal equinox, or first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, when Mother Nature fooled people with changing, unpredictable weather. April Fools' Day spread throughout Britain during the 18th century. In Scotland, the tradition became a two-day event, starting with "hunting the gowk," in which people were sent on phony errands (gowk is a word for cuckoo bird, a symbol for fool) and followed by Tailie Day, which involved pranks played on people's derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or "kick me" signs on them. In modern times, people have gone to great lengths to create elaborate April Fools' Day hoaxes. Newspapers, radio and TV stations and Web sites have participated in the April 1 tradition of reporting outrageous fictional claims that have fooled their audiences. In 1957, the BBC reported that Swiss farmers were experiencing a record spaghetti crop and showed footage of people harvesting noodles from trees; numerous viewers were fooled. In 1985, Sports Illustrated tricked many of its readers when it ran a made-up article about a rookie pitcher named Sidd Finch who could throw a fastball over 168 miles per hour. In 1996, Taco Bell, the fast-food restaurant chain, duped people when it announced it had agreed to purchase Philadelphia's Liberty Bell and intended to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell. In 1998, after Burger King advertised a "Left-Handed Whopper," scores of clueless customers requested the fake sandwich.
  • 1735 --- Handel's "Organ Concerto in F major, Op. 4 No. 4" was performed for the first time.
  • 1789 --- The first U.S. House of Representatives, meeting in New York City, reaches quorum and elects Pennsylvania Representative Frederick Augustus Conrad Muhlenberg as its first speaker.
  • 1826 --- Samuel Morey of Oxford, New Hampshire patented the internal combustion engine. It was pretty much the kind of engine we still use in cars and trucks, but not as complicated and needing less maintenance than those of today. That’s what we call progress.
  • 1893 --- The first dishwashing machine became an award winning success at the 1893 Columbian Exposition, which used Josephine Garis Cochran’s hand operated, mechanical dishwashers in its kitchens. (She patented her original version on December 28, 1886.)  Her company eventually evolved into KitchenAid.
  • 1938 --- The Baseball Hall of Fame opened in Cooperstown, NY.
  • 1946 --- An undersea earthquake off the Alaskan coast triggers a massive tsunami that kills 159 people in Hawaii. In the middle of the night, 13,000 feet beneath the ocean surface, a 7.4-magnitude tremor was recorded in the North Pacific. (The nearest land was Unimak Island, part of the Aleutian chain.) The quake triggered devastating tidal waves throughout the Pacific, particularly in Hawaii. Unimak Island was hit by the tsunami shortly after the quake. An enormous wave estimated at nearly 100 feet high crashed onto the shore. A lighthouse located 30 feet above sea level, where five people lived, was smashed to pieces by the wave; all five were killed instantly. Meanwhile, the wave was heading toward the southern Pacific at 500 miles per hour. In Hawaii, 2,400 miles south of the quake's epicenter, Captain Wickland of the United States Navy was the first to spot the coming wave at about 7 a.m., four-and-a-half hours after the quake. His position on the bridge of a ship, 46 feet above sea level, put him at eye level with a "monster wave" that he described as two miles long. As the first wave came in and receded, the water in Hawaii's Hilo Bay seemed to disappear. Boats were left on the sea floor next to flopping fish. Then, the massive tsunami struck. In the city of Hilo, a 32-foot wave devastated the town, completely destroying almost a third of the city. The bridge crossing the Wailuku River was picked up by the wave and pushed 300 feet away. In Hilo, 96 people lost their lives. On other parts of the island of Hawaii, waves reached as high as 60 feet. A schoolhouse in Laupahoehoe was crushed by the tsunami, killing the teacher and 25 students inside. The massive wave was seen as far away as Chile, where, 18 hours after the quake near Alaska, unusually large waves crashed ashore. There were no casualties. This tsunami prompted the U.S. to establish the Seismic SeaWave Warning System two years later. The system, now known as the Pacific Tsunami Warning System, uses undersea buoys throughout the ocean, in combination with seismic-activity detectors, to find possible killer waves. The warning system was used for the first time on November 4, 1952. That day, an evacuation was successfully carried out, but the expected wave never materialized.
  • 1952 --- The Big Bang theory was proposed in "Physical Review" by Alpher, Bethe & Gamow.
  • 1953 --- The U.S. Congress created the Department of Health Education and Welfare.
  • 1957 --- All of Great Britain was fooled this April Fool’s Day by England’s famous newscaster, Richard Dimbleby. The newscaster, wrapping up the day’s news on Panorama, the BBC’s current affairs program, reported about the “spring spaghetti crop in southern Switzerland.” The filmed report showed the spaghetti (some ten pounds of the stuff) being picked from a tree.
  • 1960 --- The first U.S. weather satellite was launched. TIROS I was put into orbit and soon meteorologists saw the first pictures of a midlatitude cyclone over the northeastern United States. Other, more powerful satellites launched since then provide pictures and more exact climatological data.
  • 1970 --- U.S. President Nixon signed the bill, the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act, that banned cigarette advertisements to be effective on January 1, 1971.
  • 1985 --- George Plimpton played an April Fool’s joke on readers of Sports Illustrated this day. Plimpton introduced the entire nation to Sidd Finch, a 28-year-old aspiring monk, who could throw a 168 MPH fastball! Whoa! Finch was said to be a free-agent pitcher in the New York Mets’ spring training camp; that he had learned the art of the pitch while playing the French horn in his spare time. Hmmm. Plimpton later admitted that Finch was the figment of a most active imagination. No such person existed. Still doesn’t.
  • 1998 --- A federal judge dismissed the Paula Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit against U.S. President Clinton saying that the claims fell "far short" of being worthy of a trial.
  • 2001 --- China began holding 24 crewmembers of a U.S. surveillance plane. The EP-3E U.S. Navy crew had made an emergency landing after an in-flight collision with a Chinese fighter jet. The Chinese pilot was missing and presumed dead. The U.S. crew was released on April 11, 2001.
  • Birthdays
  • Toshiro Mifune
  • Jimmy Cliff
  • Justice Samuel Alito
  • Ali Mcgraw
  • Debbie Reynolds
  • Rudoplh Isley
  • Method Man
  • Rachel Maddow
  • Edgar Wallace
  • Edmond Rostand
  • Lon Chaney
  • Whittaker Chambers
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff
  • Florence Blanchfield
  • Otto Von Bismarck
  • Gil Scott-Heron
  • Maradalena Maleeva