Mon December 16, 2013
KALW Almanac

Monday December 16, 2013


  • 350th Day of 2013 / 15 Remaining
  • 5 Days Until Winter Begins
  • Sunrise:7:19
  • Sunset:4:52
  • 9 Hours 33 Minutes of Daylight
  • Moon Rise:4:45pm
  • Moon Set:6:33am
  • Moon’s Phase: 100 %
  • The Next Full Moon
  • December 17 @ 1:29am
  • 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:9:18am/11:27pm
  • Low:3:29am/4:26pm
  • Rainfall (measured July 1 – June 30)
  • This Year:2.09
  • Last Year:9.14
  • Normal To Date:6.77
  • Annual Seasonal Average:23.80
  • Holidays
  • Underdog Day
  • Boston Tea Party Day
  • National Chocolate Covered Anything Day
  • Eat What You Want Day
  • Las Posadas-Mexico 12/16-24
  • Independence Day-Bahrain
  • Independence Day-Kazakhstan
  • Reconciliation Day-South Africa
  • Victory Day-Bangladesh
  • On This Day In …
  • 1653 --- Oliver Cromwell became lord protector of England, Scotland and Ireland.
  • 1773 --- In Boston Harbor, a group of Massachusetts colonists disguised as Mohawk Indians board three British tea ships and dump 342 chests of tea into the harbor. The midnight raid, popularly known as the "Boston Tea Party," was in protest of the British Parliament's Tea Act of 1773, a bill designed to save the faltering East India Company by greatly lowering its tea tax and granting it a virtual monopoly on the American tea trade. The low tax allowed the East India Company to undercut even tea smuggled into America by Dutch traders, and many colonists viewed the act as another example of taxation tyranny. When three tea ships, the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver, arrived in Boston Harbor, the colonists demanded that the tea be returned to England. After Massachusetts Governor Thomas Hutchinson refused, Patriot leader Samuel Adams organized the "tea party" with about 60 members of the Sons of Liberty, his underground resistance group. The British tea dumped in Boston Harbor on the night of December 16 was valued at some $18,000.
  • 1809 --- Napoleon Bonaparte was divorced from the Empress Josephine by an act of the French Senate.
  • 1811 --- In the Mississippi River Valley near New Madrid, Missouri, the greatest series of earthquakes in U.S. history begins when a quake of an estimated 8.6 magnitude on the Richter scale slams the region. Although the earthquake greatly altered the topography of the region, the area was only sparsely inhabited at the time, and there were no known human fatalities. The earthquake raised and lowered parts of the Mississippi Valley by as much as 15 feet and changed the course of the Mississippi River. At one point, the Mississippi momentarily reversed its direction, giving rise to Reelfoot Lake in northwest Tennessee. A 30,000-square-mile area was affected, and tremors were felt as far away as the eastern coast of the United States, where the shock was reported to have rung church bells. Additional earthquakes and aftershocks continued throughout the winter and into the spring, and of the approximately 2,000 seismic vibrations felt during the period, five were estimated to be at an 8.0 or greater magnitude. The New Madrid Fault system extends 120 miles southward from the area of Charleston, Missouri, to Marked Tree, Arkansas, and crosses through five states--Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas.
  • 1835 --- In New York, 530 buildings were destroyed by fire.
  • 1863 --- Gerard Adriaan Heineken bought the Amsterdam brewery, 'The Haystack', which dated back to 1592.  This was the beginning of Heineken beer.
  • 1893 --- Anton Dvorak attended the first performance and the official world premiere of his "New World Symphony" at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
  • 1901 --- "The Tale of Peter Rabbit," by Beatrix Potter, was printed for the first time. Ms. Potter had come up with the Peter Rabbit concept eight years earlier when she sent a story, told in pen and ink drawings, to a five-year-old who was sick in bed. The first story about the ill-behaved rabbit was meant to cheer up the little boy.
  • 1903 --- Women ushers were employed for the first time at the Majestic Theatre in New York City.
  • 1912 --- The first postage stamp to depict an airplane was issued was a 20-cent parcel-post stamp.
  • 1916 --- Gregory Rasputin, the monk who had wielded powerful influence over the Russian court, was murdered by a group of noblemen.
  • 1944 --- With the Anglo-Americans closing in on Germany from the west and the Soviets approaching from the east, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler orders a massive attack against the western Allies by three German armies. The German counterattack out of the densely wooded Ardennes region of Belgium took the Allies entirely by surprise, and the experienced German troops wrought havoc on the American line, creating a triangular "bulge" 60 miles deep and 50 miles wide along the Allied front. Conditions of fog and mist prevented the unleashing of Allied air superiority, and for several days Hitler's desperate gamble seemed to be paying off. However, unlike the French in 1940, the embattled Americans kept up a fierce resistance even after their lines of communication had been broken, buying time for a three-point counteroffensive led by British General Bernard Montgomery and American generals Omar Bradley and George Patton.
  • 1951 --- NBC-TV debuted “Dum-de-dum-dum. Dum-de-dum-dum-daa.” Dragnet made it to TV, in a special preview, on Chesterfield Sound Off Time. The Jack Webb (Sgt. Joe Friday) police drama opened its official TV run on January 3, 1952. Trivia factoid: Sgt. Friday’s boss in this preview was played by Raymond Burr (later of Perry Mason and Ironside fame).
  • 1960 --- Two airplanes collide over New York City, killing 134 people on the planes and on the ground. The improbable mid-air collision is the only such accident to have occurred over a major city in U.S. history.
  • 1971 --- Don McLean’s eight-minute-plus (8:32) version of American Pie was released. It became one of the longest songs with some of the most confusing (pick your favorite interpretation) lyrics to ever hit the pop charts. It was a disc jockey favorite since there were few songs long enough for potty breaks at the time. American Pie hit #1 on January 15, 1972.
  • 1972 --- The Miami Dolphins became the first NFL team to go unbeaten and untied in a 14-game regular season. The Dolphins went on to defeat the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII.
  • 1990 --- Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected president of Haiti in the country's first democratic elections.
  • 1998 --- President Bill Clinton ordered a sustained series of airstrikes against Iraq by American and British forces in response to Saddam Hussein's continued defiance of U.N. weapons inspectors.
  • 2000 --- Researchers announced that information from NASA's Galileo spacecraft indicated that Ganymede appeared to have a liquid saltwater ocean beneath a surface of solid ice. Ganymede, a moon of Jupiter, is the solar system's largest moon. The discovery is considered important since water is a key ingredient for life.
  • 2000 --- U.S. President-elect George W. Bush selected Colin Powell to be the first African-American secretary of state. Powell was sworn in January 20, 2001.
  • 2001 --- A British newspaper, The Observer, reported that a notebook had been found at an al-Quaida training camp in southern Afghanistan. The notebook contained a "blue print" for an bomb attack on London's financial district.
  • 2009 --- Astronomers discovered GJ1214b. It was the first-known exoplanet on which water could exist.
  • Birthdays
  • Ludwig Von Beethoven
  • Margaret Mead
  • Benjamin Bratt
  • Lesley Stahl
  • Morris Dees
  • Joyce Bulifant
  • Liv Ullman
  • Billy Gibbons
  • Catherine of Aragon
  • Jane Austen
  • Sir Noel Coward
  • Arthur Fiedler
  • Turk Murphy
  • Robben Ford
  • William “Refrigerator” Perry