5:34am

Mon December 17, 2012
KALW Almanac

Monday December 17, 2012

1843 -
1843 -

  • 352nd Day of 2012 / 14 Remaining
  • 4 Days Until The First Day of Winter
  • Sunrise:7:19
  • Sunset:4:53
  • 9 Hours 34 Minutes of Daylight
  • Moon Rise:10:35am
  • Moon Set:10:15pm
  • Moon’s Phase: 17 %
  • 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: 3:17am/2:25pm
  • Low: 8:40am/8:54pm
  • Rainfall (measured July 1 – June 30)
  • This Year:9.14
  • Last Year:3.32
  • Normal To Date:6.92
  • Annual Seasonal Average:23.80
  • Holidays
  • Take a New Year's Resolution to Stop Smoking (TANYRSS)
  • Wright Brothers Day
  • National Maple Syrup Day
  • Nutcracker Day
  • National Day-Bhutan
  • Las Posadas-Mexico
  • Saturnalia (12/17-23)
  • On This Day In …
  • 1777 --- France recognized American independence.
  • 1791 --- A traffic regulation in New York City established the first street to go "One Way."
  • 1843 --- “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens was published in London and immediately sold out. He wrote the story in just two months, beginning in October, 1843 and finishing at the end of November. It was the first of five Christmas books by Dickens. Its successors were “The Chimes” (1844),” The Cricket on the Hearth” (1845),” The Battle of Life” (1846), and “The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain” (1848).
  • 1892 --- Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" was first performed in St. Petersburg by the Russian Imperial Ballet.
  • 1903 --- Near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright make the first successful flight in history of a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft. Orville piloted the gasoline-powered, propeller-driven biplane, which stayed aloft for 12 seconds and covered 120 feet on its inaugural flight. After exhaustively researching other engineers' efforts to build a heavier-than-air, controlled aircraft, the Wright brothers wrote the U.S. Weather Bureau inquiring about a suitable place to conduct glider tests. They settled on Kitty Hawk, an isolated village on North Carolina's Outer Banks, which offered steady winds and sand dunes from which to glide and land softly. Their first glider, tested in 1900, performed poorly, but a new design, tested in 1901, was more successful. Later that year, they built a wind tunnel where they tested nearly 200 wings and airframes of different shapes and designs. The brothers' systematic experimentations paid off--they flew hundreds of successful flights in their 1902 glider at Kill Devils Hills near Kitty Hawk. Their biplane glider featured a steering system, based on a movable rudder, that solved the problem of controlled flight. They were now ready for powered flight. In Dayton, they designed a 12-horsepower internal combustion engine with the assistance of machinist Charles Taylor and built a new aircraft to house it. They transported their aircraft in pieces to Kitty Hawk in the autumn of 1903, assembled it, made a few further tests, and on December 14 Orville made the first attempt at powered flight. The engine stalled during take-off and the plane was damaged, and they spent three days repairing it. Then at 10:35 a.m. on December 17, in front of five witnesses, the aircraft ran down a monorail track and into the air, staying aloft for 12 seconds and flying 120 feet. The modern aviation age was born. Three more tests were made that day, with Wilbur and Orville alternately flying the airplane. Wilbur flew the last flight, covering 852 feet in 59 seconds.
  • 1944 --- U.S. Major General Henry C. Pratt issues Public Proclamation No. 21, declaring that, effective January 2, 1945, Japanese American "evacuees" from the West Coast could return to their homes. On February 19, 1942, 10 weeks after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing the removal of any or all people from military areas "as deemed necessary or desirable." The military in turn defined the entire West Coast, home to the majority of Americans of Japanese ancestry or citizenship, as a military area. By June, more than 110,000 Japanese Americans were relocated to remote internment camps built by the U.S. military in scattered locations around the country. For the next two and a half years, many of these Japanese Americans endured extremely difficult living conditions and poor treatment by their military guards. During the course of World War II, 10 Americans were convicted of spying for Japan, but not one of them was of Japanese ancestry. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill to recompense each surviving internee with a tax-free check for $20,000 and an apology from the U.S. government.
  • 1953 --- Following an earlier decision that favored CBS-TV, the wise minds at the Federal Communications Commission changed opinions and decided to approve RCA’s color television specifications. Guess who benefited most? That’s right, NBC, parent company (then) of RCA. NBC stations soon took the lead in displaying programs "...presented in living color."
  • 1955 --- Carl Perkins wrote Blue Suede Shoes. Less than 48 hours later, he recorded it at the Sun Studios in Memphis. The tune became one of the first records to be popular simultaneously on rock, country and rhythm & blues charts.
  • 1969 --- The U.S. Air Force closed its Project "Blue Book" by concluding that there was no evidence of extraterrestrial spaceships behind thousands of UFO sightings.
  • 1969 --- Tiny Tim (Herbert Buchingham Khaury) married Miss Vickie (Victoria Budinger) on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. This is the Tiny Tim of the falsetto version of Tiptoe Through the Tulips fame. The NBC-TV program earned the second-highest, all-time audience rating; second only to Neil Armstrong’s walking on the the moon.
  • 1989 --- The animated TV series "The Simpsons" premiered on Fox.
  • 1992 --- President George H.W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari signed the North American Free Trade Agreement in separate ceremonies.
  • 1996 --- Kofi Atta Annan was named seventh secretary-general of the United Nations by acclamation during ceremony in the General Assembly Hall, attended by representatives of the world organization’s 185 members.
  • 2000 --- 49er Terrell Owens caught an NFL-record 20 passes for 283 yards and a touchdown against the Chicago Bears. The previous record was held by Tom Fears (Los Angeles Rams) with 18 catches on December 3, 1950, against the Green Bay Packers. Owens also broke Jerry Rice's franchise record of 16 receptions set in 1994 against the Los Angeles Rams.
  • 2004 --- U.S. President George W. Bush signed into law the largest overhaul of U.S. intelligence gathering in 50 years. The bill aimed to tighten borders and aviation security. It also created a federal counterterrorism center and a new intelligence director.
  • 2010 --- Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old fruit vendor frustrated with harassment by local officials, set himself on fire in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia. His act of defiance set off nationwide protests that brought down longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and soon spread to the rest of the Arab world.
  • Birthdays
  • Arthur Fiedler
  • Actress Milla Jovovich
  • Art Neville
  • Chris Matthews
  • Eugene Levy
  • Paul Rodgers
  • Barry Livingston
  • Peter Farrelly
  • Mike Mills
  • Giovanni Ribisi
  • William Safire
  • George Lindsey
  • Paul Butterfield
  • Wanda Hutchinson
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