Most Active Stories
Monday March 18, 2013
- 77th Day of 2013 / 288 Remaining
- 2 Days Until The First Day of Spring
- 11 Hours 55 Minutes of Daylight
- Moon Rise:11:25am
- Moon Set:1:17am
- Moon’s Phase:41 %
- The Next Full Moon
- March 27 @ 2:30am
- Full Worm Moon
- Full Crust Moon
- Full Lenten Moon
- Full Crow Moon
- Full Sap Moon
As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, heralding the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the Full Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night. The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation. To the settlers, it was also known as the Lenten Moon, and was considered to be the last full Moon of winter.
- Rainfall (measured July 1 – June 30)
- This Year:14.59
- Last Year:10.32
- Normal To Date:20.30
- Annual Seasonal Average:23.80
- National Oatmeal Cookie Day
- Awkward Moments Day
- Forgive Mom and Dad Day
- National Biodiesal Day
- Flag Day-Aruba
- Marien Ngouabi Day- Republic Of Congo
- Men’s Day/Soldier’s Day-Mongolia
- On This Day In …
- 1766 --- After four months of widespread protest in America, the British Parliament repeals the Stamp Act, a taxation measure enacted to raise revenues for a standing British army in America. The Stamp Act was passed on March 22, 1765, leading to an uproar in the colonies over an issue that was to be a major cause of the Revolution: taxation without representation. Enacted in November 1765, the controversial act forced colonists to buy a British stamp for every official document they obtained. The stamp itself displayed an image of a Tudor rose framed by the word "America" and the French phrase Honi soit qui mal y pense--"Shame to him who thinks evil of it." The colonists, who had convened the Stamp Act Congress in October 1765 to vocalize their opposition to the impending enactment, greeted the arrival of the stamps with outrage and violence. Most Americans called for a boycott of British goods, and some organized attacks on the customhouses and homes of tax collectors. After months of protest, and an appeal by Benjamin Franklin before the British House of Commons, Parliament voted to repeal the Stamp Act in March 1766. However, the same day, Parliament passed the Declaratory Acts, asserting that the British government had free and total legislative power over the colonies.
- 1818 --- The U.S. Congress approved the first pensions for government service.
- 1852 --- Henry Wells and William G. Fargo join with several other investors to launch their namesake business. The discovery of gold in California in 1849 prompted a huge spike in the demand for cross-country shipping. Wells and Fargo decided to take advantage of these great opportunities. In July 1852, their company shipped its first loads of freight from the East Coast to mining camps scattered around northern California. The company contracted with independent stagecoach companies to provide the fastest possible transportation and delivery of gold dust, important documents and other valuable freight. It also served as a bank--buying gold dust, selling paper bank drafts and providing loans to help fuel California's growing economy.
- 1902 --- Enrico Caruso recorded 10 arias for the Gramophone Company. He was the first well-known performer to make a record. The recording session took place in Milan, Italy and Caruso walked away with $500 for his effort.
- 1911 --- A century ago, even before the phonograph had become a common household item, there was already a burgeoning music industry in the United States based not on the sale of recorded musical performances, but on the sale of sheet music. It was in the medium of printed paper, and not grooved lacquer or vinyl discs, that songs gained popularity in the first two decades of the 20th century, and no song gained greater popularity in that era than Irving Berlin's "Alexander's Ragtime Band." Copyrighted on March 18, 1911, "Alexander's Ragtime Band" was the multimillion-selling smash hit that helped turn American popular music into a major international phenomenon, both culturally and economically. It may seem like a rather grand claim to make about a simple, catchy tune, but then as now, simple and catchy were great virtues in the realm of pop music. Most people first encountered "Alexander's Ragtime Band" when it was played on the piano by a friend or family member. This was the way that songs caught on in the era before radio, and part of what helped "Alexander" catch on was its relative lack of complexity. Though nominally a ragtime tune, anyone who plays the piano would quickly recognize the differences between it and a true rag like Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer," which places some fairly significant demands on both the left and right hand. "Alexander's Ragtime Band" is a vastly simpler piece for an amateur to master, and this greatly encouraged sheet music sales, which topped 1.5 million copies in the first 18 months after its publication.
- 1918 --- The first seagoing ship made of concrete was launched at Redwood City, CA, near San Francisco. The ship was named Faith and those who launched her had plenty of that. They had faith that the vessel wouldn’t sink. It didn’t. Faith cost $750,000 to build.
- 1937 --- Nearly 300 students in Texas are killed by an explosion of natural gas at their school. The Consolidated School of New London, Texas, sat in the middle of a large oil and natural gas field. The area was dominated by 10,000 oil derricks, 11 of which stood right on school grounds. The school was newly built in the 1930s for close to $1 million and, from its inception, bought natural gas from Union Gas to supply its energy needs. The school's natural gas bill averaged about $300 a month. Eventually, officials at Consolidated School were persuaded to save money by tapping into the wet-gas lines operated by Parade Oil Company that ran near the school. Wet gas is a type of waste gas that is less stable and has more impurities than typical natural gas. At the time, it was not completely uncommon for consumers living near oil fields to use this gas. At 3:05 p.m. on March 18, a Thursday afternoon, the 694 students and 40 teachers in attendance at the Consolidated School were looking forward to the final bell, which was to ring in 10 minutes. Instead, a huge and powerful explosion, which literally blew the roof off of the building, leveled the school. The blast was felt by people 40 miles away and killed most victims instantly. People rushed to the scene to pull out survivors; hundreds of injured students were hauled from the rubble. Miraculously, some students walked away unharmed; 10 of these were found under a large bookcase that shielded them from the falling building. First-aid stations were established in the nearby towns of Tyler, Overton, Kilgore and Henderson to tend to the wounded. Reportedly, a blackboard at the destroyed school was found that read, Oil and natural gas are East Texas' greatest natural gifts. Without them, this school would not be here and none of us would be learning our lessons.
- 1922 --- Mohandas K. Gandhi was sentenced to prison in India for civil disobedience.
- 1940 --- Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini held a meeting at the Brenner Pass. The Italian dictator agreed to join in Germany's war against France and Britain during the meeting.
- 1950 --- In a surprise raid on the communist People's Republic of China (PRC), military forces of the Nationalist Chinese government on Taiwan invade the mainland and capture the town of Sungmen. Because the United States supported the attack, it resulted in even deeper tensions and animosities between the U.S. and the PRC. In October 1949, the leader of the communist revolution in China, Mao Zedong, declared victory against the Nationalist government of China and formally established the People's Republic of China. Nationalist troops, politicians, and supporters fled the country and many ended up on Taiwan, an island off the Chinese coast. Once there, they declared themselves the real Chinese government and were immediately recognized as such by the United States. Officials from the United States refused to have anything to do with the PRC government and adamantly refused to grant it diplomatic recognition. Nationalist Chinese leader Chiang Kai-Shek bombarded the mainland with propaganda broadcasts and pamphlets dropped from aircraft signaling his intention of invading the PRC and removing what he referred to as the "Soviet aggressors." In the weeks preceding the March 18, 1950 raid, Chiang had been particularly vocal, charging that the Soviets were supplying the PRC with military advisors and an imposing arsenal of weapons. On March 18, thousands of Nationalist troops, supported by air and sea units, attacked the coast of the PRC, capturing the town of Sungmen that lay about 200 miles south of Shanghai. The Nationalists reported that they killed over 2,500 communist troops. Battles between the raiding group and communist forces continued for weeks, but eventually the Nationalist forces were defeated and driven back to Taiwan.
- 1954 --- RKO Pictures was sold for $23,489,478. It became the first motion picture studio to be owned by an individual. The person was Howard Hughes.
- 1963 --- The U.S. Supreme Court handed down the Miranda decision concerning legal council for defendants.
- 1965 --- Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov became the first man to spacewalk when he left the Voskhod II space capsule while in orbit around the Earth. He was outside the spacecraft for about 20 minutes.
- Edward Everett Horton
- Grover Cleveland (22nd & 24th President)
- Queen Latifah
- FW DeKlerk
- Charley Pride
- Irene Cara
- Vanessa Williams
- Bonnie Blair
- Neville Chamberlain
- Rudolf Diesel
- Peter Graves
- George Plimpton
- John Updike
- Wilson Pickett
- Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov