Most Active Stories
- Why are teachers leaving Oakland?
- The first look inside San Francisco's radical attempt to end homelessness
- Is Oakland’s DIY music scene in serious trouble?
- Everybody disagrees on how to solve San Francisco’s affordable housing crisis
- Putting an earring in my ear: the centennial of the Armenian Genocide
Thursday April 18, 2013
- 108th Day of 2013 / 257 Remaining
- 64 Days Until The First Day of Summer
- 13 Hours 20 Minutes of Daylight
- Moon Rise:12:48pm
- Moon Set:2:06am
- Moon’s Phase: First Quarter
- 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.
- Rainfall (measured July 1 – June 30)
- This Year:16.32
- Last Year:15.30
- Normal To Date:22.48
- Annual Seasonal Average:23.80
- Adult Autism Awareness Day
- National Stress Awareness Day
- National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day
- Pet Owner's Independence Day
- Third World Day
- Patriot's Day-Massachusetts and Maine
- National Animal Crackers Day
- Independence Day-Zimbabwe
- International Amateur Radio Day
- Health Day-Kiribati
- Official Flag Day-Denmark
- On This Day In …
- 1775 --- Three men took to their horses to ride from Boston to Concord, MA to warn the citizens of the approaching British army. Most of us know of just one of those riders, one Paul Revere. The famous poem, Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, glorified the Bostonian as the lone rider. He was, in fact, accompanied by William Dawes and Samuel Prescott. We think it’s time they should get some recognition too! After all, it wasn’t their fault that their partner in the midnight ride was already well known, having been a member of the Sons of Liberty; incited the British by publishing an engraving of the Boston Massacre; carried messages for the Committees of Correspondence, an underground organization; and having been a participant in the Boston Tea Party. Incidentally, only Prescott made it all the way to Concord. Revere was nabbed by a British cavalry patrol near Lexington, MA (Dawes and Prescott escaped). We’re not sure what happened to Dawes but Revere was released and returned to Lexington -- without his horse. There was lots of running/riding around that night, but suffice to say, when British forces arrived in Lexington, they found the minutemen waiting for them.
- 1877 --- Charles Cros wrote a paper that described the process of recording and reproducing sound. In France, Cros is regarded as the inventor of the phonograph. In the U.S., Thomas Edison gets the credit.
- 1895 --- New York State passed an act that established free public baths! They were to be open 14 hours a day and provide hot and cold water.
- 1906 --- At 5:13 a.m., an earthquake estimated at close to 8.0 on the Richter scale strikes San Francisco, California, killing hundreds of people as it topples numerous buildings. The quake was caused by a slip of the San Andreas Fault over a segment about 275 miles long, and shock waves could be felt from southern Oregon down to Los Angeles. San Francisco's brick buildings and wooden Victorian structures were especially devastated.
Fires immediately broke out and--because broken water mains prevented firefighters from stopping them--firestorms soon developed citywide. At 7 a.m., U.S. Army troops from Fort Mason reported to the Hall of Justice, and San Francisco Mayor E.E. Schmitz called for the enforcement of a dusk-to-dawn curfew and authorized soldiers to shoot-to-kill anyone found looting. Meanwhile, in the face of significant aftershocks, firefighters and U.S. troops fought desperately to control the ongoing fire, often dynamiting whole city blocks to create firewalls. On April 20, 20,000 refugees trapped by the massive fire were evacuated from the foot of Van Ness Avenue onto the USS Chicago. By April 23, most fires were extinguished, and authorities commenced the task of rebuilding the devastated metropolis. It was estimated that some 3,000 people died as a result of the Great San Francisco Earthquake and the devastating fires it inflicted upon the city. Almost 30,000 buildings were destroyed, including most of the city's homes and nearly all the central business district. "You ask me to say what I saw and what I did during the terrible days which witnessed the destruction of San Francisco? Well, there have been many accounts of my so-called adventures published in the American papers, and most of them have not been quite correct." So began one of the most widely read firsthand accounts of the greatest natural disaster ever to befall a North American city. The words were those of the world’s greatest tenor, Enrico Caruso, who along with the entire traveling company of New York’s Metropolitan Opera, survived the devastating earthquake and fire that struck the City. The Palace Hotel, where Caruso and many others in the company were staying, would collapse by late afternoon, but not before all of its guests managed to escape safely. Caruso—or, rather, his unbelievably devoted valet—even managed to remove the bulk of his luggage, which included 54 steamer trunks containing, among other things, some 50 self-portraits. "My valet, brave fellow that he is, goes back and bundles all my things into trunks and drags them down six flights of stairs and out into the open one by one." That same valet would eventually find a horse and cart to carry the great Caruso and his many belongings to the waterfront Ferry Building—no mean accomplishment on a day when tens of thousands were attempting to escape the fires ravaging the city. "We pass terrible scenes on the way: buildings in ruins, and everywhere there seems to be smoke and dust. The driver seems in no hurry, which makes me impatient at times, for I am longing to return to New York, where I know I shall find a ship to take me to my beautiful Italy and my wife and my little boys." By nightfall, Caruso was across the bay in Oakland and boarding a train headed east—news that reached anxious New Yorkers the following day.
- 1923 --- Yankee Stadium opened in the Bronx, NY as the hometown team, the NY Yankees, hosted the Boston Red Sox. A record crowd of 74,000 fans saw the action at the first three-level stadium in the U.S.
- 1937 --- Leon Trotsky called for the overthrow of Soviet leader Josef Stalin.
- 1939 --- Gene Autry recorded "Back in the Saddle Again."
- 1945 --- Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Ernie Pyle was killed by enemy machine-gun fire on the island of Ie Shima off the coast of Okinawa. Extremely popular, especially with the average GI, whose life and death he reported on (American infantrymen braved enemy fire to recover Pyle's body), Pyle had been at the London Blitz of 1941 and saw action in North Africa, Italy, France, and the Pacific.
- 1961 --- President John F. Kennedy heats up Cold War rhetoric in a letter responding to Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's claim that the U.S. was engaging in armed aggression against the communist regime in Cuba. Kennedy denied the allegations, told Kruschev he was under a serious misapprehension and stated that the U.S. intends no military intervention in Cuba. However, Kennedy insisted that he would support Cubans who wish to see a democratic system in an independent Cuba and that the U.S. would take no action to stifle the spirit of liberty. In fact, the night before Kennedy wrote this letter, approximately 1,200 Cuban exiles, supplied and trained by the CIA, landed in Cuba's Bay of Pigs with plans to overthrow Castro. Kennedy was fully aware that the invasion was underway; he had authorized it three days earlier. CIA documents released in 2000 indicated that Kruschev had also learned of the plans for a CIA-led invasion well in advance and had passed the information on to Castro via the KGB, Russia's secret police. Early on April 18, Kruschev sent a letter to Kennedy warning the president to stop the little war against Cuba or risk an incomparable conflagration with the Soviet Union. Privately, Kennedy dismissed as hypocritical a lecture on intervention coming from a Soviet leader who had supported communist-led coups in Europe and Asia. In his official response, Kennedy warned Khrushchev not to use the U.S.'s support for Cuban rebels as an excuse to inflame other areas of the world and told the Soviet Union to stay out of the Western Hemisphere's internal affairs. The Bay of Pigs invasion quickly fell apart when it became apparent that the CIA had gravely miscalculated the willingness of Cuba's military to join the exiles in a coup. Castro's forces quickly put down the rebellion, killing approximately 200 of the exiles and capturing the rest, except for a few who managed to escape and report back to the CIA. On April 24, 1961, Kennedy accepted sole responsibility for the botched invasion. The Bay of Pigs failure did not stop Kennedy from supporting subsequent covert plans to overthrow Castro.
- 1978 --- The U.S. Senate approved the Panama Canal Treaty, providing for the complete turnover of control of the waterway to Panama on the last day of 1999.
- 1983 --- The U.S. embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, is almost completely destroyed by a car-bomb explosion that kills 63 people, including the suicide bomber and 17 Americans. The terrorist attack was carried out in protest of the U.S. military presence in Lebanon.
- 1989 --- Thousands of Chinese students demanding democracy tried to storm Communist Party headquarters in Beijing.
- 2007 --- The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, upheld a federal ban on a medical procedure that opponents calls partial-birth abortion.
- Clarence Darrow
- Conan O’Brien
- Miguel Cabrera
- Hayley Mills
- James Woods
- Rick Moranis
- Eric Roberts
- Leopold Stokowski
- Clarenece “Gatemouth” Brown
- Skip Spence