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Thursday December 13, 2012
- 148th Day of 2012 / 18 Remaining
- 8 Days Until The First Day of Winter
- 9 Hours 36 Minutes of Daylight
- Moon Rise:7:31am
- Moon Set:5:41pm
- New Moon
- 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.
- High: 12:03am/10:51am
- Low: 4:40am/5:42pm
- Rainfall (measured July 1 – June 30)
- This Year:8.98
- Last Year:3.24
- Normal To Date:6.33
- Annual Seasonal Average:23.80
- National Cocoa Day
- Ice Cream and Violins Day
- Republic Day-Malta
- Santa Lucia Day-Sweden
- On This Day In …
- 1577 --- English seaman Francis Drake sets out from Plymouth, England, with five ships and 164 men on a mission to raid Spanish holdings on the Pacific coast of the New World and explore the Pacific Ocean. Three years later, Drake's return to Plymouth marked the first circumnavigation of the earth by a British explorer. After crossing the Atlantic, Drake abandoned two of his ships in South America and then sailed into the Straits of Magellan with the remaining three. A series of devastating storms besieged his expedition in the treacherous straits, wrecking one ship and forcing another to return to England. Only The Golden Hind reached the Pacific Ocean, but Drake continued undaunted up the western coast of South America, raiding Spanish settlements and capturing a rich Spanish treasure ship. Drake then continued up the western coast of North America, searching for a possible northeast passage back to the Atlantic. Reaching as far north as present-day Washington before turning back, Drake paused near San Francisco Bay in June 1579 to repair his ship and prepare for a journey across the Pacific. Calling the land "Nova Albion," Drake claimed the territory for Queen Elizabeth I.
- 1636 --- The United States National Guard was created when militia regiments were organized by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
- 1642 --- Dutch navigator Abel Tasman becomes the first European explorer to sight the South Pacific island group now known as New Zealand. In his sole attempt to land, several of Tasman's crew were killed by warriors from a South Island tribe, who interpreted the Europeans' exchange of trumpet signals as a prelude to battle. A few weeks earlier, Tasman had discovered Tasmania, off the southeast coast of Australia. Tasman had named the island Van Diemen's Land, but, like the Tasman Sea between New Zealand and Australia, it was later renamed Tasmania in the explorer's honor. New Zealand, named after the Dutch province of Zeeland, did not attract much additional European attention until the late 18th century, when English explorer Captain James Cook traveled through the area and wrote detailed accounts of the islands. Whalers, missionaries, and traders followed, and in 1840 Britain formally annexed the islands and established New Zealand's first permanent European settlement at Wellington.
- 1862 --- 11,000 Northern soldiers were killed or wounded when Union forces were defeated by Confederates under General Robert E. Lee, at the Battle of Fredericksburg.
- 1913 --- The Federal Reserve System was established.
- 1928 --- George Gershwin's “An American in Paris”, was presented to the public. The debut was performed by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Walter Damrosch. A tone poem, An American in Paris was used as a ballet for Gene Kelly’s 1951 performance in the movie of the same name. Unfortunately, George Gershwin did not live to see his composition being danced to in the Academy Award-winning An American in Paris. It won six Oscars: Best Art Direction/Set Direction [Color], Best Color Cinematography, Best Costume Design [Color], Best Story and Screenplay, Best Picture ... and Best Score.
- 1937 --- During the Sino-Japanese War, Nanking, the capital of China, falls to Japanese forces, and the Chinese government flees to Hankow, further inland along the Yangtze River. To break the spirit of Chinese resistance, Japanese General Matsui Iwane ordered that the city of Nanking be destroyed. Much of the city was burned, and Japanese troops launched a campaign of atrocities against civilians. In what became known as the "Rape of Nanking," the Japanese butchered an estimated 150,000 male "war prisoners," massacred an additional 50,000 male civilians, and raped at least 20,000 women and girls of all ages, many of whom were mutilated or killed in the process. Shortly after the end of World War II, Matsui was found guilty of war crimes by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and executed.
- 1948 --- The American Federation of Musicians went back to work after an 11½-month strike. During the strike, there was an 11½-month ban on phonograph records as well.
- 1964 --- In El Paso, TX, President Johnson and Mexican President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz set off an explosion that diverted the Rio Grande River, reshaping the U.S.-Mexican border. This ended a century-old border dispute.
- 1978 --- The Philadelphia Mint struck the first Susan B. Anthony dollar coins, with 1979 dates and the first “P” mintmark since the silver nickels of World War II. Denver production began on January 9, 1979, and San Francisco minting began on February 2, 1979. The Susan B. Anthony dollar, the first coin to honor a woman, was not a hit with the public for several reasons, most importantly because it was often mistaken for a quarter, which was about and eighth of an inch smaller in diameter.
- 1981 --- Authorities in Poland imposed martial law in a crackdown on the Solidarity labor movement. Martial law formally ended in 1983.
- 1982 --- The Sentry Armored Car Company in New York discovered that $11 million had been stolen from its headquarters overnight. It was the biggest cash theft in U.S. history.
- 1988 --- PLO chairman Yasser Arafat addressed the U.N. General Assembly in Geneva, where it had reconvened after the United States had refused to grant Arafat a visa to visit New York.
- 1989 --- South African President F.W. de Klerk met for the first time with imprisoned African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, at de Klerk's office in Cape Town.
- 2000 --- U.S. Vice President Al Gore conceded the 2000 Presidential election to Texas Gov. George W. Bush. The Florida electoral votes were won by only 537 votes, which decided the election. The election had been contested up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which said that the Florida recount (supported by the Florida Supreme Court) was unconstitutional.
- 2001 --- The Pentagon released a captured videotape of Osama bin Laden in which the al-Qaida leader said the deaths and destruction achieved by the Sept. 11 attacks exceeded his "most optimistic" expectations.
- 2001 --- President George W. Bush served formal notice that the United States was pulling out of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia.
- 2003 --- Ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. forces while hiding in a hole under a farmhouse in Adwar, near his hometown of Tikrit.
- Carlos Montoya
- Dick Van Dyke
- John Davidson
- Lou Adler
- Taylor Swift
- Christopher Plummer
- Ben Bernanke
- Morris Day
- Steve Buscemi
- Jamie Foxx
- Ted Nugent
- Archie Moore