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Thursday December 20, 2012
- 355th Day of 2012 / 11 Remaining
- 1 Days Until The First Day of Winter
- Hours Minutes of Daylight
- Moon Rise:112:09pm
- Moon Set:12:19am
- Moon’s Phase: 56 %
- 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: 5:42am/6:08pm
- Low: 12:16pm/11:34pm
- Rainfall (measured July 1 – June 30)
- This Year:9.36
- Last Year:3.32
- Normal To Date:7.39
- Annual Seasonal Average:23.80
- Cathode-Ray Tube Day
- Mudd Day
- National Sangria Day
- National Fried Shrimp Day
- UN International Human Solidarity Day
- Day Of Mourning-Panama
- Las Posadas-Mexico
- On This Day In …
- 1606 --- The Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery set sail from London. Their destination: America. Captain Christopher Newport commanded the three tiny ships (and, we do mean tiny -- check out Jamestown village in Virginia to see for yourself. The ships are on display and you can climb aboard) for the royally chartered Virginia Company. Their landing at Jamestown, VA was the start of the first permanent English settlement in America.
- 1803 --- Without a shot fired, the French hand over New Orleans and Lower Louisiana to the United States. In April 1803, the United States purchased from France the 828,000 square miles that had formerly been French Louisiana. The area was divided into two territories: the northern half was Louisiana Territory, the largely unsettled (though home to many Indians) frontier section that was later explored by Lewis and Clark; and the southern Orleans Territory, which was populated by Europeans. Unlike the sprawling and largely unexplored northern territory (which eventually encompassed a dozen large states), Orleans Territory was a small, densely populated region that was like a little slice of France in the New World. With borders that roughly corresponded to the modern state of Louisiana, Orleans Territory was home to about 50,000 people, a primarily French population that had been living under the direction of a Spanish administration. These former citizens of France knew almost nothing about American laws and institutions, and the challenging task of bringing them into the American fold fell to the newly appointed governor of the region, twenty-eight-year-old William Claiborne. Historians have found no real evidence that the French of Orleans Territory resented their transfer to American control, though one witness claimed that when the French tri-color was replaced by the Stars and Stripes in New Orleans, the citizens wept. The French did resent that their new governor was appointed rather than elected, and they bridled when the American government tried to make English the official language and discouraged the use of French.
- 1879 --- Thomas Edison privately demonstrated his incandescent light at Menlo Park, N.J.
- 1880 --- New York's Broadway became known as the "Great White Way" when it was lighted by electricity.
- 1932 --- Al Jolson recorded "April Showers."
- 1946 --- The Frank Capra film "It's A Wonderful Life" had a preview showing for charity at New York City's Globe Theatre, a day before its official premiere.
- 1952 --- Jimmy Boyd reached the #1 spot on the record charts with the Christmas song of the year, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.
- 1954 --- Buick Motor Company signed Jackie Gleason to one of the largest contracts ever entered into with an entertainer. Gleason agreed to produce 78 half-hour shows over a two-year period for $6,142,500.
- 1957 --- While spending the Christmas holidays at Graceland, his newly purchased Tennessee mansion, rock-and-roll star Elvis Presley receives his draft notice for the United States Army. With a suggestive style--one writer called him "Elvis the Pelvis"--a hit movie, Love Me Tender, and a string of gold records including "Heartbreak Hotel," "Blue Suede Shoes," "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel," Presley had become a national icon, and the world's first bona fide rock-and-roll star, by the end of 1956. As the Beatles' John Lennon once famously remarked: "Before Elvis, there was nothing." The following year, at the peak of his career, Presley received his draft notice for a two-year stint in the army. Fans sent tens of thousands of letters to the army asking for him to be spared, but Elvis would have none of it. He received one deferment--during which he finished working on his movie King Creole--before being sworn in as an army private in Memphis on March 24, 1958.
- 1963 --- More than two years after the Berlin Wall was constructed by East Germany to prevent its citizens from fleeing its communist regime, nearly 4,000 West Berliners are allowed to cross into East Berlin to visit relatives. Under an agreement reached between East and West Berlin, over 170,000 passes were eventually issued to West Berlin citizens, each pass allowing a one-day visit to communist East Berlin. The day was marked by moments of poignancy and propaganda. The construction of the Berlin Wall in August 1961 separated families and friends. Tears, laughter, and other outpourings of emotions characterized the reunions that took place as mothers and fathers, sons and daughters met again, if only for a short time. Cold War tensions were never far removed from the scene, however. Loudspeakers in East Berlin greeted visitors with the news that they were now in "the capital of the German Democratic Republic," a political division that most West Germans refused to accept. Each visitor was also given a brochure that explained that the wall was built to "protect our borders against the hostile attacks of the imperialists." Decadent western culture, including "Western movies" and "gangster stories," were flooding into East Germany before the wall sealed off such dangerous trends. On the West Berlin side, many newspapers berated the visitors, charging that they were pawns of East German propaganda. Editorials argued that the communists would use this shameless ploy to gain West German acceptance of a permanent division of Germany. The visits, and the high-powered rhetoric that surrounded them, were stark reminders that the Cold War involved very human, often quite heated, emotions.
- 1980 --- TV experimented, as NBC covered the meaningless NFL game between the New York Jets (4-11) and the Miami Dolphins (8-7). No announcers were in the booth. The only sounds heard were field noise and spectators as the pictures tried to convey the emotion of the game. Headlines the next day read, “Jets Silence Dolphins 24-17.”
- 1989 --- Roger & Me, a documentary by Michael Moore about his quest to interview Roger Smith, who was then chairman and chief executive officer of General Motors, opens in theaters. The film examines the devastating impact on the people of Moore's hometown of Flint, Michigan, following the closing of several General Motors auto plants in the area. Roger & Me launched Moore's filmmaking career and became the top-grossing documentary in history, a record that would eventually be shattered by Moore's later movies, Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11.
- 1999 --- The Vermont Supreme Court ruled that homosexual couples are entitled to the same benefits and protections as wedded couples.
- Uri Geller
- Branch Rickey
- Jonah Hill
- Peter Criss
- Billy Bragg
- Chris Robinson
- Alan Parsons
- Irene Dunne
- Samuel Mudd
- Matty Alou
- Bob Hayes