5:38am

Thu December 22, 2011
KALW ALMANAC

Thursday December 22, 2011

 

  • 356th Day of 2011 / 9 Remaining
  • First Day Of Winter
  • Winter Solstice - Shortest day of the year. Winter begins in the Northern Hemisphere, Summer begins in the Southern Hemisphere.  (Dec 21 or 22: Alternates every 2 years; eg: Dec 21, 2010; Dec 22, 2011; Dec 21, 2012 etc.).
  • Sunrise:7:22
  • Sunset:4:55
  • 9 Hr 33 Min
  • Moon Rise:5:12am
  • Moon Set:3:10pm
  • Moon’s Phase: 5 %
  • The Next Full Moon
  • January 8 @ 11:32pm
  • Full Wolf Moon
  • Full Old Moon

Amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Indian villages. Thus, the name for January’s full Moon. Sometimes it was also referred to as the Old Moon, or the Moon After Yule. Some called it the Full Snow Moon, but most tribes applied that name to the next Moon.

  • Tides
  • High:7:52am/10:03pm
  • Low:1:40am/3:03pm
  • Rainfall
  • This Year:3.35
  • Last Year:9.17
  • Year To Date Average:7.09
  • Annual Average: 22.28
  • Holidays
  • Date Nut Bread Day
  • Chipmunks Day
  • Santa Claus Clearance Day, the day the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration usually clears Santa Claus for his annual flight. The FAA says Santa’s sleigh is equipped with an in-flight de-icing system for polar routes, a Terrain Avoidance Warning System required for low-altitude flights, and a special seat belt extension for a rotund pilot.
  • Army Day-Vietnam
  • Las Posadas-Mexico

On This Day In History

  • 1808 --- If the initial reviews failed to recognize it as one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, one needs to understand the adverse conditions under which the work was first heard. The concert venue was freezing cold; it was more than two hours into a mammoth four-hour program before the piece began; and the orchestra played poorly enough that day to force the nearly deaf composer—also acting as conductor and pianist—to stop the ensemble partway into one passage and start again from the very beginning. It was, all in all, a very inauspicious beginning for what would soon become the world's most recognizable piece of classical music: Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67—the "Fifth Symphony"—which received its world premiere on this day in 1808. Also premiering that day at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna were Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58, and the Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68—the "Pastoral Symphony." But it was the Fifth Symphony that, despite its shaky premiere, would eventually be recognized as Beethoven's greatest achievement to that point in his career. Writing in 1810, the critic E.T.A. Hoffman praised Beethoven for having outstripped the great Haydn and Mozart with a piece that "opens the realm of the colossal and immeasurable to us...evokes terror, fright, horror, and pain, and awakens that endless longing that is the essence of Romanticism."
  • 1849 --- Fyodor Dostoevsky is led before a firing squad and prepared for execution. He had been convicted and sentenced to death on November 16 for allegedly taking part in antigovernment activities. However, at the last moment he was reprieved and sent into exile, in Siberia, where he worked for four years. He was released in 1854 and worked as a soldier on the Mongolian frontier. He married a widow and finally returned to Russia in 1859. The following year, he founded a magazine, and two years after that he journeyed to Europe for the first time.
  • 1877 --- The "American Bicycling Journal" went on sale for the first time.
  • 1882 --- The first Christmas tree with electric lights was turned on at the home of Ed Johnson in New York City. He was an associate of light bulb inventor Thomas Edison.
  • 1885 --- La Marcus Thompson of Coney Island, New York was issued a second patent for a gravity switchback railway.  This was an improvement on his previous patent issued January 20 the same year.  The "Father of the Gravity Ride" had opened a 600 foot roller coaster the previous year.
  • 1894 --- French army officer Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of treason in a court-martial that triggered worldwide charges of anti-Semitism. (He was eventually vindicated.)
  • 1900 --- The first car to be produced under the "Mercedes" name is delivered to its buyer: Emil Jellinek, the Austrian car racer, auto dealer to the rich and famous, and bon vivant. Jellinek had commissioned the Mercedes car from the German company Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft. It was faster, lighter, and sleeker than any car the company had ever made before, and Jellinek was confident that it would win races so handily that besotted buyers would snap it up. (He was so confident that he bought 36 of them, paying D-M-G 550,000 marks in all.) In exchange for his extraordinary patronage, the company agreed to name its new machine after Jellinek's 11-year-old daughter, Mercedes.
  • 1948 --- Hank Williams recorded "Lovesick Blues."
  • 1958 --- Alvin, Simon, and Theodore hit #1 with "The Chipmunk Song." All three voices belonged to composer Ross Bagdasarian, recording as David Seville. His "Witch Doctor" had hit #1 earlier in 1958.
  • 1980 --- Stiff Records released an album entitled The Wit and Wisdom of Ronald Reagan. The entire LP contained no sound at all.
  • 1990 --- Lech Walesa took the oath of office as Poland's first popularly elected president.
  • 1999 --- Two astronauts from the U.S. space shuttle Discovery started three days of spacewalks to repair the crippled Hubble Space Telescope so it could focus correctly on stars, galaxies and other celestial objects.
  • 2002 --- Time magazine chose as its Persons of the Year three female whistleblowers: FBI agent Coleen Rowley; WorldCom auditor Cynthia Cooper; and former Enron vice president Sherron Watkins.
  • 2006 --- A report from the Austin Energy power company in Texas has revealed approximately 20 percent of all its power outages are the result of squirrels.  The squirrels had a habit of coming into contact with sensitive electrical equipment on utility poles and were likely responsible for nearly 700 area outages a year.
  • 2010 --- President Barack Obama signed a law allowing gays for the first time in history to serve openly in America's military.
  • Birthdays
  • Diane Sawyer
  • Robin Gibb
  • Ralph Fiennes
  • Luther Campbell
  • Giacomo Puccini
  • Lady Bird Johnson
  • Hector Elizondo
  • Rick Nielsen – Cheap Trick
  • James Oglethorpe
  • Andre Kostelanetz
  • Gene Rayburn
  • Barbara Billingsley
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