Tue December 17, 2013
KALW Almanac

Tuesday December 17, 2013


  • 351st Day of 2013 / 14 Remaining
  • 4 Days Until The First Day of Winter
  • Sunrise:7:19
  • Sunset:4:52
  • 9 Hours 33 Minutes of Daylight
  • Moon Rise:5:35pm
  • Moon Set:7:21am
  • Full Moon @ 1:29am
  • 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.

  • Tides
  • High:9:53am
  • Low:4:10am/4:59pm
  • Rainfall (measured July 1 – June 30)
  • This Year: 2.09
  • Last Year:9.36
  • Normal To Date:6.92
  • Annual Seasonal Average:23.80
  • Holidays
  • Wright Brothers Day
  • National Maple Syrup Day
  • Nutcracker Day
  • Saturnalia(12/17-23)
  • Los Posadas-Mexico
  • National Day-Bhutan
  • On This Day In …
  • 1777 --- French foreign minister, Charles Gravier, count of Vergennes, officially acknowledges the United States as an independent nation. News of the Continental Army's overwhelming victory against the British General John Burgoyne at Saratoga gave Benjamin Franklin new leverage in his efforts to rally French support for the American rebels. Although the victory occurred in October, news did not reach France until December 4th.
  • 1791 --- A traffic regulation in New York City established the first street to go "One Way."
  • 1843 --- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens was published in London and immediately sold out. He wrote the story in just two months, beginning in October, 1843 and finishing at the end of November. It was the first of five Christmas books by Dickens. Its successors were The Chimes (1844), The Cricket on the Hearth (1845), The Battle of Life (1846), and The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain (1848).
  • 1892 --- The first performance of Tchaikovsky's 'The Nutcracker' in St. Petersburg.
  • 1903 --- Near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright make the first successful flight in history of a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft. Orville piloted the gasoline-powered, propeller-driven biplane, which stayed aloft for 12 seconds and covered 120 feet on its inaugural flight. Orville and Wilbur Wright grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and developed an interest in aviation after learning of the glider flights of the German engineer Otto Lilienthal in the 1890s. Unlike their older brothers, Orville and Wilbur did not attend college, but they possessed extraordinary technical ability and a sophisticated approach to solving problems in mechanical design. They built printing presses and in 1892 opened a bicycle sales and repair shop. Soon, they were building their own bicycles, and this experience, combined with profits from their various businesses, allowed them to pursue actively their dream of building the world's first airplane.
  • 1933 --- In the first NFL championship game, the Chicago Bears defeated the New York Giants 23-21 at Wrigley Field.
  • 1936 --- Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen kidded around with his pal, Charlie McCarthy (who was a bit wooden, we remember...), for the first time on radio. The two debuted on The Rudy Vallee Show on NBC. Soon, Bergen became one of radio’s hottest properties, and was called Vallee’s greatest talent discovery.
  • 1944 --- The U.S. Army announced the end of its policy of excluding Japanese-Americans from the West Coast which ensured that Japanese-Americans were released from detention camps.
  • 1953 --- Following an earlier decision that favored CBS-TV, the wise minds at the Federal Communications Commission changed opinions and decided to approve RCA’s color television specifications. Guess who benefited most? That’s right, NBC, parent company (then) of RCA. NBC stations soon took the lead in displaying programs "...presented in living color."
  • 1955 --- Carl Perkins wrote Blue Suede Shoes. Less than 48 hours later, he recorded it at the Sun Studios in Memphis. The tune became one of the first records to be popular simultaneously on rock, country and rhythm & blues charts.
  • 1965 --- Judy Garland and The Supremes performed at the opening of the Astrodome in Houston.
  • 1969 --- An estimated 50 million viewers watched singer Tiny Tim marry Miss Vicky on NBC's "Tonight Show." The NBC-TV program earned the second-highest, all-time audience rating; second only to Neil Armstrong’s walking on the the moon. No, Armstrong did not sing Tiptoe Through the Tulips on the lunar surface. Mr. Tiny Tim and Miss Vickie had a daughter, Tulip.
  • 1969 --- Chicago Transit Authority became a gold record for the group of the same name (they later changed their name to Chicago). When the album was released by Columbia Records, it marked the first time an artist’s debut LP was a double record.
  • 1973 --- Thirty-one people were killed at Rome airport when Arab guerillas hijacked a German airliner.
  • 1976 --- WTCG-TV, Atlanta, GA, changed its call letters to WTBS, and was uplinked via satellite. The station became the first commercial TV station to cover the entire U.S.
  • 1977 --- Elvis Costello and the Attractions appear on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" in place of the Sex Pistols. The Sex Pistols could not get visas to enter the U.S.
  • 1989 --- The animated TV series "The Simpsons" premiered on Fox.
  • 1991 --- After a long meeting between Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and President of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin, a spokesman for the latter announces that the Soviet Union will officially cease to exist on or before New Year's Eve. Yeltsin declared that, "There will be no more red flag." It was a rather anti-climactic culmination of events leading toward the dismantling of the Soviet Union.
  • 1992 --- President George H.W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari signed the North American Free Trade Agreement in separate ceremonies.
  • 1996 --- Kofi Atta Annan was named seventh secretary-general of the United Nations by acclamation during ceremony in the General Assembly Hall, attended by representatives of the world organization’s 185 members.
  • 2000 --- Terrell Owens (San Francisco 49ers) caught an NFL-record 20 passes for 283 yards and a touchdown against the Chicago Bears. The previous record was held by Tom Fears (Los Angeles Rams) with 18 catches on December 3, 1950, against the Green Bay Packers. Owens also broke Jerry Rice's franchise record of 16 receptions set in 1994 against the Los Angeles Rams.
  • 2010 --- Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old fruit vendor frustrated with harassment by local officials, set himself on fire in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia. His act of defiance set off nationwide protests that brought down longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and soon spread to the rest of the Arab world.
  • Birthdays
  • Art Neville
  • Milla Jovovich
  • Bill Pullman
  • Chris Mtthews
  • Eugene Levy
  • Barry Livingston
  • Peter Farelly
  • Mike Mills
  • Giovanni Ribisi
  • Marissa Ribisi
  • Arthur Fiedler
  • George Lindsey
  • Eddie Kendricks
  • Wes Studi