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Tuesday December 18, 2012
- 353rd Day of 2012 / 13 Remaining
- 3 Days Until The First Day of Winter
- 9 Hours 34 Minutes of Daylight
- Moon Rise:11:08am
- Moon Set:11:18pm
- Moon’s Phase: 36 %
- 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: 4:05am/3:29pm
- Low: 9:50am/9:44pm
- Rainfall (measured July 1 – June 30)
- This Year:9.32
- Last Year:3.32
- Normal To Date:7.07
- Annual Seasonal Average:23.80
- National Roast Suckling Pig Day
- UN International Migrants Day
- Republic Day-Niger
- Las Posadas-Mexico
- Saturnalia - Ancient Roman festival honoring Saturn, the god of agriculture and harvest
- On This Day In …
- 1606 --- At Westminster in London, Guy Fawkes, a chief conspirator in the plot to blow up the British Parliament building, jumps to his death moments before his execution for treason. On the eve of a general parliamentary session scheduled for November 5, 1605, Sir Thomas Knyvet, a justice of the peace, found Guy Fawkes lurking in a cellar of the Parliament building. Fawkes was detained and the premises thoroughly searched. Nearly two tons of gunpowder were found hidden within the cellar. In his interrogation, Fawkes revealed that he was a participant in an English Catholic conspiracy organized by Robert Catesby to annihilate England's entire Protestant government, including King James I. The king was to have attended Parliament on November 5. Over the next few months, English authorities killed or captured all of the conspirators in the "Gunpowder Plot" but also arrested, tortured, or killed dozens of innocent English Catholics. After a brief trial, Guy Fawkes was sentenced, along with the other surviving chief conspirators, to be hanged, drawn, and quartered in London. On January 30, 1606, the gruesome public executions began in London, and on January 31 Fawkes was called to meet his fate. While climbing to the hanging platform, however, he jumped from the ladder and broke his neck, dying instantly. In remembrance of the Gunpowder Plot, Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated across Great Britain every year on the fifth of November. As dusk falls in the evening, villagers and city dwellers across Britain light bonfires, set off fireworks, and burn an effigy of Guy Fawkes, celebrating his failure to blow up Parliament and James I.
- 1787 --- This is the day when New Jersey was counted as the third state to enter the United States of America. New Jersey’s many truck farms, orchards and flower gardens gave the state its nickname: The Garden State. Trenton, the capital of New Jersey, and once the capital of the new nation, was the locale of Washington’s famous Revolutionary war victory. He turned the tide when he led his forces across the Delaware River at Trenton. The New Jersey state flower is the purple violet, the state bird, the eastern goldfinch, and the state motto: "Liberty and Prosperity."
- 1865 --- “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, save as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist in the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” With these words, slavery was abolished in the United States. On this day a proclamation by the U.S. Secretary of State announced the thirteenth amendment to the Constitution had been ratified by the legislatures of twenty-seven of the thirty-six states. Actual ratification was completed on December 6, but news travelled slowly in those days.
- 1892 --- Peter Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker Suite" premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia.
- 1915 --- U.S. President Wilson, widowed the year before, married Edith Bolling Galt at her Washington home.
- 1944 --- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the army’s removal of Japanese-Americans from the West Coast early in 1942 was constitutional at the time it was carried out, but that citizens must be permitted to return to their homes when their loyalty to U.S. was established. The tribunal acted in two cases. It upheld constitutionality of the removal program by a 6 to 3 decision, and was unanimous in holding that loyal citizens should be released. The ruling came one day after the war department announced that loyal citizens of Japanese ancestry would be permitted to return to their former homes after 33 months of enforced absence in relocation centers.
- 1956 --- One of America’s great panel shows debuted on CBS-TV. Bud Collyer, bow tie and all, hosted To Tell the Truth. The program enjoyed a 10-year run and made even bigger stars of panelists: Phyllis Newman, Orson Bean, Kitty Carlisle (Hart), Sam Levinson, Tom Poston, Milt Kamen and Bess Myerson. The announcer: Johnny Olson. The show was a Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Production.
- 1957 --- Shippingport Atomic Power Station, Pennsylvania was the first commercial central electric-generating station in the United States to use nuclear energy. It started producing juice this day, feeding electricity into the grid for the Pittsburgh area. On December 2, 1977, the first U.S. light water breeder reactor went to full power at Shippingport. (The power station was taken out of service October 1, 1982.)
- 1961 --- The Tokens celebrated their first #1 hit single. The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh for you purists) was a chart topper for four weeks in a row. The story begins in Johannesburg, South Africa, where in 1938, a group of Zulu singers and dancers called Solomon Linda and the Evening Birds stepped into the first recording studio ever set up in sub-Saharan Africa and recorded a song called "Mbube"—Zulu for "the lion." "Mbube" was a regional hit, and it helped make Solomon Linda into a South African star. But the story might have ended there had a copy of the record not made its way to New York City in the early 1950s, where it was saved from the slush pile at Decca Records by the legendary folklorist Alan Lomax. Without actually hearing any of the records in a box sent from Africa, Lomax thought a friend of his might be interested in the box's contents. That friend was the folksinger Pete Seeger. Unable to understand the lyrics of "Mbube," Seeger transcribed the central chant as "Wimoweh," and that became the name of the song as recorded by the Weavers and released in early 1952, just as the group was about to be blacklisted thanks to the McCarthy hearings. Eventually, Jay Siegel, the teenage lead singer of the Tokens, would hear and fall in love with "Wimoweh" through the Kingston Trio's cover version of the Weavers' song. The Tokens' label commissioned English-language lyrics for the song, which was re-titled "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" and went on to become not just a #1 song on this day in 1961, but one of the most-covered, most successful pop songs of all time
- 1971 --- Apollo 14, piloted by astronauts Alan B. Shepard Jr., Edgar D. Mitchell, and Stuart A. Roosa, is successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a manned mission to the moon. On February 5, after suffering some initial problems in docking the lunar and command modules, Shepard and Mitchell descended to the lunar surface on the third U.S. moon landing. Upon stepping out of the lunar module, Shepard, who in 1961, aboard Freedom 7, was the first American in space, became the fifth astronaut to walk on the moon. Shepard and Mitchell remained on the lunar surface for nearly 34 hours, conducting simple scientific experiments, such as hitting golf balls into space with Shepard's golf club, and collecting 96 pounds of lunar samples. On February 9, Apollo 14 safely returned to Earth.
- 1987 --- Ivan F. Boesky was sentenced to three years in prison for plotting Wall Street's biggest insider-trading scandal.
- 1991 --- The 'International Project to Save the Brazilian Rainforests' was launched.
- 1997 --- A unique bridge-and-tunnel expressway across Tokyo Bay opened. The Trans-Tokyo Bay Motorway was named the Tokyo Bay Aqualine, a toll highway that spans the narrowest gap of Tokyo Bay. It opened to traffic this day, after 31 years of studies and construction at a total cost of 1.44 trillion yen (some $10.8 billion at the time). The 15-kilometer (9.3-mile) expressway, connecting Kisarazu City of Chiba Prefecture and Kawasaki City of Kanagawa Prefecture, makes it possible to make a round-trip of the bay by car. Of the total length, 4.4 kilometers (2.7 miles) from the Kisarazu side is a bridge and 9.5 kilometers (5.9 miles) from the Kawasaki side is an undersea tunnel, which is the world’s longest undersea tunnel, running 60 meters (197 feet) deep under the surface of the water.
- 1999 --- After living atop an ancient redwood in Humboldt County, CA, for two years, environmental activist Julia "Butterfly" Hill came down, ending her anti-logging protest.
- 2008 --- A U.N. court in Tanzania convicted former Rwandan army Col. Theoneste Bagosora of genocide and crimes against humanity for masterminding the killings of more than half a million people in a 100-day slaughter in 1994.
- Ossie Davis
- Keith Richards
- Ty Cobb
- Brad Pitt
- Zane Grey
- Norman Mailer
- Phillip Glass
- Ramsey Clark
- Steven Speilberg
- Leonard Maltin
- Ray Liotta
- Arantxa Sanchez Vicario
- Katie Holmes
- Christina Aguilera
- Paul Klee
- Willy Brandt
- Betty Grable
- Anita O’Day
- HH Munro