5:34am

Tue November 13, 2012
KALW Almanac

Tuesday November 13, 2012

1921 - The Sheik (highlighted story below)

  • 318th Day of 2012 / 48 Remaining
  • 38 Days Until The First Day of Winter
  • Sunrise:6:48
  • Sunset:5:00
  • 10 Hours 12 Minutes of Daylight
  • Moon Rise: 6:33am
  • Moon Set:4:59pm
  • Moon’s Phase: New Moon
  • The Next Full Moon
  • November 28 @ 6:47 am
  • Full Beaver Moon
  • Full Frosts Moon

For both the colonists and the Algonquin tribes, this was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. This full Moon was also called the Frost Moon.

  • Tides
  • High: 9:19am/11:02pm
  • Low: 3:11am/4:11pm
  • Rainfall (measured July 1 – June 30)
  • This Year:1.84
  • Last Year:2.27
  • Normal To Date:2.60
  • Annual Seasonal Average:23.80
  • Holidays
  • National Indian Pudding Day
  • World Kindness Day
  • Remembrance Sunday-UK
  • On This Day In …
  • 1789 --- Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to a friend in which he said, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
  • 1805 --- Johann George Lehner, a Viennese butcher, invented a recipe and called it the "frankfurter."
  • 1921 --- That great romancer of the silver screen, Rudolph Valentino, starred in “The Sheik”. The film firmly established Valentino’s popular reputation as the Great Lover, and his last film, the comical “Son of the Sheik” (1926), sealed that title. But the actor never thought of himself as a conqueror of women -- nor as a great actor. He found the Sheik films rather silly. Rudy’s wife, Natacha Rambova responded to her husband’s screen image: “My husband is a great lover of home life.” However, the publication of Valentino’s volume of poetry, “Day Dreams” (1923), further fueled the public’s imagination and drove fans into bookstores with a vengeance. Rudolph Valentino had plans to make more serious films beginning with an ambitious version of “El Cid”, to be called “The Hooded Falcon”. In town for the premiere of “Son of the Sheik”, he collapsed in New York on August 15, 1926. Valentino died eight days later from peritonitis -- before he could begin to work on films that would make the public forget his sheikly shenanigans.
  • 1927 --- After seven years of construction and over $48 million, the Holland Tunnel, New York City’s connection to Jersey City, NJ, opened to traffic. It was named after the chief engineer of construction, Clifford Milburn Holland, who died before the tunnel was completed.
  • 1937 --- NBC formed the first full-sized symphony orchestra exclusively for radio broadcasting. The conductor for its first 17 years was Arturo Toscanini.
  • 1942 --- U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a measure lowering the minimum draft age from 21 to 18.
  • 1953 --- In an example of the absurd lengths to which the "Red Scare" in America is going, Mrs. Thomas J. White of the Indiana Textbook Commission, calls for the removal of references to the book Robin Hood from textbooks used by the state's schools. Mrs. Young claimed that there was "a Communist directive in education now to stress the story of Robin Hood because he robbed the rich and gave it to the poor. That's the Communist line. It's just a smearing of law and order and anything that disrupts law and order is their meat." She went on to attack Quakers because they "don't believe in fighting wars." This philosophy, she argued, played into communist hands. Though she later stated that she never argued for the removal of texts mentioning the story from school textbooks, she continued to claim that the "take from the rich and give to the poor" theme was the "Communist's favorite policy." Reacting to criticisms of her stance, she countered that, "Because I'm trying to get Communist writers out of textbooks, my name is mud. Evidently I'm drawing blood or they wouldn't make such an issue out of it." The response to Mrs. White's charges was mixed. Indiana Governor George Craig came to the defense of Quakers, but backed away from getting involved in the textbook issue. The state superintendent of education went so far as to reread the book before deciding that it should not be banned. However, he did feel that "Communists have gone to work twisting the meaning of the Robin Hood legend." The Indianapolis superintendent of schools also did not want the book banned, claiming that he could not find anything particularly subversive about the story. In the Soviet Union, commentators had a field day with the story. One joked that the "enrollment of Robin Hood in the Communist Party can only make sensible people laugh." The current sheriff of Nottingham was appalled, crying, "Robin Hood was no communist." As silly as the episode seems in retrospect, the attacks on freedom of expression during the Red Scare in the United States resulted in a number of books being banned from public libraries and schools during the 1950s and 1960s because of their supposedly subversive content. Such well known books as John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath and Johnny Got His Gun, by Dalton Trumbo, were just some of the books often pulled from shelves. Hollywood films also felt the pressure to conform to more suitably "all-American" themes and stories, and rock and roll music was decried by some as communist-inspired.
  • 1956 --- The Supreme Court struck down laws calling for racial segregation on public buses.
  • 1968 --- This was a good day for The Beatles. Their movie, Yellow Submarine, premiered in the U.S. and the single, Hey Jude, topped the pop music charts (it was in its 7th of 9 weeks at #1).
  • 1974 --- 28-year-old Karen Silkwood is killed in a car accident near Crescent, Oklahoma, north of Oklahoma City. Silkwood worked as a technician at a plutonium plant operated by the Kerr-McGee Corporation, and she had been critical of the plant's health and safety procedures. In September, she had complained to the Atomic Energy Commission about unsafe conditions at the plant (a week before her death, plant monitors had found that she was contaminated with radioactivity herself), and the night she died, she was on her way to a meeting with a union representative and a reporter for The New York Times, reportedly with a folder full of documents that proved that Kerr-McGee was acting negligently when it came to worker safety at the plant. However, no such folder was found in the wreckage of her car, lending credence to the theory that someone had forced her off the road to prevent her from telling what she knew. On the night of November 5, Silkwood was polishing plutonium pellets that would be used to make fuel rods for a "breeder reactor" nuclear-power plant. At about 6:30 P.M., an alpha detector mounted on her glove box (the piece of equipment that was supposed to protect her from exposure to radioactive materials) went off: According to the machine, her right arm was covered in plutonium. Further tests revealed that the plutonium had come from the inside of her gloves—that is, the part of her gloves that was only in contact with her hands, not the pellets. Plant doctors monitored her for the next few days, and what they found was quite unusual: Silkwood's urine and feces samples were heavily contaminated with radioactivity, as was the apartment she shared with another plant worker, but no one could say why or how that "alpha activity" had gotten there. (In fact, measurements after her death indicated that Silkwood had ingested the plutonium somehow; again, no one could say how or why.) After work on November 13, Silkwood went to a union meeting before heading home in her white Honda. Soon, police were summoned to the scene of an accident along Oklahoma's State Highway 74: Silkwood had somehow crashed into a concrete culvert. She was dead by the time help arrived. An autopsy revealed that she had taken a large dose of Quaaludes before she died, which would likely have made her doze off at the wheel; however, an accident investigator found skid marks and a suspicious dent in the Honda's rear bumper, indicating that a second car had forced Silkwood off the road. Silkwood's father sued Kerr-McGee, and the company eventually settled for $1.3 million, minus legal fees. Kerr-McGee closed its Crescent plant in 1979.
  • 1982 --- The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C.
  • 1986 --- U.S. President Ronald Reagan publicly acknowledged that the U.S. had sent "defensive weapons and spare parts" to Iran. He denied that the shipments were sent to free hostages, but that they had been sent to improve relations.
  • 2009 --- NASA announced that water had been discoved on the moon. The discovery came from the planned impact on the moon of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS).
  • Birthdays
  • Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis
  • Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Whoopi Goldberg
  • Peter Arnett
  • Joe Mantegna
  • Jimmy Kimmel
  • Jean Seberg
  • Jack Elam
  • Richard Mulligan
  • Garry Marshall
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