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Wednesday April 9, 2014
By Joe Burke
- 99th Day of 2014 266 Days Remaining
- 74 Days Until Summer Begins
- Sunrise 6:41
- Sunset 7:40
- 12 Hours 59 Minutes
- Moon Rise 2:38pm
- Moon Set 3:31am
- Moon Phase 98 %
- This year 12.30
- Last year 16.31
- Normal 22.00
- Baby Massage Day
- Jenkins's Ear Day
- National Cherish an Antique Day
- National Chinese Almond Cookie Day
- National Gin & Tonic Day
- Martyr's Day-Tunisia
- National Day-Iraq
- Memorial Day-Georgia
- Mikael Agricola Day-Finland
- On This Day In History
- 0715 --- Constantine ended his reign as Catholic Pope.
- 1731 --- Robert Jenkins's ear was cut off, sparking the War of Jenkins’s Ear between Spain and England.
- 1770 --- Captain James Cook discovered Botany Bay on the Australian continent.
- 1859 --- 23-year-old Missouri youth named Samuel Langhorne Clemens receives his steamboat pilot's license. Clemens had signed on as a pilot's apprentice in 1857 while on his way to Mississippi. He had been commissioned to write a series of comic travel letters for the Keokuk Daily Post, but after writing five, decided he'd rather be a pilot than a writer. He piloted his own boats for two years, until the Civil War halted steamboat traffic. During his time as a pilot, he picked up the term "Mark Twain," a boatman's call noting that the river was only two fathoms deep, the minimum depth for safe navigation. When Clemens returned to writing in 1861, working for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, he wrote a humorous travel letter signed by "Mark Twain" and continued to use the pseudonym for nearly 50 years.
- 1865 --- At Appomattox, Virginia, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrenders his 28,000 troops to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, effectively ending the American Civil War. Forced to abandon the Confederate capital of Richmond, blocked from joining the surviving Confederate force in North Carolina, and harassed constantly by Union cavalry, Lee had no other option. In retreating from the Union army's Appomattox Campaign, the Army of Northern Virginia had stumbled through the Virginia countryside stripped of food and supplies. At one point, Union cavalry forces under General Philip Sheridan had actually outrun Lee's army, blocking their retreat and taking 6,000 prisoners at Sayler's Creek. Desertions were mounting daily, and by April 8 the Confederates were surrounded with no possibility of escape. On April 9, Lee sent a message to Grant announcing his willingness to surrender. The two generals met in the parlor of the Wilmer McLean home at one o'clock in the afternoon. Lee and Grant, both holding the highest rank in their respective armies, had known each other slightly during the Mexican War and exchanged awkward personal inquiries. Characteristically, Grant arrived in his muddy field uniform while Lee had turned out in full dress attire, complete with sash and sword. Lee asked for the terms, and Grant hurriedly wrote them out. All officers and men were to be pardoned, and they would be sent home with their private property--most important, the horses, which could be used for a late spring planting. Officers would keep their side arms, and Lee's starving men would be given Union rations. Shushing a band that had begun to play in celebration, General Grant told his officers, "The war is over. The Rebels are our countrymen again."
- 1912 --- The Boston Red Sox defeated Harvard 2-0 on this, the day that Fenway Park was opened for the first time. Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Carlton Fisk, Jim Rice, Roger Clemens, and Babe Ruth played ball at Fenway and faced the ‘Green Monster’, the huge wall in left field. Until the Humane Society ordered him to stop, Ted Williams used to take rifle shots at the many pigeons that flew around the stadium. In 1954, a ball thrown to stop a player from making a double out of a single, hit a pigeon in flight. Allegedly, the bird fell to the ground, got up and then flew away to safer territory. The ball deflected right to the second baseman, who put the tag on the runner.
- 1913 --- The Brooklyn Dodgers' Ebbets Field opened.
- 1928 --- Mae West made her glamorous debut on Broadway in the classic production of Diamond Lil.
- 1939 --- More than 75,000 people come to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., to hear famed African-American contralto Marian Anderson give a free open-air concert. Anderson had been scheduled to sing at Washington's Constitution Hall, but the Daughters of the American Revolution, a political organization that helped manage the concert hall, denied her the right to perform because of her race. The first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, resigned her membership from the organization in protest, and Anderson's alternate performance at the Lincoln Memorial served greatly to raise awareness of the problem of racial discrimination in America.
- 1940 --- During World War II, Nazi Germany invades neutral Norway, surprising the Norwegian and British defenders of the country and capturing several strategic points along the Norwegian coast. During the invasion's preliminary phase, Norwegian Fascists under Vidkun Quisling acted as a so-called fifth column for the German invaders, seizing Norway's nerve centers, spreading false rumors, and occupying military bases and other locations. In June, Norway fell to the Nazis.
- 1947 --- Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers announced the purchase of the baseball contract that would bring slugger Jackie Roosevelt Robinson to the Dodgers from Montreal.
- 1953 --- Warner Brothers, the first of the major Hollywood studios to introduce 3-D motion pictures, chose this day to premiere The House of Wax at the Paramount Theatre in New York City. The stage show preceding the movie was headed by singer Eddie Fisher. The film’s stars, Vincent Price, Phyllis Kirk and Frank Lovejoy attended the premiere. A precursor to Warner’s 3-D presentation occurred in 1922 when The Power of Love opened in Los Angeles. The feature-length movie was filmed in a stereoscopic process called Fairall. The first official 3-D movie (viewed with special glasses), Bwana Devil, premiered in LA five months before the major studios got into the act. It starred Robert Stack and Barbara Britton. Although the critics panned the flick as “low-grade melodrama with Polaroid glasses,” the long lines at the box office convinced Warner and others to plan their own 3-D productions. In fact, 23 3-D films were released in 1953, The House of Wax being the first.
- 1953 --- Bowing to pressure stirred up by Sen Joe McCarthy’s Senate hearings alleging infiltration of Communist reds in the United States in government, politics and entertainment, Cincinnati baseball officials said that the National League team wanted to be known as the Redlegs and not the Reds.
- 1959 --- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) introduces America's first astronauts to the press: Scott Carpenter, L. Gordon Cooper Jr., John H. Glenn Jr., Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Walter Schirra Jr., Alan Shepard Jr., and Donald Slayton. The seven men, all military test pilots, were carefully selected from a group of 32 candidates to take part in Project Mercury, America's first manned space program. NASA planned to begin manned orbital flights in 1961.
- 1965 --- The entire cast of the comic strip 'Peanuts' was featured on the cover of TIME magazine
- 1965 --- Major-league baseball played its first indoor game. President Lyndon B. Johnson attended the opening of the Astrodome in Houston, Texas. The indoor stadium was termed the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’.
- 1969 --- The album "Nashville Skyline" by Bob Dylan was released.
- 1969 --- The Chicago Eight, indicted on federal charges of conspiracy to incite a riot at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, plead not guilty. The trial for the eight antiwar activists had begun in Chicago on March 20. The defendants included David Dellinger of the National Mobilization Committee (NMC); Rennie Davis and Thomas Hayden of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS); Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, founders of the Youth International Party ("Yippies"); Bobby Seale of the Black Panthers; and two lesser known activists, Lee Weiner and John Froines.
- 1976 --- Phil Ochs committed suicide at the age of 35.
- 1992 --- Former Panamanian ruler Manuel Noriega was convicted in Miami of eight drug and racketeering charges.
- Paul Robeson
- Gregory Pincus
- Kristen Stewart
- Jim Fowler
- Dennis Quaid
- Paulina Porizkova
- Keisha Knight Pullam
- Sol Hurok
- Curly Lambeau
- Ward Bond