5:55am

Wed December 12, 2012
KALW Almanac

Wednesday December 12, 2012

Guglielmo Marconi (highlighted stories below)

  • 347th Day of 2012 / 19 Remaining
  • 9 Days Until The First Day of Winter
  • Sunrise:7:16
  • Sunset:4:52
  • 9 Hours 36 Minutes of Daylight
  • Moon Rise:6:27am
  • Moon Set:4:34pm
  • Moon’s Phase: 0 %
  • 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.

  • Tides
  • High: 10:02am
  • Low: 3:45am/4:54pm
  • Rainfall (measured July 1 – June 30)
  • This Year:8.89
  • Last Year:3.24
  • Normal To Date:6.19
  • Annual Seasonal Average:23.80
  • Holidays
  • Poinsettia Day
  • National Ambrosia Day
  • Constitution Day-Russia
  • Guadalupe Day-Mexico
  • Neutrality Day-Turkmenistan
  • Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe-Mexico
  • Agou/Arroyo-Haiti
  • Independence Day-Kenya
  • On This Day In …
  • 1787 --- Pennsylvania was ratifed on this day as the second of the United States of America. Also one of the original 13 colonies, Pennsylvania is geographically located in the keystone position in relation to the other 12 colonies, earning the nickname, the Keystone State. The state capital is Harrisburg, a city almost midway between Pennsylvania’s two most well-known cites, Pittsburgh in Western Pennsylvania and Philadelphia in the east. Philadelphia is also where the first Continental Congress met and where the Declaration of Independence was signed. Not so famous is the state bird, the ruffed grouse and the state flower, the mountain laurel.
  • 1792 --- In Vienna, 22-year-old Ludwig van Beethoven received one of his first lessons in music composition from Franz Joseph Haydn.
  • 1850 --- Wide, Wide World, the novel by Elizabeth Wetherell (whose real name was Susan Warner), was published on this day. The book was called a bestseller by many folks; the first bestseller in America. There were 14 editions printed during the first two years of publication.
  • 1870 --- Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina took his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the first black congressman.
  • 1896 --- Guglielmo Marconi gave the first public demonstration of radio at Toynbee Hall, London.
  • 1897 --- "The Katzenjammer Kids," the pioneering comic strip by Rudolph Dirks, debuted in the New York Journal.
  • 1899 --- George Grant patented the wooden golf tee.
  • 1901 --- Italian physicist and radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi succeeds in sending the first radio transmission across the Atlantic Ocean, disproving detractors who told him that the curvature of the earth would limit transmission to 200 miles or less. The message--simply the Morse-code signal for the letter "s"--traveled more than 2,000 miles from Poldhu in Cornwall, England, to Newfoundland, Canada.
  • 1912 --- The Mother's Day International Association was incorporated with the purpose of furthering meaningful observations of Mother's Day.
  • 1913 --- Two years after it was stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris, Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece The Mona Lisa is recovered inside Italian waiter Vincenzo Peruggia's hotel room in Florence. Peruggia had previously worked at the Louvre and had participated in the heist with a group of accomplices dressed as Louvre janitors on the morning of August 21, 1911.
  • 1914 --- The New York Stock Exchange re-opened for the first time since July 30. The market had shut down when World War I broke out.
  • 1917 --- Father Edward Flanagan opened Boys Town in Nebraska. The farm village was for wayward boys. In 1979 it was opened to girls.
  • 1925 --- The first motel opens, the Milestone Motel in San Luis Obispo, California, built by architect Arthur Hienemen.
  • 1937 --- The Federal Communications Commission was a bit upset with NBC radio. The FCC scolded the radio network for a skit that starred Mae West. The satirical routine was based on the biblical tale of Adam and Eve and, well, it got a bit out of hand. So, following its scolding by the FCC, NBC banned Miss West from its airwaves for 15 years.
  • 1946 --- A United Nations committee voted to accept a six-block tract of Manhattan real estate to be the site of the UN's headquarters. The land was offered as a gift by John D. Rockefeller Jr.
  • 1957 --- Disc Jockey Al Priddy of KEX, Portland, Oregon, was fired for playing Elvis Presley's rendition of "White Christmas." He had violated the radio station's ban against the song.
  • 1963 --- Kenya gained its independence from Britain.
  • 1965 --- Gale Sayers of the Chicago Bears scores six touchdowns during a single game against the San Francisco 49ers at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, tying the National Football League (NFL) record for most touchdowns in a single game.
  • 1967 --- The movie 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner' premiered, starring Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier and Katharine Hepburn.
  • 1970 --- Smokey Robinson and the Miracles finally earned their first #1 hit when "Tears Of A Clown" topped the Billboard Hot 100. Like many of his other songs, "Tears Of A Clown" told a story to which any current or former lovelorn teenager could relate. Mining much the same emotional territory as he did in the song many consider to be his masterpiece, "The Tracks Of My Tears" (1965), Robinson showcased his ability in "Tears Of A Clown" to tell such a story using a catchy melody and clever wordplay—"Don't let my glad expression/Give you the wrong impression"—without ever lapsing into corniness. It was that ability that led Bob Dylan to refer to Smokey Robinson as America's "greatest living poet."
  • 1980 --- American oil tycoon Armand Hammer pays $5,126,000 at auction for a notebook containing writings by the legendary artist Leonardo da Vinci. The manuscript, written around 1508, was one of some 30 similar books da Vinci produced during his lifetime on a variety of subjects. It contained 72 loose pages featuring some 300 notes and detailed drawings, all relating to the common theme of water and how it moved. Experts have said that da Vinci drew on it to paint the background of his masterwork, the Mona Lisa. The text, written in brown ink and chalk, read from right to left, an example of da Vinci's favored mirror-writing technique. The painter Giuseppi Ghezzi discovered the notebook in 1690 in a chest of papers belonging to Guglielmo della Porto, a 16th-century Milanese sculptor who had studied Leonardo's work. In 1717, Thomas Coke, the first earl of Leicester, bought the manuscript and installed it among his impressive collection of art at his family estate in England. More than two centuries later, the notebook--by now known as the Leicester Codex--showed up on the auction block at Christie's in London when the current Lord Coke was forced to sell it to cover inheritance taxes on the estate and art collection. In the days before the sale, art experts and the press speculated that the notebook would go for $7 to $20 million. In fact, the bidding started at $1.4 million and lasted less than two minutes, as Hammer and at least two or three other bidders competed to raise the price $100,000 at a time. The $5.12 million price tag was the highest ever paid for a manuscript at that time; a copy of the legendary Gutenberg Bible had gone for only $2 million in 1978. "I’m very happy with the price. I expected to pay more," Hammer said later. "There is no work of art in the world I wanted more than this." Lord Coke, on the other hand, was only "reasonably happy" with the sale; he claimed the proceeds would not be sufficient to cover the taxes he owed.
  • 1989 --- Leona Helmsley, nicknamed the "Queen of Mean" by the press, receives a four-year prison sentence, 750 hours of community service, and a $7.1 million tax fraud fine in New York. For many, Helmsley became the object of loathing and disgust when she quipped that "only the little people pay taxes."
  • 2000 --- The U.S. Supreme Court found that the recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court in the 2000 U.S. Presidential election was unconstitutional. U.S. Vice President Al Gore conceded the election to Texas Gov. George W. Bush the next day.
  • 2009 --- Houston became the largest U.S. city to elect an openly gay mayor, with voters handing a solid victory to City Controller Annise Parker.
  • Birthdays
  • Grover Washington Jr.
  • Frank Sinatra
  • John Jay
  • Bill Nighy
  • Connie Francis
  • Dionne Warwick
  • Dickey Betts
  • Sheila E.
  • Tracy Austin
  • Mayim Bialik
  • Gustave Flaubert
  • Edvard Munch
  • Henry Armstrong
  • Ed Koch
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