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Wednesday December 19, 2012
- 354th Day of 2012 / 12 Remaining
- 2 Days Until The First Day of Winter
- 9 Hours 34 Minutes of Daylight
- Moon Rise:11:39am
- Moon Set:12:19am(Thu)
- Moon’s Phase: First Quarter
- 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: 4:54am/4:43pm
- Low: 11:04am/10:37pm
- Rainfall (measured July 1 – June 30)
- This Year:9.36
- Last Year:3.32
- Normal To Date:7.23
- Annual Seasonal Average:23.80
- Oatmeal Muffin Day
- National Hard Candy Day
- UN Day For South-South Cooperation
- Separation Day-Anguilla
- St Nicholas Day-Ukraine
- Los Posadas-Mexico
- Sveti Nikola-Serbia
- On This Day In …
- 1562 --- The Battle of Dreux was fought between the Huguenots and the Catholics, beginning the French Wars of Religion
- 1732 --- Benjamin Franklin of Philadelphia first published Poor Richard's Almanack. The book, filled with proverbs preaching industry and prudence, was published continuously for 25 years and became one of the most popular publications in colonial America, selling an average of 10,000 copies a year. Franklin was born in Boston in 1706 and was apprenticed to his brother, a printer, at age 12. In 1729, Franklin became the official printer of currency for the colony of Pennsylvania. He began publishing Poor Richard's, as well as the Pennsylvania Gazette, one of the colonies' first and best newspapers. By 1748, Franklin had become more interested in inventions and science than publishing. He spent time in London representing Pennsylvania in its dispute with England and later spent time in France. He returned to America in March 1775, with war on the horizon. He served on the Second Continental Congress and helped draft the Declaration of Independence. He was also instrumental in persuading the French to lend military assistance to the colonies.
- 1776 --- These are the times that try men's souls; the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. When these phrases appeared in the pages of the Pennsylvania Journal for the first time, General George Washington's troops were encamped at McKonkey's Ferry on the Delaware River opposite Trenton, New Jersey. In August, they had suffered humiliating defeats and lost New York City to British troops. Between September and December, 11,000 American volunteers gave up the fight and returned to their families. General Washington could foresee the destiny of a rebellion without an army if the rest of his men returned home when their service contracts expired on December 31. He knew that without an upswing in morale and a significant victory, the American Revolution would come to a swift and humiliating end. Thomas Paine was similarly astute. His Common Sense was the clarion call that began the revolution. As Washington's troops retreated from New York through New Jersey, Paine again rose to the challenge of literary warfare. With American Crisis, he delivered the words that would salvage the revolution. Washington commanded that the freshly printed pamphlet be read aloud to his dispirited men; the rousing prose had its intended effect. Reciting Paine's impassioned words, the beleaguered troops mustered their remaining hopes for victory and crossed the icy Delaware River to defeat hung-over Hessians on Christmas night and on January 2, the British army's best general, Earl Cornwallis, at the Battle of Princeton. With victory in New Jersey, Washington won not only two battles, but also the love and thanks of man and woman.
- 1777 --- With the onset of the bitter winter cold, the Continental Army under General George Washington, still in the field, enters its winter camp at Valley Forge, 22 miles from British-occupied Philadelphia. Washington chose a site on the west bank of the Schuylkill River that could be effectively defended in the event of a British attack. During 1777, Patriot forces under General Washington suffered major defeats against the British at the battles of Brandywine and Germantown; Philadelphia, the capital of the United States, fell into British hands. The particularly severe winter of 1777-1778 proved to be a great trial for the American army, and of the 11,000 soldiers stationed at Valley Forge, hundreds died from disease. However, the suffering troops were held together by loyalty to the Patriot cause and to General Washington, who stayed with his men.
- 1843 --- Charles Dickens' Yuletide tale, "A Christmas Carol," was first published in Britain.
- 1863 --- Frederick Walton of London patented Linoleum.
- 1907 --- A coal mine explosion in Jacobs Creek, Pa., killed 239 workers.
- 1918 --- Robert Ripley began his Believe It or Not column in The New York Globe.
- 1955 --- Carl Perkins recorded the hit "Blue Suede Shoes."
- 1957 --- Meredith Wilson’s "The Music Man" opened at the Majestic Theatre in New York City. It ran for 1,375 shows.
- 1972 --- The Apollo lunar-landing program ends on December 19, 1972, when the last three astronauts to travel to the moon splash down safely in the Pacific Ocean. Apollo 17 had lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, 10 days before. In July 1969, after three years of preparation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) accomplished President John F. Kennedy's goal of putting a man on the moon and safely returning him to Earth with Apollo 11. From 1969 to 1972, there were six successful lunar landing missions, and one aborted mission, Apollo 13. During the Apollo 17 mission, astronauts Eugene A. Cernan and Harrison H. Schmitt stayed for a record 75 hours on the surface of the moon, conducting three separate surface excursions in the Lunar Rover vehicle and collecting 243 pounds of rock and soil samples. Although Apollo 17 was the last lunar landing, the last official Apollo mission was conducted in July 1975, when an Apollo spacecraft successfully rendezvoused and docked with the Soviet Soyuz 19 spacecraft in orbit around the Earth. It was fitting that the Apollo program, which first visited the moon under the banner of "We came in peace for all mankind," should end on a note of peace and international cooperation.
- 1973 --- Johnny Carson pulled a good one before a nationwide late-night audience on NBC. Carson started a fake toilet-paper scare. In his Tonight Show monologue, he told his huge audience that a Wisconsin congressman had warned that toilet paper was disappearing from supermarket shelves. Toilet paper soon became a scarce commodity in many areas of the United States after the gag.
- 1974 --- Nelson A. Rockefeller was sworn in as vice president, replacing Gerald R. Ford, who became president when Richard M. Nixon resigned.
- 1986 --- Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev releases Andrei Sakharov and his wife, Elena Bonner, from their internal exile in Gorky, a major city on the Volga River that was then closed to foreigners. The move was hailed as evidence of Gorbachev's commitment to lessening political repression inside the Soviet Union. Sakharov was a long-time critic of government policies in Russia. He was sentenced to internal exile in 1980 following his denunciations of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Through the years, Sakharov emerged as a symbol of Soviet dissidents, and became a hero to many in the West. Gorbachev, who pledged to ease Soviet political restrictions, recognized that releasing Sakharov and his wife would legitimize his program of "glasnost," political openness. For his part, Sakharov was happy about Gorbachev's attempts to ease the harsh communist rule in Russia and even traveled to the United States to ask the American people to assist the Soviet Union during its period of reform. As Gorbachev discovered, however, Sakharov was no puppet. When the former political prisoner became a member of the Congress of People's Deputies in 1989, he continued to support Gorbachev's reform plans, but also harshly criticized the slow pace of change. During a December 1989 speech in which Sakharov demanded a new multiparty political system for Russia, Gorbachev quickly cut him off. Later that same day, Sakharov died of a heart attack.
- 1996 --- The school board of Oakland, CA, voted to recognize Black English, also known as "ebonics." The board later reversed its stance.
- 2000 --- The U.N. Security Council voted to impose sanctions on Afghanistan's Taliban rulers unless they closed all terrorist training camps and surrender U.S. embassy bombing suspect Osama bin Laden.
- Edith Piaf
- Leonid Brezhnev
- Cicely Tyson
- Al Kaline
- Maurice White
- Alvin Lee
- Tim Reid
- Kevin McHale
- Alyssa Milano
- David Susskind
- Phil Ochs
- Jennifer Beals
- Holly Kernan