Most Active Stories
Wednesday March 28, 2012
- 88th Day of 2012 / 278 Remaining
- 84 Days Until Summer Begins
- 12 Hr 30 Min
- Moon Rise:10:28am
- Moon Set:12:32am
- Moon’s Phase: 31 %
- The Next Full Moon
- April 6 @ 2:20pm
- Full Pink Moon
- Full Fish Moon
- Full Sprouting Grass Moon
- Full Full Fish Moon
This name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month’s celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Full Fish Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.
- This Year:11.88
- Last Year:24.61
- Normal To Date:20.12
- Annual Average: 22.28
- National Black Forest Day
- Something on a Stick Day
- Weed Appreciation Day
- Teachers' Day-Czech Republic
- Constitution Day-Serbia
- On This Day In …
- 1776 --- Juan Bautista de Anza, one of the great western pathfinders of the 18th century, arrives at the future site of San Francisco with 247 colonists. Though little known among Americans because of his Spanish origins, Anza's accomplishments as a western trailblazer merit comparison with those of Lewis and Clark, John Fremont, and Kit Carson. Born and raised in Mexico, Anza joined the army when he was 17 and became a captain seven years later. He excelled as a military leader, displaying tactical genius in numerous battles with the Apache Indians. In 1772, Anza made his first major exploratory mission, leading an arduous but successful expedition northwest to the Pacific Coast. Anza's expedition established the first successful overland connections between the Mexican State of Sonora and northern California. Impressed by this accomplishment, the Mexican viceroy commissioned Anza to return to California and establish a permanent settlement along the Pacific Coast at San Francisco Bay. Although seagoing Spanish explorers had sailed along the northern California coast during the 16th and 17th centuries, the amazing natural harbor of San Francisco Bay was only discovered in 1769. The Spanish immediately recognized the strategic importance of the bay, though it would be seven years before they finally dispatched Anza to establish a claim there. Anza and 247 colonists arrived at the future site of San Francisco on this day in 1776. Anza established a presidio, or military fort, on the tip of the San Francisco peninsula. Six months later, a Spanish Franciscan priest founded a mission near the presidio that he named in honor of St. Francis of Assisi—in Spanish, San Francisco de Asiacutes. The most northerly outpost of the Spanish Empire in America, San Francisco remained an isolated and quiet settlement for more than half a century after Anza founded the first settlement. It was not until the 1830s that an expansionist United States began to realize the commercial potential of the magnificent natural harbor. In the wake of the Mexican War, the U.S. took possession of California in 1848, though San Francisco was still only a small town of 900 at that time. With the discovery of gold that year at Sutter's Fort, however, San Francisco boomed. By 1852, San Francisco was home to more than 36,000 people.
- 1797 --- The first U.S. patent for a 'washing machine' was issued to Nathaniel Briggs. It was called a scrub board or wash board.
- 1814 --- The funeral of Guillotin, the inventor and namesake of the infamous execution device, takes place outside of Paris, France. Guillotin had what he felt were the purest motives for inventing the guillotine and was deeply distressed at how his reputation had become besmirched in the aftermath. Guillotin had bestowed the deadly contraption on the French as a "philanthropic gesture" for the systematic criminal justice reform that was taking place in 1789. The machine was intended to show the intellectual and social progress of the Revolution; by killing aristocrats and journeymen the same way, equality in death was ensured.
- 1834 --- The U.S. Senate voted to censure President Andrew Jackson for the removal of federal deposits from the Bank of the United States.
- 1865 --- Outdoor advertising legislation was enacted in New York. The law banned "painting on stones, rocks and trees."
- 1881 --- P.T. Barnum and James Bailey merged their circuses to form "The Greatest Show on Earth."
- 1898 --- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a child born in the U.S. to Chinese immigrants was a U.S. citizen. This meant that they could not be deported under the Chinese Exclusion Act.
- 1939 --- Hal Kemp and his orchestra recorded "Three Little Fishies."
- 1964 --- Radio Caroline debuted as the first pirate radio station to broadcast off the coast of England. The combination of rock music and lively disk jockey patter played to a huge audience in Great Britain; but well out of reach of British authorities. However, that didn’t stop them from trying, albeit unsuccessfully, to shut down the radio station ship. Radio Caroline had become competition to the staid and usually dull British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Today, all that is different, as there is licensed radio competition throughout Great Britain. The BBC and the giant, government-owned network has caught up with the times by offering five different services to appeal to wide audiences. They are simply known as ‘Radio 1’ through ‘Radio 5’ ... No ‘Zees’, ‘Qs’ or ‘Bees’, just numbers that include a rock channel, a talk channel, a nostalgia/easy listening channel, a classical/fine arts channel and a news channel.
- 1967 --- Van Morrison recorded "Brown Eyed Girl."
- 1974 --- A streaker ran onto the set of The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. The clever NBC censors decided to blackout the lower half of the TV screen on the videotape to prevent an ‘X’ rating. The streaker was arrested, but released, for “lack of evidence,” said Johnny.
- 1979 --- The most serious nuclear accident in United States history takes place at the Three Mile Island plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on this day in 1979, when one of the reactors overheats. Fortunately, a catastrophic meltdown was averted and there were no deaths or direct injuries from the accident. The Three Mile Island plant had begun operations just months earlier on December 28, 1978. Very shortly after operations began, problems arose. It was 3:58 a.m. on March 28 when a pump that directed steam to the plant's electric turbines stopped working, causing a water circulation pump to break down. Without the water, the temperature of the reactor rose dramatically and a relief valve opened to stop the pressure from building to dangerous levels. Unfortunately, the valve then would not close. The plant operators, with no experience in emergencies, made key errors. Another valve was opened to allow water from the nuclear system into a waste tank. But this water ruptured the tank and radioactive water flooded into the reactor. Even worse, an operator shut off the automatic core-cooling system. The result of all these events and mistakes was that radioactive steam poured out of the plant. Additionally, radioactive water had to be released into the Susquehanna River. However, area authorities were not notified of these events until nearly three hours later. Even when news of the accident was released, it was downplayed. But within days, radiation levels were elevated over a four-county area. Furthermore, the plant's operators were still trying to get the situation under control. Pennsylvania Governor Richard Thornburgh directed that pregnant women and small children be evacuated from the area. Finally, on March 31, plant workers were able to address the problems and ended the threat of a meltdown. The area was deemed safe on April 9. A subsequent investigation and report blamed a combination of human error and faulty design for the accident. In March 1984, the Metropolitan Edison Company pleaded guilty to knowingly using inaccurate test methods at the plant before the incident. The Three Mile Island accident also exposed the lack of an appropriate evacuation plan for the area. In the years following this accident, there has been an ongoing controversy over whether the increased radiation released at Three Mile Island led to an increase of cancer and infant mortality in the surrounding areas.
- 1984 --- Bob Irsay (1923-1997), owner of the once-mighty Baltimore Colts, moves the team to Indianapolis. Without any sort of public announcement, Irsay hired movers to pack up the team’s offices in Owings Mills, Maryland, in the middle of the night, while the city of Baltimore slept.
- 1986 --- More than 6,000 radio stations of all formats played "We Are the World" simultaneously at 10:15 a.m. EST.
- 1996 --- John Leonard submitted an order form along with 'Pepsi Points' and a check to Pepsi for a Harrier Jump Jet. The Harrier had been featured in a Pepsi commercial as one of the items that could be redeemed for 'points,' or a combination of cash and points. (the Harrier was listed for 7 million points). Pepsi subsequently refused to send Leonard the Harrier Jump Jet (actual cost: $23 million). Leonard then sued, and finally a judge ruled that the Harrier Jump Jet had obviously been mentioned in the promotion as a joke.
- 2002 --- Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong's cornet was added to the National Museum of American History, one of the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C.
- August Busch
- Julia Stiles
- Salt (Salt-N-Pepa) / Cheryl James
- Reba McEntire
- Dianne Wiest
- Zbigniew Brzezinski
- Lady Gaga
- Vince Vaughn
- Victor Mills
- Irving (Paul) ‘Swifty’ Lazar
- Edmund S. Muskie
- Thad Jones
- Rick Barry