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Thursday April 26, 2012

1986 - Chernobyl (highlighted story below)
  • 117th Day of 2012 / 249 Remaining
  • 55 Days Until Summer Begins
  • Sunrise:6:19
  • Sunset:7:57
  • 13 Hr 38 Min
  • Moon Rise:10:06am
  • Moon Set:12:04am
  • Moon’s Phase: 25 %
  • The Next Full Moon
  • May 5 @ 8:36pm
  • Full Flower Moon
  • Full Corn Planting Moon
  • Full Milk Moon

In most areas, flowers are abundant everywhere during this time. Thus, the name of this Moon. Other names include the Full Corn Planting Moon, or the Milk Moon.

  • Tides
  • High:1:49am/4:21pm
  • Low:8:55am/9:03pm
  • Rainfall
  • This Year:15.33
  • Last Year:25.17
  • Normal To Date:22.81
  • Annual Seasonal Average: 23.80
  • Holidays
  • Hug an Australian Day
  • Richter Scale Day
  • National Pretzel Day
  • Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day
  • Poem in Your Pocket Day
  • Remember Your First Kiss Day
  • Union Day-Tanzania
  • On This Day In …
  • 1514 --- Copernicus made his first observations of Saturn.
  • 1607 --- An expedition of English colonists went ashore at Cape Henry, Va., to establish the first permanent English settlement in the Western Hemisphere. (They later settled at Jamestown.)
  • 1819 --- The first Odd Fellows lodge in the U.S. was established in Baltimore, Maryland. The official name of the organization is the Independent Order (of) Odd Fellows or IOOF. You can see these initials on many buildings in communities throughout the country. These are the Odd Fellows halls where the local, secret fraternal benefit meets. The first Odd Fellows group started in Great Britain in the 18th century.  The main focus of the fraternal order is “to relieve the brethren, bury the dead, and care for the widow and the orphan.” This focus has been broadened through the years to include the principles of friendship, love and truth. The Odd Fellows maintain homes for the aged, the poor, widows and orphans and provide members with financial aid in sickness or death. U.S. national headquarters are located in Baltimore, MD and the membership of the order is more than 1.5 million.
  • 1865 --- John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, was surrounded and killed by federal troops near Bowling Green, Va.
  • 1877 --- Minnesota held a state day of prayer to plead for an end to a 4 year plague of Rocky Mountain locusts. In southwestern Minnesota, locusts had been eating crops, trees, tobacco, fence posts, leather, dead animals, sheep's wool - everything but the mortgage. Two days later a snowstorm moved through and the locusts were never seen again. No one knows what caused the locust plague, nor why the Rocky Mountain locust became extinct after the plague.
  • 1921 --- Weather broadcasts were heard for the first time on radio when WEW in St. Louis, MO aired weather news. Weather forecasts continue to be the top reason why people listen to radio; rating higher than music, news, sports and commercials!
  • 1937 --- During the Spanish Civil War, the German military tests its powerful new air force--the Luftwaffe--on the Basque town of Guernica in northern Spain. Although the independence-minded Basque region opposed General Francisco Franco's Nationalist forces in the Spanish Civil War, Guernica itself was a small rural city of only 5,000 inhabitants that declared nonbelligerence in the conflict. With Franco's approval, the cutting-edge German aircraft began their unprovoked attack at 4:30 p.m., the busiest hour of the market day in Guernica. For three hours, the German planes poured down a continuous and unopposed rain of bombs and gunfire on the town and surrounding countryside. One-third of Guernica's 5,000 inhabitants were killed or wounded, and fires engulfed the city and burned for days. The indiscriminate killing of civilians at Guernica aroused world opinion and became a symbol of fascist brutality. Unfortunately, by 1942, all major participants in World War II had adopted the bombing innovations developed by the Nazis at Guernica, and by the war's end, in 1945, millions of innocent civilians had perished under Allied and Axis air raids.
  • 1954 --- The Salk polio vaccine field trials, involving 1.8 million children, begin at the Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, Virginia. Children in the United States, Canada and Finland participated in the trials, which used for the first time the now-standard double-blind method, whereby neither the patient nor attending doctor knew if the inoculation was the vaccine or a placebo. On April 12, 1955, researchers announced the vaccine was safe and effective and it quickly became a standard part of childhood immunizations in America. In the ensuing decades, polio vaccines would all but wipe out the highly contagious disease in the Western Hemisphere.
  • 1961 --- New York Yankee Roger Maris hit the first of a then-record 61 home runs in a single season.
  • 1964 --- The Boston Celtics won their sixth straight NBA title. They would win two more before the streak came to an end.
  • 1986 --- The world's worst nuclear accident to date occurs at the Chernobyl nuclear plant near Kiev in Ukraine. The full toll from this disaster is still being tallied, but experts believe that thousands of people died and as many as 70,000 suffered severe poisoning. In addition, a large area of land may not be livable for as much as 150 years. The 18-mile radius around Chernobyl was home to almost 150,000 people who had to be permanently relocated. The Soviet Union built the Chernobyl plant, which had four 1,000-megawatt reactors, in the town of Pripyat. At the time of the explosion, it was one of the largest and oldest nuclear power plants in the world. The explosion and subsequent meltdown of one reactor was a catastrophic event that directly affected hundreds of thousands of people. Still, the Soviet government kept its own people and the rest of the world in the dark about the accident until days later. At first, the Soviet government only asked for advice on how to fight graphite fires and acknowledged the death of two people. It soon became apparent, however, that the Soviets were covering up a major accident and had ignored their responsibility to warn both their own people and surrounding nations. Two days after the explosion, Swedish authorities began measuring dangerously high levels of radioactivity in their atmosphere. Years later, the full story was finally released. Workers at the plant were performing tests on the system. They shut off the emergency safety systems and the cooling system, against established regulations, in preparation for the tests. Even when warning signs of dangerous overheating began to appear, the workers failed to stop the test. Xenon gases built up and at 1:23 a.m. the first explosion rocked the reactor. A total of three explosions eventually blew the 1,000-ton steel top right off of the reactor. A huge fireball erupted into the sky. Flames shot 1,000 feet into the air for two days, as the entire reactor began to melt down. Radioactive material was thrown into the air like fireworks. Although firefighting was futile, Pripyat's 40,000 people were not evacuated until 36 hours after the explosion. Potentially lethal rain fell as the fires continued for eight days. Dikes were built at the Pripyat River to contain damage from contaminated water run-off and the people of Kiev were warned to stay indoors as a radioactive cloud headed their way. On May 9, workers began encasing the reactor in concrete. Later, Hans Blix of the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that approximately 200 people were directly exposed and that 31 had died immediately at Chernobyl. The clean-up effort and the general radioactive exposure in the region, however, would prove to be even more deadly. Some reports estimate that as many as 4,000 clean-up workers died from radiation poisoning. Birth defects among people living in the area have increased dramatically. Thyroid cancer has increased tenfold in Ukraine since the accident.
  • 1989 --- At New York City's Four Seasons restaurant, wine merchant William Sokolin accidentally bumped a table with a bottle of wine and broke it. It was a bottle of 1787 Chateau Margaux which once belonged to Thomas Jefferson and was valued at $519,750.
  • 2000 --- Vermont Gov. Howard Dean signed the nation's first bill allowing same-sex couples to form civil unions.
  • 2003 --- The Russian Space Agency announced that stamp collectors could have a letter posted to them from space for a cool $20,000. The price was high because it cost up to $80,000 to deliver a kilogram of cargo to and from the International Space Station. Labor costs were listed at $19,000 an hour.
  • 2006 --- Chicago banned the sale of foie gras.
  • Birthdays
  • John James Audubon
  • Anita Loos
  • Carol Burnett
  • Charles F. Richter
  • Duane Eddy
  • Bernard Malamud
  • Jet Li
  • Joan Chen
  • Gary Wright
  • James Beckwourth
  • Rudolf Hess