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Thursday May 17, 2012

1970 Thor Heyerdahl Ra II (highlighted story below)
1970 Thor Heyerdahl Ra II (highlighted story below)
  • 138th Day of 2012 / 228 Remaining
  • 34 Days Until Summer Begins
  • Sunrise:5:58
  • Sunset:8:16
  • 14 Hours 18 Minutes of Daylight
  • Moon Rise:3:56am
  • Moon Set:5:35pm
  • Moon’s Phase: 9 %
  • The Next Full Moon
  • June 4 @ 4:11am
  • Full Strawberry Moon
  • Full Rose Moon
  • Full Milk Moon

This name was universal to every Algonquin tribe. However, in Europe they called it the Rose Moon. Also because the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries comes each year during the month of June, so the full Moon that occurs during that month was christened for the strawberry!

  • Tides
  • High:10:08am/9:25pm
  • Low:3:46am/3:13pm
  • Rainfall
  • This Year:15.67
  • Last Year:26.58
  • Normal To Date:23.34
  • Annual Seasonal Average: 23.80
  • Holidays
  • National Cherry Cobbler Day
  • Watch A Baby Fall Asleep Day
  • National Pack Rat Day
  • Tell An Umpire "I Love Your Outfit" Day
  • Independence Day-Norway
  • Constitution Day-Nauru
  • UN World Telecommunication and Information Society Day
  • Día das Letras Galegas-Spain
  • World Hypertension Day
  • On This Day In …
  • 1733 --- England passes the Molasses Act, putting high tariffs on rum and molasses imported to the colonies from anyplace other than Britain and its possessions.
  • 1792 --- Twenty-four brokers sat down to fix rates for commissions on stocks and bonds. From that agreement came what has been known since as the New York Stock Exchange or Wall Street. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is located in the financial district, an area in lower Manhattan, on a street named after a defensive wall built around 1650. Wall Street became interchangeable with the Stock Exchange. The original brokers’ meeting place was quite different from today’s noisy, crowded, high-energy floor. In bad weather, they met at a coffee house and when the day was sunny, the brokers sat under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street to conduct their business. There are now over 51 million individual investors and 10,000 institutional investors who are represented on the floor of the NYSE by 480 member-trader firms. The NYSE is respected throughout the world and attracts investors from many countries.
  • 1875 --- Oliver Lewis rode Aristides winning a purse of $2,850 in the first running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY. Aristides won the one and a half mile Run for the Roses in a time of 2 minutes, 37-3/4 seconds.
  • 1881 --- Frederick Douglass was appointed recorder of deeds for Washington, DC.
  • 1939 --- With a single camera near the third-base line, WXBS-TV in New York became the first station to televise a sporting event, a baseball game between Columbia and Princeton. Bill Stern was the announcer. There were only 400 TV sets in America.
  • 1954 --- In a major civil rights victory, the U.S. Supreme Court hands down an unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, ruling that racial segregation in public educational facilities is unconstitutional. The historic decision, which brought an end to federal tolerance of racial segregation, specifically dealt with Linda Brown, a young African American girl who had been denied admission to her local elementary school in Topeka, Kansas, because of the color of her skin. In 1896, the Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that "separate but equal" accommodations in railroad cars conformed to the 14th Amendment's guarantee of equal protection. That ruling was used to justify segregating all public facilities, including elementary schools. However, in the case of Linda Brown, the white school she attempted to attend was far superior to her black alternative and miles closer to her home. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) took up Linda's cause, and in 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka reached the Supreme Court. African American lawyer (and future Supreme Court justice) Thurgood Marshall led Brown's legal team, and on May 17, 1954, the high court handed down its decision. In an opinion written by Chief Justice Earl Warren, the nation's highest court ruled that not only was the "separate but equal" doctrine unconstitutional in Linda's case, it was unconstitutional in all cases because educational segregation stamped an inherent badge of inferiority on African American students. A year later, after hearing arguments on the implementation of their ruling, the Supreme Court published guidelines requiring public school systems to integrate "with all deliberate speed." The Brown v. Board of Education decision served to greatly motivate the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s and ultimately led to the abolishment of racial segregation in all public facilities and accommodations.
  • 1967 --- -"Don't Look Back", a documentary on Bob Dylan's 1965 British tour, premiered in San Francisco, CA.
  • 1970 --- Norwegian ethnologist Thor Heyerdahl and a multinational crew set out from Morocco across the Atlantic Ocean in Ra II, a papyrus sailing craft modeled after ancient Egyptian sailing vessels. Heyerdahl was attempting to prove his theory that Mediterranean civilizations sailed to America in ancient times and exchanged cultures with the people of Central and South America. The Ra II crossed the 4,000 miles of ocean to Barbados in 57 days. Heyerdahl, born in Larvik, Norway, in 1914, originally studied zoology and geography at the University of Oslo. In 1936, he traveled with his wife to the Marquesas Islands to study the flora and fauna of the remote Pacific archipelago. He became fascinated with the question of how Polynesia was populated. The prevailing opinion then (and today) was that ancient seafaring people of Southeast Asia populated Polynesia. However, because winds and currents in the Pacific generally run from east to west, and because South American plants such as the sweet potato have been found in Polynesia, Heyerdahl conjectured that some Polynesians might have originated in South America. To explore this theory, he built a copy of a prehistoric South American raft out of balsa logs from Ecuador. Christened Kon-Tiki, after the Inca god, Heyerdahl and a small crew left Callao, Peru, in April 1947, traversed some 5,000 miles of ocean, and arrived in Polynesia after 101 days. Heyerdahl related the story of the epic voyage in the book Kon-Tiki (1950) and in a documentary film of the same name, which won the 1952 Oscar for Best Documentary. Heyerdahl later became interested in the possibility of cultural contact between early peoples of Africa and Central and South America. Certain cultural similarities, such as the shared importance of pyramid building in ancient Egyptian and Mexican civilizations, perhaps suggested a link. To test the feasibility of ancient transatlantic travel, Heyerdahl built a 45-foot-long copy of an ancient Egyptian papyrus vessel in 1969, with the aid of traditional boatbuilders from Lake Chad in Central Africa. Constructed at the foot of the Pyramids and named after the sun god Ra, it was later transported to Safi in Morocco, from where it set sail for the Caribbean on May 24, 1969. Defects in design and other problems caused it to founder in July, 600 miles short of its goal. It had sailed 3,000 miles. Undaunted, Heyerdahl constructed a second papyrus craft, the Ra II, with the aid of Aymaro Indian boatbuilders from Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. With a multinational crew of seven, the Ra II set sale from Safi on May 17, 1970. After a voyage of 57 days and 4,000 miles, the ship arrived in Barbados. The story of this voyage is recorded in the book The Ra Expeditions (1971) and in a documentary film. In 1977, Heyerdahl led the Tigris expedition, in which he navigated a craft made of reeds down the Tigris River in Iraq to the Persian Gulf, across the Arabian Sea to Pakistan, and finally to the Red Sea. The goal of the expedition was to establish the possibility that there was contact between the great cultures of Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and Egypt across the sea. Heyerdahl later led research expeditions to Easter Island and an archeological site of Tucume in northern Peru. For the most part, Heyerdahl's ideas have not been accepted by mainstream anthropologists.
  • 1975 --- Elton John’s Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy album was released and certified a platinum record on the very same day. It was the first album to be certified a million seller (in this case, a two-million seller) on the first day of release.
  • 1984 --- Mario Soto of the Cincinnati Reds threw four strikeouts in one inning. Soto was only pitcher number 15 since 1900 to do so. How? The hit catcher dropped the ball on the third strikeout of a game against the Chicago Cubs. The runner took off to first base and was safe. The rules state that the catcher must hold on to the ball for a third strike call to take effect. This was the first four-strikeout inning since 1978. Soto joined the company of Mike Paxton, Phil Niekro, Bill Bonham and Mike Cuellar -- all pitchers in the 1970s -- who had the same thing happen to them.
  • 1998 --- New York Yankees pitcher David Wells pitched a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins. The American League game had a final score of 4-0. And David Wells was a hero, having pitched only the 15th perfect game in the 118 years of major-league baseball.
  • 2000 --- Thomas E. Blanton Jr. and David Luker surrendered to police in Birmingham, AL. The two former Ku Klux Klan members were arrested on charges from the bombing of a church in 1963 that killed four young black girls.
  • 2001 --- The U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp based on Charles M. Schulz's "Peanuts" comic strip.
  • Birthdays
  • Mia Hamm
  • Sugar Ray Leonard
  • Trent Reznor
  • Enya
  • Maureen O'Sullivan
  • Sen Ben Nelson
  • Taj Mahal,
  • Craig Ferguson
  • Horace E. Dodge
  • Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
  • Archibold Cox
  • Dennis Hopper
  • Jesse Winchester