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Monday August 20, 2012

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  • 233rd Day of 2012 /133 Remaining
  • 33 Days Until The First Day of Autumn
  • Sunrise:6:30
  • Sunset:7:56
  • 13 Hours 26 Minutes of Daylight
  • Moon Rise:9:53am
  • Moon Set:9:27pm
  • Moon’s Phase: 12 %
  • The Next Full Moon
  • August 31st @ 6:57am
  • Blue Moon

But it’s Blue in name only. That’s because a Blue Moon is sometimes defined as the second full moon in a calendar month. The first full moon was August 1. The second full moon is August 31, 2012. There are two more definitions for Blue Moon. It can be the third of four full moons in a single season. Or, someday, you might see an actual blue-colored moon.

  • Tides
  • High:1:42am/2:23pm
  • Low:7:37am/8:14pm
  • Rainfall (measured July 1 – June 30)
  • This Year:0.03
  • Last Year:0.11
  • Normal To Date:0.00
  • Annual Seasonal Average: 23.80
  • Holidays
  • 1st Day of School SFUSD
  • National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day
  • National Lemonade Day
  • National Stop and Smell Your Dog Day
  • International Homeless Animals Day
  • Constitution Day-Hungary
  • Restoration of Independence Day-Estonia
  • St. Stephen's Day-Hungary
  • The King & People's Revolution-Morocco
  • On This Day In …
  • 1863 --- New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley publishes a passionate editorial calling on President Abraham Lincoln to declare emancipation for all slaves in Union-held territory. Greeley's blistering words voiced the impatience of many Northern abolitionists; but unbeknownst to Greeley and the public, Lincoln was already moving in the direction of emancipation. In 1841, Greeley launched the Tribune, a newspaper to promote his reform ideas. He advocated temperance, westward expansion, and the labor movement, and opposed capital punishment and land monopoly. Greeley served a brief stint in the U.S. House of Representatives, and he introduced legislation that eventually became the Homestead Act of 1862. Greeley was most passionate in his opposition to slavery, and was an important organizer of the Republican Party in 1854. When the war erupted, Greeley, along with many abolitionists, argued vociferously for a war policy constructed on the eradication of slavery. President Lincoln did not outwardly share these sentiments. For the war's first year and a half, Lincoln was reluctant to alienate the border states of Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware, which practiced slavery but had not seceded. In his editorial, "The Prayer of Twenty Millions," Greeley focused on Lincoln's reluctance to enforce the Confiscation Acts of 1861 and 1862. Congress had approved the appropriation of Confederate property, including slaves, as a war measure, but many generals were reluctant to enforce the acts, as was the Lincoln administration. Greeley argued that it was "preposterous and futile" to try to put down the rebellion without destroying slavery. The "Union cause," he wrote, "has suffered from a mistaken deference to Rebel slavery." Although he did not admit it publicly at that time, Lincoln was planning to emancipate slaves. He did so a month later with his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.
  • 1866 --- It was formally declared by U.S. President Andrew Johnson that the American Civil War was over. The fighting had stopped months earlier.
  • 1866 --- The National Labor Union advocated an eight-hour workday. Industry, however, did not heed the request. Workers commonly worked 10 or 12 hour days -- or more.
  • 1882 --- Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" debuted in Moscow.
  • 1955 --- Bo Diddley made his first appearance at the Apollo Theater in New York City.
  • 1965 --- The Rolling Stones released "Satisfaction." It would become their first #1 song in the U.S.
  • 1967 --- The New York Times reported about a noise reduction system for album and tape recording developed by technicians R. and D.W. Dolby. Elektra Record's subsidiary, Checkmate Records became the first label to use the new Dolby process in its recordings.
  • 1968 --- In the face of rising anti-Soviet protests in Czechoslovakia, Soviet troops (backed by troops from other Warsaw Pact nations) intervene to crush the protest and restore order. The brutal Soviet action shocked the West and dealt a devastating blow to U.S.-Soviet relations. The troubles in Czechoslovakia began when Alexander Dubcek took over as secretary general of the nation's Communist Party in January 1968. It was immediately apparent that Dubcek wanted a major overhaul of Czechoslovakia's political and economic system—he called his particular ideology "Socialism with a human face." He called for greater political freedom, including more participation by noncommunist parties. Dubcek also pressed for economic policies that would ensure less state control and more reliance on free market economics. Finally, he insisted on greater freedom from Soviet domination, although he reiterated his nation's allegiance to the Warsaw Pact, the Soviet bloc's counterpart to NATO. Dubcek's policies shocked the Soviets and leaders in other Eastern European nations. Throughout early and mid-1968, negotiations took place between Dubcek and representatives from Russia and other Soviet bloc nations in an attempt to have the Czechoslovakian leader soften his reforms. Dubcek refused, and tensions with the Soviet Union steadily increased. Meanwhile, the sudden atmosphere of freedom that Dubcek was encouraging took root, and Czech citizens embraced and celebrated the new tolerance for free exchange of ideas and open discussion in what came to be known as the "Prague Spring." On the night of August 20, 1968, more than 200,000 Warsaw Pact troops crossed into Czechoslovakia and headed for the capital city of Prague. In just over a day, the entire country was occupied; within a week nearly three-quarters of a million foreign troops were in Czechoslovakia. Anti-Soviet riots broke out in Prague, but these were viciously crushed and thousands of Czechs fled the country.
  • 1969 --- Frank Zappa disbanded the Mothers of Invention right after an eight-day tour in Canada. Zappa said that he was "tired of playing for people who clap for all the wrong reasons."
  • 1975 --- Viking 1, an unmanned U.S. planetary probe, is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a mission to Mars. On June 19, 1976, the spacecraft entered into orbit around Mars and devoted the next month to imaging the Martian surface with the purpose of finding an appropriate landing site for its lander. On July 20--the seventh anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing--the Viking 1 lander separated from the orbiter and touched down on the Chryse Planitia region, becoming the first spacecraft to successfully land on the surface of Mars. The same day, the craft sent back the first close-up photographs of the rust-colored Martian surface. In September 1976, Viking 2--launched only three weeks after Viking 1--entered into orbit around Mars, where it assisted Viking 1 in imaging the surface and also sent down a lander. During the dual Viking missions, the two orbiters imaged the entire surface of Mars at a resolution of 150 to 300 meters, and the two landers sent back more than 1,400 images of the planet's surface.
  • 1977 --- The United States launched Voyager 2, an unmanned spacecraft carrying a 12-inch copper phonograph record containing greetings in dozens of languages, samples of music and sounds of nature.
  • 1985 --- The machine that revolutionized the world’s offices, the original Xerox 914 copier, took its place among the honored machines of other eras at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. The document copier had been formally introduced to the world in March of 1960. In just twenty-five years, the machine, invented by Chester Carlson, a patent lawyer, had become obsolete enough to make it into the museum. We’re sure some offices, somewhere, are still using the 914, thermal paper, liquid toner and all.
  • 1991 --- A rally of more that 100,000 people occurred outside the Russian parliament building to protest the coup that removed Gorbachev from power.
  • 1997 --- Alabama Governor Fob James joined the mayors of Montgomery and Georgina, AL, in the Alabama State Capitol to dedicate a 50-mile stretch of Interstate 65 to the memory of Hank Williams. The section of roadway was renamed the "Hank Williams Memorial Lost Highway."
  • 1998 --- The Supreme Court of Canada released its opinion on the Quebec Secession Reference. The Court “found there to be no basis, either under Canadian domestic law or under international law, on which the governmental institutions of Quebec could claim any legal right to secede from Canada unilaterally.”
  • Birthdays
  • Isaac Hayes
  • Benjamin Harrison (23rd President)
  • Robert Plant
  • Connie Chung
  • Joan Allen
  • Al Roker
  • Don King
  • Sen George Mitchell,
  • John Hiatt
  • Jack Teagarden
  • H.P. Lovecraft
  • Jacqueline Susann