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Thursday January 31, 2013


  • 31st Day of 2013 / 334 Remaining
  • 48 Days Until The First Day of Spring

  • Sunrise:7:14
  • Sunset:5:33
  • 10 Hours 19 Minutes of Daylight

  • Moon Rise:10:33pm
  • Moon Set:9:23am
  • Moon’s Phase: 79 %

  • The Next Full Moon
  • February 25 @ 12:28pm
  • Full Snow Moon
  • Full Hunger Moon

Since the heaviest snow usually falls during this month, native tribes of the north and east most often called February’s full Moon the Full Snow Moon. Some tribes also referred to this Moon as the Full Hunger Moon, since harsh weather conditions in their areas made hunting very difficult.

  • Tides
  • High: 2:30am/2:21pm
  • Low: 8:17am/8:12pm

  • Rainfall (measured July 1 – June 30)
  • This Year:13.50
  • Last Year:6.03
  • Normal To Date:13.62
  • Annual Seasonal Average:23.80

  • Holidays
  • National Brandy Alexander Day
  • Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day
  • Inspire Your Heart with the Arts Day
  • Backwards Day

  • Independence Day-Nauru

  • On This Day In …
  • 1606 --- At Westminster in London, Guy Fawkes, a chief conspirator in the plot to blow up the British Parliament building, jumps to his death moments before his execution for treason. On the eve of a general parliamentary session scheduled for November 5, 1605, Sir Thomas Knyvet, a justice of the peace, found Guy Fawkes lurking in a cellar of the Parliament building. Fawkes was detained and the premises thoroughly searched. Nearly two tons of gunpowder were found hidden within the cellar. In his interrogation, Fawkes revealed that he was a participant in an English Catholic conspiracy organized by Robert Catesby to annihilate England's entire Protestant government, including King James I. The king was to have attended Parliament on November 5. Over the next few months, English authorities killed or captured all of the conspirators in the "Gunpowder Plot" but also arrested, tortured, or killed dozens of innocent English Catholics. After a brief trial, Guy Fawkes was sentenced, along with the other surviving chief conspirators, to be hanged, drawn, and quartered in London. On January 30, 1606, the gruesome public executions began in London, and on January 31 Fawkes was called to meet his fate. While climbing to the hanging platform, however, he jumped from the ladder and broke his neck, dying instantly.

  • 1865 --- The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. It was ratified by the necessary number of states on December 6, 1865. The amendment abolished slavery in the United States.

  • 1930 --- Scotch tape was developed by Richard Drew of the 3M Company.

  • 1936 --- The Green Hornet was introduced by its famous theme song, The Flight of the Bumble Bee. The radio show was first heard on WXYZ radio in Detroit, MI on this day. The show stayed on the air for 16 years. The Green Hornet originated from the same radio station where The Lone Ranger was performed. You may remember that the title character in The Green Hornet was really named Britt Reid. He was, in fact, supposed to be the great nephew of John Reid, the Lone Ranger. Both popular series were created by George Trendle and Fran Striker.

  • 1945 --- Pvt. Eddie Slovik becomes the first American soldier since the Civil War to be executed for desertion-and the only one who suffered such a fate during World War II. Pvt. Eddie Slovik was a draftee. Originally classified 4-F because of a prison record (grand theft auto), he was reclassified 1-A when draft standards were lowered to meet growing personnel needs. In January 1944, he was trained to be a rifleman, which was not to his liking, as he hated guns. In August of the same year, Slovik was shipped to France to fight with the 28th Infantry Division, which had already suffered massive casualties in France and Germany. Slovik was a replacement, a class of soldier not particular respected by officers. As he and a companion were on the way to the front lines, they became lost in the chaos of battle and stumbled upon a Canadian unit that took them in. Slovik stayed on with the Canadians until October 5, when they turned him and his buddy over to the American military police. They were reunited with the 28th Division, which had been moved to Elsenborn, Belgium. No charges were brought, as replacements getting lost early on in their tours of duty were not unusual. But exactly one day after Slovik returned to his unit, he claimed he was "too scared and too nervous" to be a rifleman, and threatened to run away if forced into combat. His confession was ignored-and Slovik took off. One day later he returned and signed a confession of desertion, claiming he would run away again if forced to fight, and submitted it to an officer of the 28th. The officer advised Slovik to take the confession back, as the consequences were serious. Slovik refused and was confined to the stockade. The 28th Division had many cases of soldiers wounding themselves or deserting in the hopes of a prison sentence that might protect them from the perils of combat. A legal officer of the 28th offered Slovik a deal: dive into combat immediately and avoid the court-martial. Slovik refused. He was tried on November 11 for desertion and was convicted in less than two hours. The nine-officer court-martial panel passed a unanimous sentence of execution, "to be shot to death with musketry." Slovik's appeal failed. It was held that he "directly challenged the authority" of the United States and that "future discipline depends upon a resolute reply to this challenge." Slovik had to pay for his recalcitrant attitude, and the military made an example of him. One last appeal was made-to Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander-but the timing was bad for mercy. The Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes forest was resulting in literally thousands of American casualties, not to mention the second largest surrender of an U.S. Army unit during the war. Eisenhower upheld the death sentence. Slovik was shot and killed by a 12-man firing squad in eastern France. None of the rifleman even flinched, firmly believing Slovik had gotten what he deserved.

  • 1949 --- The first TV daytime soap opera was broadcast from NBC's station in Chicago, IL. It was "These Are My Children."

  • 1950 --- U.S. President Harry S. Truman publicly announces his decision to support the development of the hydrogen bomb, a weapon theorized to be hundreds of times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan during World War II.

  • 1953 --- A sudden ‘surge’, or wall of water, caused by a fierce storm and high spring tide, burst through the dikes and over the banks of low-lying coastal areas of eastern England, northern Belgium and southern Netherlands. 1,800 drowned in Belgium and the Netherlands. Thousands lost their homes, hundreds of animals died and farmland was unusable for years to come. The North Sea’s saltwater had left its mark. Only the receding waters of low tide had prevented the River Thames from flooding central London and killing thousands more.

  • 1958 --- U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower received a telephone call shortly after 10:48 a.m. The call was on his direct line to Cape Canaveral, Florida. What the President heard was that the launch of the Explorer I satellite was successful. Explorer I was put into orbit around the earth by a Jupiter-C rocket. Radio signals from the transmitter aboard the 30.8 pound satellite were picked up in California within a few minutes after the launch. The first U.S. space satellite, Explorer I, orbited the earth every 114 minutes at a maximum height of 2,000 miles and a minimum altitude of 230 miles. Its purpose was to measure cosmic radiation found in space and send the data back to earth; a scientific experiment of James A. Van Allen. Van Allen was the scientist who discovered the radiation belts that bear his name (the Van Allen Belt). This event marked the beginning of discussions, debates and decisions that would lead to the formation of NASA and eventually to the creation of Saturn launch vehicles.

  • 1970 --- In New Orleans, LA, the Greatful Dead were busted for possession of LSD and barbituates. The event was alleged to be the inspiration for the song "Truckin."

  • 1971 --- Apollo 14, piloted by astronauts Alan B. Shepard Jr., Edgar D. Mitchell, and Stuart A. Roosa, is successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a manned mission to the moon. On February 5, after suffering some initial problems in docking the lunar and command modules, Shepard and Mitchell descended to the lunar surface on the third U.S. moon landing. Upon stepping out of the lunar module, Shepard, who in 1961, aboard Freedom 7, was the first American in space, became the fifth astronaut to walk on the moon. Shepard and Mitchell remained on the lunar surface for nearly 34 hours, conducting simple scientific experiments, such as hitting golf balls into space with Shepard's golf club, and collecting 96 pounds of lunar samples. On February 9, Apollo 14 safely returned to Earth.

  • 2006 --- Samuel Alito was confirmed by the Senate and sworn in as a Supreme Court justice.

  • Birthdays
  • Jackie Robinson
  • Carol Channing
  • Franz Schubert
  • Norman Mailer
  • Nolan Ryan
  • Ernie Banks
  • Philip Glass
  • Queen Beatrix / Nederlands
  • Rep Richard Gephart
  • Jassica Walter
  • Johnny Rotten
  • Minnie Driver
  • Zane Grey
  • Anna Pavlova
  • Eddie Cantor
  • Thomas Merton
  • Tallulah Bankhead
  • Jersey Joe Walcott
  • Mario Lanza
  • James Franciscus
  • Suzanne Pleshette
  • Phil Collins
  • Charlie Musselwhite