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Wednesday November 27, 2013

  • 331st Day of 2013 / 34 Remaining
  • 24 Days Until The First Day of Winter

  • Sunrise:7:03
  • Sunset:4:51
  • 9 Hours 48 Minutes of Daylight

  • Moon Rise:1:16am
  • Moon Set:1:27pm
  • Moon’s Phase: 30 %

  • The Next Full Moon
  • December 17 @ 1:29amam
  • Full Cold Moon
  • Full Long Nights Moon

During this month the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. It is also sometimes called the Moon before Yule. The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long, and because the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun.

  • Tides
  • High:6:01am/6:23
  • Low:12:42pm

  • Holidays
  • National Bavarian Cream Pie Day

  • Flag Day-Sri Lanka
  • Hanukkah (begins at sundown)

  • On This Day In …
  • 1095 --- Pope Urban II makes perhaps the most influential speech of the Middle Ages, giving rise to the Crusades by calling all Christians in Europe to war against Muslims in order to reclaim the Holy Land, with a cry of "Deus vult!" or "God wills it!"

  • 1684 --- Japan's shogun Yoshimune Tokugawa was born.

  • 1779 --- The College of Pennsylvania became the University of Pennsylvania and the first legally recognized university in America.

  • 1786 --- Robert Burns decides not to emigrate to Jamaica, as he had planned, and heads for Edinburgh instead. Burns, the son of a poor farmer, received little formal schooling, though he was well-read. A restless, dissatisfied spirit, he fell in love with Jean Armour in the mid-1780s but refused to marry her when she became pregnant. (Later, the pair finally married and had nine children, the last one born on the day of Burns' funeral.) After spending the summer of 1786 escaping Armour's entreaties that they marry, Burns planned his emigration. His first poetry collection, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, had just been published and had started attracting favorable attention. Burns soon became the darling of elite Edinburgh intellectuals.

  • 1826 --- John Walker invented the friction match (strike anywhere).
  • 1889 --- Curtis P. Brady was issued the first permit to drive an automobile through Central Park in New York City. Mr. Brady had to pledge to New York’s finest that he would not frighten the horses in the park.

  • 1910 --- The largest railway station in the world opened to traffic. Pennsylvania Station, more fondly known as Penn Station, was one of the first grand buildings of the 20th century. The building covered 28 acres of mid-Manhattan. This cathedral-like structure of steel,
    glass and Italian marble saw hundreds of thousands of souls pass through its grandiose concourse, stand at ticket counters and step to the platforms to make the commute home, or board trains to points north, south and west of New York City.

  • 1911 --- Elizabeth Jaffray, a White House housekeeper, writes in her diary about a conversation she'd had with President William Howard Taft and his wife about the commander in chief's ever-expanding waistline. According to the White House Historical Association, Jaffray was also quoted regarding Taft's growing girth in a 1926 book
    called Secrets of the White House. In it, she detailed a typical breakfast consumed by the 332-pound president: "two oranges, a twelve-ounce beefsteak, several pieces of toast and butter and a vast quantity of coffee with cream and sugar." When she and Taft's wife, Nellie, commented on his eating habits, he jovially responded that he was planning to go on a diet, but lamented the fact that "things are in a sad state of affairs when a man can't even call his gizzard his own." Taft's 5' 11" frame carried anywhere between 270 pounds and 340 pounds over the course of his adult life. According to his biographers, he had to have his shoes tied by his valet and often got stuck in the White House bathtub and had to be lifted out by two or more men. Once, while visiting the czar of Russia, Taft split his pants seam while descending from a carriage. Taft's weight did not stop him from serving a full term as president, nor did it prevent him from accepting a subsequent appointment as chief justice of the Supreme Court in 1921—he was the first and only president to hold both offices.

  • 1924 --- The first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  It was originally called a Christmas Parade.
  • 1940 --- Two months after General Ion Antonescu seized power in Romania and forced King Carol II to abdicate, Antonescu's Iron Guard arrests and executes more than 60 aides of the exiled king, including Nicolae Iorga, a former minister and acclaimed historian.

  • 1942 --- French Admiral Jean de Laborde sinks the French fleet anchored in Toulon harbor, off the southern coast of France, in order to keep it out of German hands. In June 1940, after the German invasion of France and the establishment of an unoccupied zone in the southeast, led by Gen. Philippe Petain, Adm. Jean Darlan was committed to keeping the French fleet out of German control. At the same time, as a minister in the government that had signed an armistice with the Germans, one that promised a relative "autonomy" to Vichy France, Darlan was prohibited from sailing that fleet to British or neutral waters. But a German-commandeered fleet in southern France, so close to British-controlled regions in North Africa, could prove disastrous to the Brits, who decided to take matters into their own hands by launching Operation Catapult: the attempt by a British naval force to persuade the French naval commander at Oran to either break the armistice and sail the French fleet out of the Germans' grasp—or to scuttle it. And if the French wouldn't, the Brits would. And the British tried. In a five-minute missile bombardment, they managed to sink one French cruiser and two old battleships. They also killed 1,250 French sailors. This would be the genesis of much bad blood between France and England throughout the war. General Petain broke off diplomatic relations with Great Britain. But two years later, with the Germans now in Vichy and the armistice already violated, Admiral Laborde finished the job the British had started. As the Germans launched Operation Lila, the attempt to commandeer the French fleet, Laborde ordered the sinking of 2 battle cruisers, 4 heavy cruisers, 2 light cruisers, 1 aircraft transport, 30 destroyers, and 16 submarines. Three French subs managed to escape the Germans and make it to Algiers, Allied territory. Only one sub fell into German hands. The marine equivalent of a scorched-earth policy had succeeded.

  • 1954 --- After 44 months in prison, former government official Alger Hiss is released and proclaims once again that he is innocent of the charges that led to his incarceration. One of the most famous figures of the Cold War period, Hiss was convicted in 1950 of perjury for lying to a federal grand jury. Specifically, Hiss was judged to have lied about his complicity in passing secret government documents
    to Whittaker Chambers, who thereupon passed the papers along to agents of the Soviet Union. Upon his release, Hiss immediately declared that he wished to "reassert my complete innocence of the charges that were brought against me by Whittaker Chambers." He claimed that his conviction was the result of the "fear and hysteria of the times," and stated that he was going to "resume my efforts to dispel the deception that has been foisted on the American people." He was confident that such efforts would "vindicate my name."

  • 1963 --- U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress.

  • 1967 --- The Beatles released their Magical Mystery Tour album -- and the world began singing along to: Magical Mystery Tour, The Fool on the Hill, Flying, Blue Jay Way, Your Mother Should Know, I Am the Walrus, Hello Goodbye, Strawberry Fields Forever, Penny Lane, Baby You’re a Rich Man and All You Need is Love.
  • 1973 --- The Senate voted 92-3 to confirm Gerald R. Ford as vice president, succeeding Spiro T. Agnew, who'd resigned.

  • 1978 --- Former Board of Supervisors member Dan White murders Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk at City Hall in San Francisco, California. White, who stormed into San Francisco's government offices with a .38 revolver, had reportedly been angry
    about Moscone's decision not to reappoint him to the city board. Firing upon the mayor first, White then reloaded his pistol and turned his gun on his rival Milk, who was one of the nation's first openly gay politicians and a much-admired activist in San Francisco.

  • 1985 --- The British House of Commons approved the Anglo-Irish accord giving Dublin a consulting role in the governing of British-ruled Northern Ireland.

  • Birthdays
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Anders Celsius
  • Chaim Weizmann
  • Bill Nye
  • Kathryn Bigelow
  • Caroline Kennedy
  • Robin Givens
  • Jaleel White
  • James Agee
  • Benigno Aquino Jr
  • “Buffalo” Bob Smith
  • Bruce Lee