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Wednesday December 18, 2013

  • 352nd Day of 2013 / 13 Remaining
  • 3 Days Until The First Day of Winter

  • Sunrise:7:20
  • Sunset:4:53
  • 9 Hours 33 Minutes of Daylight

  • Moon Rise:6:28pm
  • Moon Set:8:05am
  • Moon’s Phase: 98 %

  • Full Moon
  • December 17 @ 1:29am
  • 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:12:05am/10:27am
  • Low:4:50am/5:32pm

  • Rainfall (measured July 1 – June 30)
  • This Year: 2.09
  • Last Year:9.36
  • Normal To Date:7.07
  • Annual Seasonal Average:23.80

  • Holidays
  • National Roast Suckling Pig Day
  • National Bake Cookies Day

  • International Migrants Day
  • Republic Day-Niger
  • Las Posadas-Mexico 12/16-24
  • Saturnalia – 12/17-23

  • On This Day In …
  • 1620 --- The British ship Mayflower docked at modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, and its passengers prepared to begin their new settlement, Plymouth Colony.
  • 1787 --- This is the day when New Jersey was counted as the third state to enter the United States of America. Where is old Jersey, you ask? Well, in 1664, when the British colonized the area, they named New Jersey after Jersey, one of the British Channel Islands. New Jersey’s many truck farms, orchards and flower gardens gave the state its nickname: The Garden State. Trenton, the capital of New Jersey, and once the capital of the new nation, was the locale of Washington’s famous Revolutionary war victory. He turned the tide when he led his forces across the Delaware River at Trenton. The New Jersey state flower is the purple violet, the state bird, the eastern goldfinch, and the state motto: "Liberty and Prosperity."

  • 1865 --- “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, save as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist in the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” With these words, slavery was abolished in the United States. On this day a proclamation by the U.S. Secretary of State announced the thirteenth amendment to the Constitution had been ratified by the legislatures of twenty-seven of the thirty-six states. Actual ratification was completed on December 6, but news travelled slowly in those days.

  • 1878 --- John Kehoe, the last of the Molly Maguires, is executed in Pennsylvania. The Molly Maguires, an Irish secret society that had allegedly been responsible for some incidences of vigilante justice in the coalfields of eastern Pennsylvania, defended their actions as attempts to protect exploited Irish-American workers. In fact, they are often regarded as one of the first organized labor groups. In the first five years of the Irish potato blight that began in 1845, 500,000 immigrants came to the United States from Ireland--nearly half of all immigrants to the U.S. during those years. The tough economic circumstances facing the immigrants led many Irish men to the anthracite (hard coal) fields in the mountains of eastern Pennsylvania. Miners worked under dangerous conditions and were severely underpaid. Small towns owned by the mining companies further exploited workers by charging rent for company housing. In response to these abuses, secret societies like the Molly Maguires sprung up, leading sporadic terrorist campaigns to settle worker/owner disputes.

  • 1892 --- Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker Suite" publicly premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia.

  • 1944 --- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the army’s removal of Japanese-Americans from the West Coast early in 1942 was constitutional at the time it was carried out, but that citizens must be permitted to return to their homes when their loyalty to U.S. was established. The tribunal acted in two cases. It upheld constitutionality of the removal program by a 6 to 3 decision, and was unanimous in holding that loyal citizens should be released. The ruling came one day after the war department announced that loyal citizens of Japanese ancestry would be permitted to return to their former homes after 33 months of enforced absence in relocation centers.

  • 1956 --- One of America’s great panel shows debuted on CBS-TV. Bud Collyer, bow tie and all, hosted To Tell the Truth. The program
    enjoyed a 10-year run and made even bigger stars of panelists: Phyllis Newman, Orson Bean, Kitty Carlisle (Hart), Sam Levinson, Tom Poston, Milt Kamen and Bess Myerson. The announcer: Johnny Olson. The show was a Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Production.

  • 1957 --- Shippingport Atomic Power Station, Pennsylvania was the first commercial central electric-generating station in the United States to use nuclear energy. It started producing juice this day,
    feeding electricity into the grid for the Pittsburgh area. On December 2, 1977, the first U.S. light water breeder reactor went to full power at Shippingport. (The power station was taken out of service October 1, 1982.)

  • 1958 --- The world's first communications satellite was launched by the United States aboard an Atlas rocket.

  • 1961 --- The song that topped the Billboard pop chart on December 18, 1961, was an instant classic that went on to become one of the most successful pop songs of all time, yet its true originator saw only a tiny fraction of the song's enormous profits. The story begins in Johannesburg, South Africa, where in 1938, a group of Zulu singers and dancers called Solomon Linda and the Evening Birds stepped into the first recording studio ever set up in sub-Saharan Africa and recorded a song called "Mbube"—Zulu for "the lion."  "Mbube" was a regional hit, and it helped make Solomon Linda into a South African star. But the story might have ended there had a copy of the record not made its way to New York City in the early 1950s, where it was saved from the slush pile at Decca Records by the legendary folklorist Alan Lomax. Without actually hearing any of the records in a box sent from Africa, Lomax thought a friend of his might be interested in the box's contents. That friend was the folksinger Pete Seeger. Unable to understand the lyrics of "Mbube," Seeger transcribed the central chant as "Wimoweh," and that became the name of the song as recorded by the Weavers and released in early 1952, just as the group was about to be blacklisted thanks to the McCarthy hearings. Eventually, Jay Siegel, the teenage lead singer of the Tokens, would hear and fall in love with "Wimoweh" through the Kingston Trio's cover version of the Weavers' song. The Tokens' label commissioned English-language lyrics for the song, which was re-titled "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" and went on to become not just a #1 song on this day in 1961, but one of the most-covered, most successful pop songs of all time.

  • 1965 --- 'Taste Of Honey' by Herb Alpert & Tijuana Brass is #1 on the charts.

  • 1968 --- The musical film "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" opens in New York City. The movie featured Dick Van Dyke, who had made a splash four years before in the Disney musical "Mary Poppins" and
    whose eponymous TV show had been a hit since 1961. Its real star, however, was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang herself: a magical flying car that always knew how to save the day.

  • 1979 --- The sound barrier was broken on land for the first time by Stanley Barrett when he drove at 739.6 mph.
  • 1987 --- Ivan F. Boesky was sentenced to three years in prison for plotting Wall Street's biggest insider-trading scandal.

  • 1997 --- A unique bridge-and-tunnel expressway across Tokyo Bay opened. The Trans-Tokyo Bay Motorway was named the Tokyo Bay Aqualine, a toll highway that spans the narrowest gap of Tokyo Bay. It opened to traffic this day, after 31 years of studies and construction at a total cost of 1.44 trillion yen (some $10.8 billion at the time). The 15-kilometer (9.3-mile) expressway, connecting
    Kisarazu City of Chiba Prefecture and Kawasaki City of Kanagawa Prefecture, makes it possible to make a round-trip of the bay by car. Of the total length, 4.4 kilometers (2.7 miles) from the Kisarazu side is a bridge and 9.5 kilometers (5.9 miles) from the Kawasaki side is an undersea tunnel, which is the world’s longest undersea tunnel, running 60 meters (197 feet) deep under the surface of the water.

  • 1999 --- After living atop an ancient redwood in Humboldt County, CA, for two years, environmental activist Julia "Butterfly" Hill came down, ending her anti-logging protest.

  • Birthdays
  • Jacques Pépin
  • Ty Cobb
  • Keith Richards
  • Brad Pitt
  • Ramsey Clark
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Leonard Maltin
  • Ray Liotta
  • Rachel Griffiths
  • DMX
  • Christina Aguilera
  • Paul Klee
  • Willy Brandt
  • Betty Grable
  • Ossie Davis
  • Chas Chandler
  • Arantxa Sanchez Vicario