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Friday February 13, 2015

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  • 44th Day of 2015 321 Remaining
  • Spring Begins in 35 Days
  • Sunrise:7:00
  • Sunset:5:47
  • 10 Hours 47 Minutes
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  • Moon Rise:2:08am
  • Moon Set:12:35pm
  • Phase: 33%
  • Full Moon March 5 @ 10:06am
  • As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, heralding the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the Full Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night. The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation. To the settlers, it was also known as the Lenten Moon, and was considered to be the last full Moon of winter.
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  • Tides
  • High:5:12am/7:28pm
  • Low:12:27pm
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  • Rainfall:
  • This Year to Date:17.01
  • Last Year:5.84
  • Avg YTD:15.75
  • Annual Avg:23.80
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  • Holidays
  • Friday the 13th
  • Employee Legal Awareness Day
  • Get A Different Name Day
  • Madly In Love With Me Day
  • National Tortellini Day
  • Blame Someone Else Day
  • Radio Day
  • On This Day
  • 1633 --- Italian philosopher, astronomer and mathematician Galileo Galilei arrives in Rome to face charges of heresy for advocating Copernican theory, which holds that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Galileo officially faced the Roman Inquisition in April of that same year and agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence. Put under house arrest indefinitely by Pope Urban VIII, Galileo spent the rest of his days at his villa in Arcetri, near Florence.
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  • 1635 --- The Boston Public Latin School, the first public school in what is now the United States, was founded.
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  • 1689 --- Following Britain's bloodless Glorious Revolution, Mary, the daughter of the deposed king, and William of Orange, her husband, are proclaimed joint sovereigns of Great Britain under Britain's new Bill of Rights. William, a Dutch prince, married Mary, the daughter of the future King James II, in 1677. After James' succession to the English throne in 1685, the Protestant William kept in close contact with the opposition to the Catholic king. After the birth of an heir to James in 1688, seven high-ranking members of Parliament invited William and Mary to England. William landed at Torbay in Devonshire with an army of 15,000 men and advanced to London, meeting no opposition from James' army, which had deserted the king. James himself was allowed to escape to France, and in February 1689 Parliament offered the crown jointly to William and Mary, provided they accept the Bill of Rights.
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  • 1822 --- Jeremiah Bailey of Chester County, Pennsylvania patented the first practical mower or grass cutting machine. The two wheeled mower was horse-drawn and could mow ten acres a day
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  • 1826 --- The American Temperance Society was established in Boston, Massachusetts, advocating total abstinence from distilled beverages.
  • 1914 --- The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers was founded in New York City.
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  • 1920 --- The League of Nations, the international organization formed at the peace conference at Versailles in the wake of World War I, recognizes the perpetual neutrality of Switzerland on this day in 1920. Switzerland was a loose confederation of German-, French-, and Italian-speaking communities until 1878, when the French, under Napoleon Bonaparte, unified the country as the Helvetic Republic and imposed a constitution, which was enforced by French occupation troops. Bitterly resented by the Swiss people, the French occupation ended in 1803, when Napoleon agreed to a new Swiss-approved constitution and withdrew his troops. The Congress of Vienna in 1815, which would determine Europe's borders until the outbreak of World War I nearly a century later, recognized the perpetual neutrality of Switzerland. The Swiss considered preserving this neutrality essential to Switzerland's economic and political development. A new constitution, adopted in 1848, reinforced the neutrality principle by outlawing Swiss service in foreign armies or the acceptance of pensions from foreign governments. Neither the unification of Italy in 1861 nor the birth of the German empire in 1871 shook the loyalty of the nation's Italian or German population to Switzerland. With industrialization, fueled largely by hydroelectric power, and the construction of an efficient railroad network, Switzerland's economy continued to grow, spawning a thriving tourism industry by the end of the 19th century. Though Switzerland maintained its neutrality during World War I, with German, French and Italian Swiss standing firm to preserve their country's solidarity, a costly military mobilization to protect the Swiss borders diverted most of the working population to war-related work and brought economic hardship. After the war ended, membership in the League of Nations—the international organization established at the Versailles peace conference—was narrowly approved by Swiss voters after a federal council opposed it. In February 1920, the League voted to recognize the perpetual neutrality of Switzerland. The League also established its headquarters in the Swiss city of Geneva, a tribute to the country's neutrality as well as its relative economic and political stability, which has continued to the present day.
  • 1935 --- In Flemington, New Jersey, a jury found Bruno Richard Hauptmann guilty of the kidnapping and death of the infant son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh. Hauptmann was later executed for the crimes. 
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  • 1937 --- The comic strip "Prince Valiant" appeared for the first time.
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  • 1940 --- Earl 'Fatha' Hines and his orchestra recorded the classic "Boogie Woogie on St. Louis Blues". 
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  • 1945 --- The most controversial episode in the Allied air war against Germany begins as hundreds of British bombers loaded with incendiaries and high-explosive bombs descend on Dresden, a historic city located in eastern Germany. Dresden was neither a war production city nor a major industrial center, and before the massive air raid of February 1945 it had not suffered a major Allied attack. By February 15, the city was a smoldering ruin and an unknown number of civilians--somewhere between 35,000 and 135,000--were dead.
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  • 1968 --- As an emergency measure in response to the 1968 communist Tet Offensive, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara approves the deployment of 10,500 troops to cope with threats of a second offensive. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, who had argued against dispatching any reinforcements at the time because it would seriously deplete the strategic reserve, immediately sent McNamara a memorandum asking that 46,300 reservists and former servicemen be activated. Not wanting to test public opinion on what would no doubt be a controversial move, Johnson consigned the issue of the reservists to "study." Ultimately, he decided against a large-scale activation of the reserve forces.
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  • 1984 --- Following the death of Yuri Andropov four days earlier, Konstantin Chernenko takes over as the general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party, the ruling position in the Soviet Union. Chernenko was the last of the Russian communist "hard-liners" prior to the ascension to power of the reform-minded Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985.
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  • 1991 --- Sotheby's announced the discovery of a long-lost manuscript of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. The manuscript was the first half of Twain's original version, heavily corrected in his own handwriting, which had been missing for more than a century. The manuscript surfaced when a 62-year-old Los Angeles librarian finally got around to sorting through some old papers in six trunks sent to her when an aunt from upstate New York died. Twain, it turned out, had sent the second half of the manuscript to the librarian's grandfather, James Gluck, who had solicited it for the Buffalo and Erie Library in Buffalo, New York, where Twain had once lived. At the time, Twain was unable to find the entire manuscript, and it was presumed lost for more than 100 years. However, it turned out that Twain did eventually find the manuscript and send it to Gluck. A custody war over the manuscript ensued, with the sisters, the library, and the Mark Twain Papers Projects in Berkeley, California, squabbling over rights to the papers. Ultimately, the three parties struck a deal: The library would hold the rights to the physical papers, but all three parties would share in the publication rights. Because the novel contained previously unpublished material, and showed Twain's edits, interest in publishing the manuscript was high, and in 1995 Random House won the rights to publish the book for an undisclosed price.
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  • 1998 --- Austrian ski racer Hermann Maier makes one of the most dramatic crashes in skiing history when he catapults 30 feet in the air, lands on his helmet and rams through two safety fences at an estimated 80 miles per hour on February 13, 1998. Amazingly, Maier suffered just minor injuries and walked away from the crash. Several days later, he won gold medals in the giant slalom and super-G events.
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  • 2008 --- Seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens denied having taken performance-enhancing drugs in testimony before Congress.
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  • 1997 --- Astronauts on the space shuttle Discovery brought the Hubble Space Telescope aboard for a tune up. The tune up allowed the telescope to see further into the universe. 
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  • 2000 --- Charles M. Schulz's last original Sunday "Peanuts" comic strip appeared in newspapers. Schulz had died the day before.
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  • Birthdays
  • Mena Suvari
  • Chuck Yeager
  • Kim Novak
  • Stockard Channing
  • Peter Gabriel
  • George Segal
  • Dorothy McGuire
  • Peter Tork
  • William Shockley
  • Henry Rollins’
  • Grant Wood
  • Bess Truman
  • Patty Berg
  • Tennessee Ernie Ford
  • Oliver Reed
  • Carol Lynley