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Wednesday February 18, 2015

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  • 49th Day of 2015 316 Remaining
  • Spring Begins in 30 Days
  • Sunrise:6:54
  • Sunset:5:52
  • 10 Hours 58 Minutes
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  • Moon Rise:6:29am
  • Moon Set:5:58pm
  • Phase: New Moon
  • 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.
  • Tides
  • High:9:48am/11:03pm
  • Low:3:44am/.4:24pm
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  • Rainfall:
  • This Year to Date:17.01
  • Last Year:5.88
  • Avg YTD:16.55
  • Annual Avg:23.80
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  • Holidays
  • Drink Wine Day
  • National Battery Day
  • Eat Ice Cream For Breakfast Day
  • National Crab Stuffed Flounder Day
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  • Independence Day-Gambia
  • Ash Wednesday-Catholicism
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  • On This Day
  • 1735 --- The first opera performed in America. The work was "Flora" (or "Hob in the Well") was presented in Charleston, SC. 
  • 1856 --- The American Party, also known as the "Know-Nothing Party," convenes in Philadelphia to nominate its first presidential candidate. The Know-Nothing movement began in the 1840s, when an increasing rate of immigration led to the formation of a number of so-called nativist societies to combat "foreign" influences in American society. Roman Catholic immigrants from Ireland and Italy, who were embraced by the Democratic Party in eastern cities, were especially targeted. In the early 1850s, several secret nativist societies were formed, of which the "Order of the
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       Star-Spangled Banner" and the "Order of United Americans" were the most significant. When members of these organizations were questioned by the press about their political platform, they would often reply they knew nothing, hence the popular name for the Know-Nothing movement.
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  • 1885 --- Mark Twain publishes his famous--and famously controversial--novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Twain (the pen name of Samuel Clemens) first introduced Huck Finn as the best friend of Tom Sawyer, hero of his tremendously successful novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876). Though Twain saw Huck's story as a kind of sequel to his earlier book, the new novel was far more serious, focusing on the institution of slavery and other aspects of life in the antebellum South. At the book's heart is the journey of Huck and his friend Jim, a runaway slave, down the Mississippi River on a raft. Jim runs away because he is about to be sold and separated from his wife and children, and Huck goes with him to help him get to Ohio and freedom. Huck narrates the story in his distinctive voice, offering colorful descriptions of the people and places they encounter along the way. The most striking part of the book is its satirical look at racism, religion and other social attitudes of the time. While Jim is strong, brave, generous and wise, many of the white characters are portrayed as violent, stupid or simply selfish, and the naive Huck ends up questioning the hypocritical, unjust nature of society in general.
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  • 1913 --- The famous French painting "Nude Descending a Staircase", by the French artist, Marcel Duchamp, was displayed at an "Armory Show" in New York City. 
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  • 1929 --- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces the winners of the first Academy Awards. It was a far cry from the suspense, glamour and endless press coverage surrounding the Oscars today: The first award recipients’ names were printed on the back page of the academy’s newsletter. A few days later, Variety published the information--on page seven. The first awards went to movies produced in 1927 and 1928. Though the announcements were made in February 1929, the actual awards weren’t given out until May 16, 1929, in a ceremony and banquet held in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Some 270 people attended the dinner, many paying $5 each for a ticket. The first Academy Award winners received gold statuettes designed by art director Cedric Gibbons and sculpted by George Stanley. The Academy’s first president, the silent film actor Douglas Fairbanks, handed out the statuettes to the winners, who included Janet Gaynor for Best Actress (for three different films: Seventh Heaven, Street Angel and Sunrise) and the German-born Emil Jannings (The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh) for Best Actor. Frank Borzage and Lewis Milestone both won Best Director awards, for Seventh Heaven and Two Arabian Knights, respectively. Best Picture honors went to Wings, the World War I drama directed by William Wellman.
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  • 1930 --- At the St. Louis International Air Exposition, a Guernsey cow named 'Elm Farm Ollie' became the first cow to fly in an airplane, and the first cow to be milked while flying.
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  • 1930 --- Pluto, once believed to be the ninth planet, is discovered at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, by astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh. The existence of an unknown ninth planet was first proposed by Percival Lowell, who theorized that wobbles in the orbits of Uranus and Neptune were caused by the gravitational pull of an unknown planetary body. Lowell calculated the approximate location of the hypothesized ninth planet and searched for more than a decade without success. However, in 1929, using the calculations of Powell and W.H. Pickering as a guide, the search for Pluto was resumed at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona. On February 18, 1930, Tombaugh discovered the tiny, distant planet by use of a new astronomic technique of photographic plates combined with a blink microscope. His finding was confirmed by several other astronomers, and on March 13, 1930--the anniversary of Lowell's birth and of William Hershel's discovery of Uranus--the discovery of Pluto was publicly announced.
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  • 1932 --- Sonja Henie won her 6th world women’s figure skating title in Montreal, Canada. 
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  • 1937 --- 'Black Blizzard' dust storms peril crops and health in Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico.
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  • 1953 --- Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz signed a contract worth $8,000,000 to continue the "I Love Lucy" TV show through 1955. 
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  • 1953 --- "Bwana Devil," the movie that heralded the 3-D fad of the 1950s, opened in New York City.
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  • 1959 --- The phone call that Ray Charles placed to Atlantic Records in early 1959 went something like this: "I'm playing a song out here on the road, and I don't know what it is—it's just a song I made up, but the people are just going wild every time we play it, and I think we ought to record it." The song Ray Charles was referring to was "What'd I Say," which went on to become one of the greatest rhythm-and-blues records ever made. Composed spontaneously out of sheer showbiz necessity, "What'd I Say" was laid down, at the Atlantic Records studios in New York City. The necessity that drove Ray Charles to invent "What'd I Say" was simple: the need to fill time. Ten or 12 minutes before the end of a contractually required four-hour performance at a dance in Pittsburgh one night, Charles and his band ran completely out of songs to play. "So I began noodling—just a little riff that floated into my head," Charles explained many years later. "One thing led to another and I found myself singing and wanting the girls to repeat after me....Then I could feel the whole room bouncing and shaking and carrying on something fierce."
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  • 1960 --- The eighth Winter Olympic Games opened in Squaw Valley, Calif.
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  • 1973 --- The 'King Biscuit Flower Hour' rock concert radio show debuted. 
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  • 1979 --- Richard Petty comes from behind to win the 21st annual Daytona 500, after leaders Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough crash into a wall during the final lap of the race. Allison and 
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    Yarborough then began fighting on the infield, an altercation broadcast on live television. The race helped popularize NASCAR racing at a national level.
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    2001 --- Veteran FBI agent Robert Hanssen was arrested, accused of spying for Russia for more than 15 years. (Hanssen pleaded guilty and is serving life in prison without parole.)
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  • 2003 --- A man ignites a gasoline-filled container inside a subway train in Daegu, South Korea. The blaze engulfed the six-car train, before spreading to another train that pulled into station a few minutes later.
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  • 2005 --- A ban on Fox Hunting with dogs became effective in England and Wales.
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  • 2006 --- American Shani Davis won the men's 1,000-meter speed skating in Turin. He was the first black athlete to win an individual gold medal in Winter Olympic history. 
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  • Birthdays
  • Louis Comfort Tiffany
  • John Travolta
  • Yoko Ono
  • Toni Morrison
  • George Kennedy
  • John Hughes
  • Molly Ringwald
  • Irma Thomas
  • Milos Forman
  • Sinead Cusack
  • Juice Newton
  • Vanna White
  • Greta Scacchi
  • Dr Dre
  • Max Klinger
  • Wendell Wilkie
  • George Gipp
  • Enzo Ferrari
  • Mary Tudor “Bloody Mary”
  • Sholem Aleichem
  • Andres Segovia
  • Jack Palance
  • Gahan Wilson