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Almanac - Friday 2/16/18


Gung Hay Fat Choy - it's Chinese Lunar New Year!


Today is Friday, February 16, 2017 the 47th day of the year with 318 days remaining.

  • Sunrise: 6:58am  
  • Sunset: 5:50pm

...giving us 10 hours and 52 minutes of daylight.  0% of the moon will be visible, try as you might to see it, as it’s a New Moon, setting at 6:52pm 

Tides at the Golden Gate

  • High:  12:25am/11:33pm
  • Low: 5:29am/5:58pm

Special international celebrations today…

  • Independence Day (1918) - Lithuania
  • Kim Jong-il's Birthday - North Korea
  • Chinese Lunar New Year (Losar in Tibet)

It’s also…

  • Kyoto Protocol Day
  • National Almond Day
  • National Caregivers Day
  • Tartar Sauce Day
  • World Information Architecture Day
  • Do a Grouch a Favor Day

On this day in…


1741 - Benjamin Franklin published America’s second magazine, "The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle".

1804 - A raid was led by Lt. Stephen Decatur to burn the U.S. Navy frigate Philadelphia. The ship had been taken by pirates.

1857 - The National Deaf Mute College was incorporated in Washington, DC. It was the first school in the world for advanced education of the deaf. The school was later renamed Gallaudet College.

1862 - During the U.S. Civil War, about 14,000 Confederate soldiers surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Fort Donelson, TN.

1868 - The Jolly Corks organization, in New York City, changed it name to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE).

1883 - "Ladies Home Journal" began publication.

1914 - The first airplane flight between Los Angeles and San Francisco took place.

1918 - Lithuania proclaimed its independence.

1923 - Howard Carter unsealed the burial chamber of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen. The next day he entered the chamber with several invited guests. He had originally found the tomb on November 4, 1922.

1932 - The first fruit tree patent was issued to James E. Markham for a peach tree which ripens later than other varieties.

1937 - Wallace H. Carothers received a patent for nylon. Carothers was a research chemist for Du Pont.

1938 - The U.S. Federal Crop Insurance program was authorized.

1945 - During World War II, U.S. troops landed on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines.

1946 - The first commercially designed helicopter was tested in Connecticut.

1858 - The first ironing board was patented by William Vandenburg and James Harvey.

1959 - Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba after the overthrow of President Fulgencio Batista.

1960 - The U.S.S. Triton began the first circumnavigation of the globe under water. The trip ended on May 10.

1962 - Jimmy Bostwick defeated his brother, Pete, to win the U.S. Open Court-Tennis championships for the third time.

1968 - In the U.S., the first 911 emergency telephone system was inaugurated in Haleyville, AL.

1970 - Joe Frazier began his reign as the undefeated heavyweight world champion when he knocked out Jimmy Ellis in five rounds. He lost the title on January 22, 1973, when he lost for the first time in his professional career to George Foreman.

1972 - Wilt Chamberlain (Los Angeles Lakers) reached the 30,000-point mark in his NBA career during a game against the Phoenix Suns.

1977 - The Anglican archbishop of Uganda, Janani Luwum, was killed in automobile accident. Two other men were also killed.

1987 - John Demjanjuk went on trial in Jerusalem. He was accused of being "Ivan the Terrible", a guard at the Treblinka concentration camp. He was convicted, but the Israeli Supreme Court overturned the ruling.

1989 - Investigators in Lockerbie, Scotland, announced that a bomb hidden inside a radio-cassette player was the reason that Pan Am Flight 103 was brought down the previous December. All 259 people aboard and 11 on the ground were killed.

1999 - A bomb exploded at the government headquarters in Uzbekistan. Gunfire followed the incident. The event apparently was an attempt on the life of President Islam Karimov.

1999 - Kurds seized embassies and held hostages across Europe following Turkey's arrest of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan.

1999 - Testimony began in the Jasper, TX, trial of John William King. He was charged with murder in the gruesome dragging death of James Byrd Jr. King was later convicted and sentenced to death.

2002 - The operator of a crematory in Noble, GA, was arrested after dozens of corpses were found stacked in storage sheds and scattered around in the surrounding woods.

2005 - The Kyoto global warming pact went into effect in 140 nations.

2005 - The NHL announced the cancellation of the 2004-2005 season due to a labor dispute. It was the first time a major sports league in North America lost an entire season to a labor dispute.

Today’s birthday celebrants include (or included)...

  • Henry Adams 1838
  • Robert Flaherty 1884
  • Van Wyck Brooks 1886
  • Katharine Cornell 1898
  • Chester Morris 1901
  • Wayne King (The Waltz King) 1901
  • Edgar Bergen 1903
  • Hugh Beaumont 1909
  • Jimmy Wakely 1914
  • Bill Doggett 1916
  • Patty Marie Andrews 1918 - Singer (The Andrews Sisters)
  • Jean Behra 1921
  • Otis Blackwell 1932
  • Sonny Bono 1935
  • Barry Primus 1938
  • Herbie & Harold Kalin (The Kalin Twins) 1939
  • Jeremy Bulloch 1946 - Actor
  • William Katt 1951 - Actor
  • Margaux Hemingway 1955
  • James Ingram 1956 - Singer
  • LeVar Burton 1957 - Actor
  • Ice-T 1958 - Rapper
  • Lisa Loring 1958 - Actress
  • John McEnroe 1959 - Tennis player
  • Andy Taylor 1961 - Musician (Duran Duran)
  • Sam Salter 1978 - Singer


David Latulippe is host of On the Arts, KALW's weekly radio magazine of the performing arts, as well as for Explorations in Music, and the Berkeley Symphony broadcasts. He has also hosted and produced the radio series From the Conservatory, Music from Mills, and Music at Menlo, and is principal guest host for Revolutions Per Minute.