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Almanac - Friday 12/14/18


Happy Birthday Spike Jones (1911-65) - we could use a laugh right about now!

Today is Friday, December 14, 2018, the 348th day of the year with 17 days remaining.  7 days until winter solstice.  

  • Sunrise: 7:18am     
  • Sunset: 4:52pm

​...giving us 9 hours and 35 minutes of daylight.  34% of the waxing moon now visible, rising at 12:19pm.

Tides at the Golden Gate       

  • High: 5:14am/3:59pm           
  • Low: 11:00am/10:31pm

Special celebrations & commemorations today…

  • National Salesperson Day
  • Official Lost & Found Day
  • National Bouillabaisse Day
  • Christmas Jumper Day (in the UK, “Ugly Christmas Sweater Day” is next Friday here in the US)
  • Monkey Day
  • Yoga Day

On this day in…

1799 - The first president of the United States, George Washington, died at the age 67.

1819 - Alabama joined the Union as the 22nd state.

1896 - Gen. James H. Doolittle, who led the first air raid on Japan during World War II, was born.

1900 - Professor Max Planck of Berlin University revealed his revolutionary Quantum Theory.

1903 - Orville Wright made the first attempt at powered flight. The engine stalled during take-off and the plane was damaged in the attempt. Three days later, after repairs were made, the modern aviation age was born when the plane stayed aloft for 12 seconds and flew 102 feet.

1911 - Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole. He reached the destination 35 days ahead of Captain Robert F. Scott.

1918 - For the first time in Britain women (over 30) voted in a General Election.

1939 - The Soviet Union was dropped from the League of Nations.

1945 - Josef Kramer, known as "the beast of Belsen," and 10 others were executed in Hamelin for the crimes they committed at the Belsen and Auschwitz Nazi concentration camps.

1946 - The U.N. General Assembly voted to establish the United Nation's headquarters in New York City.

1959 - Archbishop Makarios was elected Cyprus' first president.

1962 - The U.S. space probe Mariner II approached Venus. It transmitted information about the planet's atmosphere and surface temperature.

1981 - Israel annexed the Golan Heights, seized from Syria in war in 1967.

1985 - Wilma Mankiller became the first woman to lead a major American Indian tribe as she formally took office as principal chief of the Cherokee Nation of OKlahoma.

1986 - The experimental aircraft Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, took off from California on the first non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world. The trip took nine days to complete.

1988 - The first transatlantic underwater fiber-optic cable went into service.

1993 - A judge in Colorado struck down the state's voter-approved Amendment Two prohibiting gay rights laws, calling it unconstitutional.

1995 - AIDS patient Jeff Getty received the first-ever bone-marrow transplant from a baboon.

1997 - Iran's newest president, Mohammad Khatami, called for a dialogue with the people of the United States. The preceding Iranian leaders had reviled the U.S. as "The Great Satan."

1997 - Cuban President Fidel Castro declared Christmas 1997 an official holiday to ensure the success of Pope John Paul II's upcoming visit to Cuba.

1998 - Hundreds of Palestinian leaders renounced a call for the destruction of Israel.

1999 - U.S. and German negotiators agreed to establish a $5.2 billion fund for Nazi-era slave and forced laborers.

1999 - Charles M. Schulz announced he was retiring the "Peanuts" comic strip. The last original "Peanuts" comic strip was published on February 13, 2000.

2001 - European Union leaders agreed to dispatch 3,000-4,000 troops to join an international peacekeeping force in Afghanistan.

2001 - The first commercial export, since 1963, of U.S. food to Cuba began. The 24,000 metric tons for corn were being sent to replenish what was lost when Hurricane Michelle struck on November 4.

2013 - The Chinese spacecraft Chang'e 3 became the first spacecraft to "soft"-land on the Moon since 1976. It was only the third robotic rover to land on the moon.

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

  • Nostradamus 1503 - Physician, astrologer and clairvoyant
  • Tycho Brahe 1546 - Scientist
  • Roger Fry 1866 - Artist, art critic
  • Marie-Alphonse-Nicolas-Joseph Jongen 1873 (composer)
  • George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George) 1895 - King of the United Kingdom from 1936-1952
  • James Doolittle 1896 - Aviator, World War II hero
  • Margaret Chase Smith 1897 - Politician, first woman to serve in both houses of the United States Congress
  • Morey Amsterdam 1908 - Actor
  • Spike (Lindley Armstrong) Jones 1911 - Singer
  • Dan Dailey 1913 - Dancer, actor
  • Shirley Jackson 1916 - Author ("The Lottery")
  • Clark Terry 1920 - Jazz musician
  • Don Hewitt 1922 - Executive producer of "60 Minutes">
  • Abbe Lane 1932 - Singer, actress
  • George Furth 1932 - Actor,playwright
  • Charlie Rich 1932 - Singer, musician
  • Lee Remick 1935 - Actress
  • Hal Williams 1938 - Actor
  • Frank St. Marseille 1939 - Hockey player
  • James Sutorius 1944 - Actor
  • Jane Birkin 1946 - Actress, singer
  • Stanley Roger "Stan" Smith 1946 - Tennis player
  • Patty Duke 1946 - Actress
  • Michael Ovitz 1946 - Walt Disney Co. president
  • Jackie McAuley 1946 - Musician (Them)
  • Joyce Vincent-Wilson 1946 - Singer (Tony Orlando, Dawn)
  • Dee Wallace-Stone 1948 - Actress
  • Bill Buckner 1949 - Baseball player
  • Cliff Williams 1949 - Singer, bass player (AC/DC)
  • Tamara Danz 1952 - Singer (Silly)
  • Mike Scott 1958 - Singer, musician (The Waterboys)
  • Peter "Spider" Stacy 1958 - Singer, musician (The Pogues)
  • Cynthia Gibb 1963 - Actress
  • Brian Dalyrimple (Soul for Real) 1975 - Singer
  • Bridget Hall 1977 - Model
  • Vanessa Hudgens 1988 - Singer ("High School Musical")
  • Vitoria "Tori" Kelly 1992 - 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.