© 2023 KALW 91.7 FM Bay Area
KALW Public Media / 91.7 FM Bay Area
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Almanac - Wednesday 12/19/18


Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" was first published on this day in 1883.

Today is Wednesday, December 19, 2018, the 353rd day of the year with 12 days remaining.  2 days until winter solstice.    

  • Sunrise: 7:21am      
  • Sunset: 4:54pm ...giving us 9 hours and 33 minutes of daylight.  
  • 81% of the waxing moon now visible, rising at 2:53pm.

Tides at the Golden Gate        

  • High: 8:22am/9:58pm              
  • Low: 1:51am/3:07pm

Special celebrations & commemorations today…

  • Separation Day - Anguilla
  • St. Nicholas Day - Ukraine (Orthodox)
  • Las Posadas - Mexico
  • Sveti Nikola - Serbia
  • Oatmeal Muffin Day
  • National Hard Candy Day
  • Underdog Day

On this day in…

1154 - Henry II became King of England.


1562 - The Battle of Dreux was fought between the Huguenots and the Catholics, beginning the French Wars of Religion.

1732 - Benjamin Franklin began publishing "Poor Richard's Almanac."

1776 - Thomas Paine published his first "American Crisis" essay.

1777 - General George Washington led his army of about 11,000 men to Valley Forge, PA, to camp for the winter.

1842 - Hawaii's independence was recognized by the U.S.

1843 - Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" was first published in England.

1871 - Corrugated paper was patented by Albert L. Jones.

1903 - The Williamsburg Bridge opened in New York City. It opened as the largest suspension bridge on Earth and remained the largest until 1924. It was also the first major suspension bridge to use steel towers to support the main cable.

1917 - The first games of the new National Hockey League (NHL) were played. Five teams made up the league: Toronto Arenas, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Bulldogs, the Montreal Canadiens and the Montreal Wanderers.

1918 - Robert Ripley began his "Believe It or Not" column in "The New York Globe".

1932 - The British Broadcasting Corp. began transmitting overseas with its "Empire Service" to Australia.

1957 - Meredith Wilson’s "The Music Man" opened at the Majestic Theatre in New York City. It ran for 1,375 shows.

1957 - Air service between London and Moscow was inaugurated.

1959 - Penn State’s Nittany Lions beat Alabama, 7-0, in the first Liberty Bowl football game.

1959 - Walter Williams died in Houston, TX, at the age of 117. He was said to be the last surviving veteran of the U.S. Civil War.

1972 - Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific, ending the Apollo program of manned lunar landings.

1978 - Indira Gandhi was expelled from the Lok Sabha for contempt and imprisoned.

1984 - Ted Hughes was appointed England's poet laureate.

1984 - Britain and China signed an accord returning Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty on July 1, 1997.

1985 - ABC Sports announced that it was severing ties with Howard Cosell and released ‘The Mouth’ from all TV commitments. Cosell continued on ABC Radio for another five years.

1986 - The Soviet Union announced it had freed dissident Andrei Sakharov from internal exile, and pardoned his wife, Yelena Bonner.

1986 - Independent counsel Lawrence Walsh was appointed to investigate the Iran-Contra issue.

1989 - U.S. troops invaded Panama to overthrow the regime of General Noriega.

1990 - Bo Jackson (Los Angeles Raiders) became the first athlete to be chosen for All Star Games in two sports.

1996 - The school board of Oakland, CA, voted to recognize Black English, also known as "ebonics." The board later reversed its stance.

1998 - U.S. President Bill Clinton was impeached on two charges of perjury and obstruction of justice by the U.S. House of Representatives.

1998 - A four-day bombing of Iraq by British and American forces ended.

2000 - The U.N. Security Council voted to impose sanctions on Afghanistan's Taliban rulers unless they closed all terrorist training camps and surrender U.S. embassy bombing suspect Osama bin Laden.

2003 - Images for the new design for the Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center site were released. The building slopes into a spire that reaches 1,776 feet.

2008 - U.S. President George W. Bush signed a $17.4 billion rescue package of loans for ailing auto makers General Motors and Chrysler.

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

  • William Parry 1790
  • Winnie Fiske 1865
  • Fritz Reiner 1888
  • Ralph Richardson 1902
  • Leonid Brezhnev 1906
  • Jean Genet 1910
  • Edith Piaf 1915
  • David Susskind 1920
  • Cicely Tyson 1933
  • Phil Ochs 1940
  • Maurice White (Earth, Wind & Fire) 1941
  • Tim Reid 1944
  • Alvin Lee 1944
  • Charlie Ryan 1944
  • Richard Leakey 1944
  • Zal Yanovsky (Lovin' Spoonful) 1944
  • John McEuen (The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Ten Years After) 1945
  • Stan Smith 1946
  • Robert Urich 1946
  • Janie Fricke 1952
  • Billy Brigg 1957
  • Kevin McHale 1957
  • Mike Lookinland 1960
  • Jake Gyllenhall 1980


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.