Daily Bread for 5.7.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Saturday in town will be partly sunny with a high of sixty-six. Sunrise is 5:39 AM and sunset 8:03 PM, for 14 hours 24 minutes of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 1% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1945, war in Europe ends with Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender.

In London, V-E celebrations swept the city:

On this day in 1864, soldiers from Wisconsin are among others who saw an end to intense fighting at the Battle of the Wilderness:

1864 – (Civil War) Battle of the Wilderness Ended
he fighting on May 5-7, 1864, produced nearly 30,000 casualties without giving either side a clear victory. The 2nd, 5th, 6th and 7th Wisconsin Infantry regiments fought at the Battle of the Wilderness.

Daily Bread for 5.6.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Friday in town will be partly sunny and warm, with a high of eighty-one. Sunrise is 5:40 AM and sunset 8:02 PM, for 14h 21m 42s of daytime. We’ve a new moon, with just .2% of its visible disk illuminated.

It’s Orson Welles’s birthday:

1915 – Actor and Filmmaker Orson Welles Born
On this date George Orson Welles was born in Kenosha. The name George was soon dropped. The family moved to Chicago in 1919, and two years later, Welles’ parents separated. After his mother’s death in 1924, he travelled the world with his father, only to lose him in 1928.

Welles turned down the chance at college in 1931, choosing instead to go on a sketching trip to Ireland. In 1934, Welles made his New York debut, playing Tybalt in Katherine Cornell’s staging of Romeo and Juliet. In the mid 1930s, he established himself as a radio actor on The March of Time and The Shadow, among other shows. He began working with John Houseman and together they formed the Mercury Theatre in 1937. Their program, The Mercury Theatre on Air, became famous for the notorious events surrounding their version of The War of the Worlds in 1938, in which they provoked mass panic among listeners. A renowned actor, writer, producer, and director, Welles is known best for his roles in such films as Citizen Kane (1941),Jane Eyre (1944), MacBeth (1948), Moby Dick (1956), A Man for all Seasons(1966), and Catch 22 (1970).

Welles was awarded an Honorary Oscar in 1971 and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute in 1975. Despite his lack of commercial success, the Directors Guild of America awarded him their highest award, the D.W. Griffith Award, in 1984. Welles was briefly married to Hollywood actress Rita Hayworth from 1943 to 1948, with whom he had one daughter. Orson Welles died on October 9, 1985. [Source: Wisconsin Film Office].

On this day in 1947, Wisconsin experiences an earthquake:

On this date an earthquake centered due south of Milwaukee near the shore of Lake Michigan, caused minor damage but no major injuries. The tremor shook buildings and rattled windows in many communities throughout southeastern Wisconsin. There were reports of broken windows in Kenosha. The shock was felt from Sheboygan to the Wisconsin – Illinois border. [Source: U.S.G.S. Earthquake Hazards Program]

Daily Bread for 5.5.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Thursday in town will be sunny with a high of sixty-four. Sunrise is 5:41 AM and sunset 8:01 PM, for 14h 19m 21s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 2.9% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Landmarks Commission meets at 6 PM tonight, and there will be a business meeting of the Fire Department at 6:30 PM.

On this day in 1961, Alan Shepard Jr. became the first American in space. Here’s how the New York Times drescribed that event:

Cape Canaveral, Fla. — A slim, cool Navy test pilot was rocketed 115 miles into space today.

Thirty-seven-year-old Comdr. Alan B. Shepard Jr. thus became the first American space explorer.

Commander Shepard landed safely 302 miles out at sea fifteen minutes after the launching. He was quickly lifted aboard a Marine Corps helicopter.

“Boy, what a ride!” he said, as he was flown to the aircraft carrier Lake Champlain four miles away.

Extensive physical examinations were begun immediately.

Tonight doctors reported Commander Shepard in “excellent” condition, suffering no ill effects.

The near-perfect flight represented the United States’ first major step in the race to explore space with manned space craft.

True, it was only a modest leap compared with the once-around-the-earth orbital flight of Maj. Yuri A. Gagarin of the Soviet Union.

The Russian’s speed of more than 17,000 miles an hour was almost four times Commander Shepard’s 4,500. The distance the Russian traveled was almost 100 times as great.

But Commander Shepard maneuvered his craft in space–something the Russians have not claimed for Major Gagarin.

Daily Bread for 5.4.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Midweek in town will be cloudy with a high of fifty-five. Sunrise is 5:43 AM and sunset 7:59 PM, for 14h 16m 59s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 8.3% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Planning Commission, R-2A subcommittee, meets this evening at 6 PM.

On this day in 1927, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was founded. At the Academy’s website, among so many other offerings, there’s an interesting interview with special effects designer Douglas Trumball, on the Science of Movies. Trumbull talks about creating believable effects through the use of miniatures, his film “Silent Running,” and plans for future filmmaking.

On this day in 1864, Wisconsin soldiers take part in the Wilderness Campaign:

1864 – (Civil War) Wilderness Campaign opens in Virginia
Union forces crossed the Rapidan River in Virginia and prepared to fight at the Wilderness the next day. The resulting series of battles between May 5 and June 12, 1864, is called the Wilderness Campaign, or Grant’s Overland Campaign.

The 2nd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 19th, 36th and 38th Wisconsin Infantry regiments and the 4th Wisconsin Light Artillery participated in this series of bloody battles. The initial Battle of the Wilderness on May 5-7, 1864, produced nearly 30,000 casualties without giving either side a clear victory.

Daily Bread for 5.3.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Tuesday in town will be partly sunny with a high of sixty-eight. Sunrise is 5:44 AM and sunset 7:58 PM for 14h 14m 34s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 16.2% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s City Market opens for the season today, at the Cravath Lakefront, on this and later Tuesdays (through October) from 3:30 to 7:30 PM. The city’s Urban Forestry Committee on landscape guidelines meets from 4 to 6 PM, Alcohol and Licensing Committee at 6:15 PM, and Common Council at 6:30 PM.

It’s Machiavelli’s birthday:

On this day in 1469, the Italian philosopher and writer Niccolo Machiavelli is born. A lifelong patriot and diehard proponent of a unified Italy, Machiavelli became one of the fathers of modern political theory….

Machiavelli’s political life took a downward turn after 1512, when he fell out of favor with the powerful Medici family. He was accused of conspiracy, imprisoned, tortured and temporarily exiled. It was an attempt to regain a political post and the Medici family’s good favor that Machiavelli penned The Prince, which was to become his most well-known work.

Though released in book form posthumously in 1532, The Prince was first published as a pamphlet in 1513. In it, Machiavelli outlined his vision of an ideal leader: an amoral, calculating tyrant for whom the end justifies the means. The Prince not only failed to win the Medici family’s favor, it also alienated him from the Florentine people. Machiavelli was never truly welcomed back into politics, and when the Florentine Republic was reestablished in 1527, Machiavelli was an object of great suspicion. He died later that year, embittered and shut out from the Florentine society to which he had devoted his life.

Though Machiavelli has long been associated with the practice of diabolical expediency in the realm of politics that was made famous in The Prince, his actual views were not so extreme. In fact, in such longer and more detailed writings asDiscourses on the First Ten Books of Livy (1517) and History of Florence (1525), he shows himself to be a more principled political moralist. Still, even today, the term “Machiavellian” is used to describe an action undertaken for gain without regard for right or wrong.

In Wisconsin history, Golda Meier is born on this date in 1898:

1898 – Golda Meir Born
On this date, Golda Meir (nee Mabovitch) was born in Kiev, Russia. Economic hardship forced her family to emigrate to the United States in 1906, where they settled in Milwaukee. She graduated from the Milwaukee Normal School (now University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and joined the Poalei Zion, the Milwaukee Labor Zionist Party, in 1915.

In 1921, she emigrated to Palestine with her husband, Morris Myerson, where they worked for the establishment of the State of Israel. Meir served as Israel’s Minister of Labor and National Insurance from 1949 through 1956 and as the Foreign Minister until January of 1966. When Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol died suddenly in 1969, Meir assumed the post, becoming the world’s third female Prime Minister. She died in Jerusalem on December 8, 1978. [Source: Picturing Golda Meier]

Daily Bread for 5.2.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Monday in town will be mostly cloudy with a high of sixty-one.  Sunrise is 5:45 AM and sunset 7:57 PM, for 14h 12m 09s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 25.6% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Aquatic Center will hold an annual meeting this evening at 7 PM.

On this day in 1933, someone publishes an account of something in Loch Ness that he describes as a monster:

The term “monster” was reportedly applied for the first time to the creature on 2 May 1933 by Alex Campbell, the water bailiff for Loch Ness and a part-time journalist, in a report in the Inverness Courier.[8][9][10] On 4 August 1933, the Courierpublished as a full news item the assertion of a London man, George Spicer, that a few weeks earlier while motoring around the Loch, he and his wife had seen “the nearest approach to a dragon or pre-historic animal that I have ever seen in my life”, trundling across the road toward the Loch carrying “an animal” in its mouth.[11] Other letters began appearing in the Courier, often anonymously, with claims of land or water sightings, either on the writer’s part or on the parts of family, acquaintances or stories they remembered being told.[12]

These stories soon reached the national (and later the international) press, which described a “monster fish”, “sea serpent”, or “dragon”,[13] eventually settling on “Loch Ness Monster”.[14]On 6 December 1933 the first purported photograph of the monster, taken by Hugh Gray, was published in the Daily Express,[15] and shortly after the creature received official notice when the Secretary of State for Scotland ordered the police to prevent any attacks on it.[16] In 1934, interest was further sparked by what is known as The Surgeon’s Photograph. In the same year R. T. Gould published a book,[17] the first of many that describe the author’s personal investigation and collected record of additional reports pre-dating 1933. Other authors have claimed that sightings of the monster go as far back as the 6th century….

On this day in 1941, a breakfast offering is born: “General Mills began shipping a new cereal called “Cheerioats” to six test markets. (The cereal was later renamed ‘Cheerios.’)” Cheerios billed itself as the world’s first “ready-to-eat oat cereal.”

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Daily Bread for 5.1.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

A new month in town begins on a day with morning showers and a high of fifty-six. Sunrise is 5:46 AM and sunset 7:56 PM, for 14h 09m 41s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 35.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

Friday’s FW poll asked if readers thought that SpaceX, a private company, could land an unmanned capsule on Mars by 2020. Most respondents thought that goal was too optimistic: a majority of almost 70% didn’t think that goal could be achieved so soon.

Today is the anniversary, from 5.1.1931, of the official opening of the Empire State Building:

….The construction was part of an intense competition in New York for the title of “world’s tallest building“. Two other projects fighting for the title, 40 Wall Street and the Chrysler Building, were still under construction when work began on the Empire State Building. Each held the title for less than a year, as the Empire State Building surpassed them upon its completion, just 410 days after construction commenced. Instead of taking 18 months as anticipated, the construction took just under fifteen. The building was officially opened on May 1, 1931 in dramatic fashion, when United States President Herbert Hoover turned on the building’s lights with the push of a button from Washington, D.C. Coincidentally, the first use of tower lights atop the Empire State Building, the following year, was for the purpose of signaling the victory of Franklin D. Roosevelt over Hoover in the presidential election of November 1932.[29]
….

On this day in 1786, a famous Wisconsin brewer is born:

1786 – Brewer Jacob Best Born
On this date Jacob Best Sr. was born. Best founded the Best and Co. Brewery in Milwaukee. In 1889, the brewery was renamed the Pabst Brewing Co. [Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin Biography,  1960].

Daily Bread for 4.30.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Saturday in town will be rainy with a high of forty-nine.  Sunrise is 5:48 AM and sunset 7:55 PM, for 14h 07m 12s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 46.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1803, a deal is reached to add a huge expanse to the United States:

On April 30, 1803, representatives of the United States and Napoleonic France conclude negotiations for the Louisiana Purchase, a massive land sale that doubles the size of the young American republic. What was known as Louisiana Territory comprised most of modern-day United States between the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains, with the exceptions of Texas, parts of New Mexico, and other pockets of land already controlled by the United States. A formal treaty for the Louisiana Purchase, antedated to April 30, was signed two days later.

On this day in 1845, Wisconsin adopts public education:

On this date, under the leadership of Michael Frank, Wisconsin adopted “free” education for its residents. Frank’s plan narrowly passed the legislature by a vote of 90 to 79. Frank’s motivation for free education in Wisconsin was partially inspired by a similar campaign, promoted by Horace Mann in Massachusetts. On June 16, 1845 the first free school opened in Wisconsin. It was one of only three free schools in the country, outside the New England states. By August 1845, Wisconsin had five free schools in operation. [Source: Badger Saints and Sinners, Fred L. Holmes, pg 78-92]

Daily Bread for 4.29.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Friday in town will be cloudy with a high of fifty-four. Sunrise is 5:49 AM and sunset 7:54 PM, for 14h 04m 41s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 57.9% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1974, the president announces the release of audio recordings:

…President Richard Nixon announces to the public that he will release transcripts of 46 taped White House conversations in response to a Watergate trial subpoena issued in July 1973. The House Judiciary committee accepted 1,200 pages of transcripts the next day, but insisted that the tapes themselves be turned over as well.

On this day in 1862, U.S. Marines take the Confederate flag from the New Orleans city hall, after a successful naval campaign against that city:

From April 18 to April 28, Farragut bombarded and then fought his way past the forts in the Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, managing to get thirteen ships up river on April 24. Historian John D. Winters in The Civil War in Louisiana (1963) noted that with few exceptions the Confederate fleet at New Orleans had “made a sorry showing. Self-destruction, lack of co-operation, cowardice of untrained officers, and the murderous fire of the Federal gunboats reduced the fleet to a demoralized shambles.”[10]

….Despite the complete vulnerability of the city, the citizens along with military and civil authorities remained defiant. At 2:00 p.m. on 25 April, Admiral Farragut sent Captain Bailey, First Division Commander from the USS Cayuga, to accept the surrender of the city. Armed mobs within the city defied the Union officers and marines sent to city hall. General Lovell refused to surrender the city, along with Mayor Monroe. William B. Mumford pulled down a Union flag raised over the former U.S. mint by marines of the USS Pensacola and the mob destroyed it. Farragut did not destroy the city in response, but moved upriver to subdue fortifications north of the city. On April 29, Farragut and 250 marines from the USS Hartfordremoved the Louisiana State flag from the City Hall.[13] By May 2, US Secretary of State, William H. Seward, declared New Orleans “recovered” and “mails are allowed to pass”.[14]

Here’s the Friday JigZone puzzle:

Daily Bread for 4.28.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Thursday will be rainy, and colder than yesterday, with a high temperature of forty-five. Sunrise is 5:51 AM and sunset 7:53 PM, for 14h 02m 10s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 67.2% of its visible disk illuminated.

There will be a meeting of the Downton Whitewater Board this morning at 8 AM, and of the Community Development Authority this afternoon at 5 PM.

On this day in 1947, Thor Heyerdahl begins an ocean voyage in the Kon-Tiki expedition:

Heyerdahl believed that people from South America could have settled Polynesia in pre-Columbian times. Although most anthropologists as of 2010 had come to the conclusion they did not,[1][2][3] in 2011, new genetic evidence was uncovered by Erik Thorsby that Easter Island inhabitants in fact do have some South American DNA,[4] lending credence to at least some of Heyerdahl’s theses. His aim in mounting the Kon-Tiki expedition was to show, by using only the materials and technologies available to those people at the time, that there were no technical reasons to prevent them from having done so. Although the expedition carried some modern equipment, such as a radio, watches, charts, sextant, and metal knives, Heyerdahl argued they were incidental to the purpose of proving that the raft itself could make the journey.

The Kon-Tiki expedition was funded by private loans, along with donations of equipment from the United States Army. Heyerdahl and a small team went to Peru, where, with the help of dockyard facilities provided by the Peruvian authorities, they constructed the raft out of balsa logs and other native materials in an indigenous style as recorded in illustrations by Spanish conquistadores. The trip began on April 28, 1947. Heyerdahl and five companions sailed the raft for 101 days over 6900 km (4,300 miles) across the Pacific Ocean before smashing into a reef at Raroia in the Tuamotu Islands on August 7, 1947. The crew made successful landfall and all returned safely.

Here’s Thursday’s puzzle from JigZone:

Daily Bread for 4.27.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Wednesday in town will be mostly cloudy and windy with a high of fifty-four. Sunrise is 5:52 AM and sunset is 7:52 PM, for 13h 59m 37s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 76.4% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Tech Park Board meets today at 8 AM.

On this day in 1667, John Milton sells for a bargain:

Blind poet John Milton sells the copyright to his masterpiece Paradise Lost (1667) for a mere 10 pounds.

Milton was born and raised the indulged son of a prosperous London businessman. He excelled at languages in grammar school and at Christ’s College, Cambridge, where he took a bachelor’s and a master’s, which he completed in 1632. He then decided to continue his own education, spending six years reading every major work of literature in several languages. He published an elegy for a college classmate, Lycidas, in 1637 and went abroad in 1638 to continue his studies.

In 1642, Milton married 17-year-old Mary Powell, who left him just weeks later. Milton wrote a series of pamphlets arguing for the institution of divorce based on incompatibility. The idea, however mild it seems today, was scandalous at the time, and Milton experienced a vehement backlash for his writing.

Milton’s wife returned to him in 1645, and the pair had three daughters. However, he continued espousing controversial views. He supported the execution of Charles I, he railed against the control of the church by bishops, and he upheld the institution of Cromwell’s commonwealth, for which he became secretary of foreign languages.

In 1651, he lost his sight but fulfilled his government duties with the help of assistants, including poet Andrew Marvell. His wife died the following year. He remarried in 1656, but his second wife died in childbirth. Four years later, the commonwealth was overturned, and Milton was thrown in jail, saved only by the intervention of friends. The blind man lost his position and property.

He remarried in 1663. Blind, impoverished, and jobless, he began to dictate his poem Paradise Lost to his family. When the poem was ready for publication, he sold it for 10 pounds. Once printed, the poem was immediately hailed as a masterpiece of the English language. In 1671, he wrote Paradise Regained, followed by Samson Agonistes. He died in 1674.

Here’s Wednesday’s JigZone puzzle:

Daily Bread for 4.26.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Tuesday will be significantly cooler than yesterday, with a high of fifty-seven under mostly cloudy skies.  Sunrise is 5:53 AM and sunset 7:50 PM, for 13h 57m 02s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 84.3% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Urban Forestry Commission meets at 4:30 PM, and Police and Fire Commission at 7 PM.

On this day in 1954, significant medial trials begin:

…the Salk polio vaccine field trials, involving 1.8 million children, begin at the Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, Virginia. Children in the United States, Canada and Finland participated in the trials, which used for the first time the now-standard double-blind method, whereby neither the patient nor attending doctor knew if the inoculation was the vaccine or a placebo. On April 12, 1955, researchers announced the vaccine was safe and effective and it quickly became a standard part of childhood immunizations in America. In the ensuing decades, polio vaccines would all but wipe out the highly contagious disease in the Western Hemisphere….

Today is the anniversary, from 4.26.1986, of the Chernobyl Disaster:

The Chernobyl disaster … Chornobylska Katastrofa – Chornobyl Catastrophe; also referred to as Chernobyl or the Chornobyl accident) was a catastrophic nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine (then officially the Ukrainian SSR), which was under the direct jurisdiction of the central authorities of the Soviet Union. An explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive particles into the atmosphere, which spread over much of the western USSR and Europe.

The Chernobyl disaster was the worst nuclear power plant accident in history in terms of cost and casualties.[1] It is one of only two classified as a level 7 event (the maximum classification) on the International Nuclear Event Scale, the other being the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011.[2] The battle to contain the contamination and avert a greater catastrophe ultimately involved over 500,000 workers and cost an estimated 18 billion rubles.[3] During the accident itself, 31 people died, and long-term effects such as cancers are still being investigated….

The disaster began during a systems test on Saturday, 26 April 1986 at reactor number four of the Chernobyl plant, which is near the city of Pripyat and in proximity to the administrative border with Belarus and the Dnieper River. There was a sudden and unexpected power surge, and when an emergency shutdown was attempted, an exponentially larger spike in power output occurred, which led to a reactor vessel rupture and a series of steam explosions. These events exposed the graphite moderator of the reactor to air, causing it to ignite.[4] The resulting fire sent a plume of highly radioactive fallout into the atmosphere and over an extensive geographical area, including Pripyat. The plume drifted over large parts of the western Soviet Union and Europe. From 1986 to 2000, 350,400 people were evacuated and resettled from the most severely contaminated areas of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine.[5][6] According to official post-Soviet data,[7][8] about 60% of the fallout landed in Belarus.

JigZone‘s puzzle of the day is of a fish:

Daily Bread for 4.25.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Monday will bring an even chance of afternoon thunderstorms with a high of seventy-six. Sunrise is 5:55 AM and sunset 7:49 PM, for 13h 54m 27s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 90.6% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1990, America places the Hubble Space Telescope in orbit:

The crew of the U.S. space shuttle Discovery places the Hubble Space Telescope, a long-term space-based observatory, into a low orbit around Earth.

The space telescope, conceived in the 1940s, designed in the 1970s, and built in the 1980s, was designed to give astronomers an unparalleled view of the solar system, the galaxy, and the universe. Initially, Hubble’s operators suffered a setback when a lens aberration was discovered, but a repair mission by space-walking astronauts in December 1993 successfully fixed the problem, and Hubble began sending back its first breathtaking images of the universe.

Free of atmospheric distortions, Hubble has a resolution 10 times that of ground-based observatories. About the size of a bus, the telescope is solar-powered and orbits Earth once every 97 minutes. Among its many astronomical achievements, Hubble has been used to record a comet’s collision with Jupiter, provide a direct look at the surface of Pluto, view distant galaxies, gas clouds, and black holes, and see billions of years into the universe’s past.

On this day in 1996, Gov. Thompson signs welfare reform into law:

1996 – W-2 (Wisconsin Works) Signed Into Law
On this date Governor Tommy Thompson signed the W-2 (Wisconsin Works) program into law, making Wisconsin the first U.S. state to replace a benefits-based welfare system with a requirement that recipients work to get aid. W-2 formed the basis for national welfare reform.[Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Tommy G. Thompson Center]

Here’s the Monday puzzle from JigZone:

Daily Bread for 4.24.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Sunday in town will be partly cloudy and warm, with a high of seventy-six. Sunrise is 5:56 AM and sunset is 7:48 PM, for 13h 51m 50s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 95.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

Friday’s FW poll asked if a snake that feel from an elementary school ceiling in Mississippi was an unwanted pest or an opportunity for observation. A majority of respondents (65.22%) felt that it should be considered an unwanted pest.

On this day in 1800, a Library of Congress is authorized:

…legislation to appropriate $5,000 to purchase “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress,” thus establishing the Library of Congress. The first books, ordered from London, arrived in 1801 and were stored in the U.S. Capitol, the library’s first home. The first library catalog, dated April 1802, listed 964 volumes and nine maps. Twelve years later, the British army invaded the city of Washington and burned the Capitol, including the then 3,000-volume Library of Congress.

Former president Thomas Jefferson, who advocated the expansion of the library during his two terms in office, responded to the loss by selling his personal library, the largest and finest in the country, to Congress to “recommence” the library. The purchase of Jefferson’s 6,487 volumes was approved in the next year, and a professional librarian, George Watterston, was hired to replace the House clerks in the administration of the library. In 1851, a second major fire at the library destroyed about two-thirds of its 55,000 volumes, including two-thirds of the Thomas Jefferson library. Congress responded quickly and generously to the disaster, and within a few years a majority of the lost books were replaced.

After the Civil War, the collection was greatly expanded, and by the 20th century the Library of Congress had become the de facto national library of the United States and one of the largest in the world. Today, the collection, housed in three enormous buildings in Washington, contains more than 17 million books, as well as millions of maps, manuscripts, photographs, films, audio and video recordings, prints, and drawings.

On this day in 1977, Whitewater loses an establishment:

1977 – Morris Pratt Institute of Spiritualism Moves to Waukesha
On this date the Morris Pratt Institute, dedicated to the study of Spiritualism and Mediumship, moved from Whitewater to Waukesha. Founded in 1888 and incorporated in 1901, it was one of the few institutes in the world that instructed spiritualists. These were people “who believe as the basis of his or her religion, in the communication between this and the Spirit World by means of mediumship and who endeavors to mould his or her character and conduct in accordance with the highest teachings derived from such communication.” [Source: Morris Pratt Institute]

Saturday Animation: The Story of Zero

The Story of Zero – Getting Something from Nothing from The Royal Institution on Vimeo.

What is zero? How did it come about? Hannah Fry tells the story of how zero went from nothing to something.

Once upon a time, zero wasn’t really a number. Its journey to the fully fledged number we know and love today was a meandering one. Today, zero is both a placeholder, and tool, within our number system signifying an absence of a value, and as a number in its own right.

But it wasn’t always seen as that, and it still doesn’t act quite like other numbers. Can you divide by zero, for example? Hannah Fry explains how zero came about, from its origins in ancient civilisations, through the resistance it faced from the Roman numeral system, to being the cornerstone of calculus.

Via Vimeo.

Daily Bread for 4.23.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Saturday will be warmer than yesterday, with mostly sunny skies and a high of sixty-five.  Sunrise is 5:58 AM and sunset 7:47 PM, for 13h 49m 13s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 98.6% of its visible disk illuminated.

It’s William Shakespeare’s birthday:

According to tradition, the great English dramatist and poet William Shakespeare is born in Stratford-on-Avon on April 23, 1564. It is impossible to be certain the exact day on which he was born, but church records show that he was baptized on April 26, and three days was a customary amount of time to wait before baptizing a newborn. Shakespeare’s date of death is conclusively known, however: it was April 23, 1616. He was 52 years old and had retired to Stratford three years before.

On this day in 1934, the FBI surprises gangster John Dillinger at his Wisconsin hideout:

1934 – FBI rousts Dillinger from Little Bohemia Lodge
On this day the FBI raided the Little Bohemia Lodge in Manitowish Waters, Vilas Co. They had been tipped off that gangster John Dillinger was hiding at Little Bohemia, but during their raid an innocent Civilian Conservation Corps worker was killed and Dillinger escaped.

 

Daily Bread for 4.21.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Thursday in town will be cloudy with a high of sixty-eight. Sunrise is 6:01 AM and sunset 7:45 PM, for 13h 43m 53s of daytime. We’ve a full moon, with 99.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Landmarks Commission meets tonight at 6 PM.

It’s John Muir’s birthday:

John Muir… April 21, 1838 – December 24, 1914)[1] also known as “John of the Mountains”, was a Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States. His letters, essays, and books telling of his adventures in nature, especially in the Sierra Nevada of California, have been read by millions. His activism helped to preserve the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and other wilderness areas. The Sierra Club, which he founded, is a prominent American conservation organization. The 211-mile (340 km) John Muir Trail, a hiking trail in the Sierra Nevada, was named in his honor.[2] Other such places include Muir Woods National Monument, Muir Beach, John Muir College, Mount Muir, Camp Muir and Muir Glacier. In Scotland, theJohn Muir Way, a 130 mile long distance route, was named in honor of him.

In his later life, Muir devoted most of his time to the preservation of the Western forests. He petitioned the U.S. Congressfor the National Park bill that was passed in 1890, establishing Yosemite National Park. The spiritual quality and enthusiasm toward nature expressed in his writings inspired readers, including presidents and congressmen, to take action to help preserve large nature areas.[3] He is today referred to as the “Father of the National Parks”[4] and theNational Park Service has produced a short documentary about his life.[5]

Today is also the legendary date of Rome’s founding:

According to tradition, on April 21, 753 B.C., Romulus and his twin brother, Remus, found Rome on the site where they were suckled by a she-wolf as orphaned infants. Actually, the Romulus and Remus myth originated sometime in the fourth century B.C., and the exact date of Rome’s founding was set by the Roman scholar Marcus Terentius Varro in the first century B.C.

Here is the Thursday puzzle from JigZone:

Daily Bread for 4.20.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Midweek in Whitewater will see afternoon showers and a high of sixty-eight. Sunrise is 6:02 AM and sunset 7:44 PM, for 13h 41m 12s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 97.3% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Planning Commission-R2A Subcommittee meets this evening at 6:00 PM.

On this day in 1926, the film industry moves closer to sound in motion pictures:

…Western Electric, the manufacturing arm of the American Telephone & Telegraph Company (AT&T), and the Warner Brothers film studio officially introduce Vitaphone, a new process that will enable the addition of sound to film….

Vitaphone debuted in August 1926 with the costume drama Don Juan, starring John Barrymore and featuring an orchestral score by the New York Philharmonic. The following year, Warner Brothers released its second Vitaphone feature, The Jazz Singer, which included classical and popular music, as well as about 350 words of dialogue. The success of these two films led directly to the motion-picture industry’s conversion to sound, as the major studios quickly lobbied to gain the rights to use Vitaphone as well. Warner Brothers agreed to give up its exclusive rights to the system in exchange for a share of the royalties, and by the spring of 1928 virtually every Hollywood studio had jumped on the sound bandwagon.

On this day in 1836, Wisconsin’s oldest library is first founded:

1836 – Oldest Library in the State Founded
On this date an Act of Congress created the Territory of Wisconsin and in the sixteenth and final section of that Act appropriated funds for the Wisconsin State Library to support the needs of the fledgling government. The library is still functioning but has been renamed as the Wisconsin State Law Library [Source: Wisconsin State Law Library]

Here’s JigZone‘s puzzle for Wednesday:

Daily Bread for 4.19.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Tuesday in the city will see a high temperature of fifty-five and afternoon showers.  Sunrise is 6:04 AM and sunset 7:42 PM, for 13h 38m 30s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 93.3% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s School Board will meet at 7 AM to accept the resignation of the district administrator, and at 8 AM the governance committee will hold a regularly scheduled meeting.  Common Council meets tonight at 6:30 PM.

On April 19, 1775, Americans fight the British at the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and a great revolution begins:

At about 5 a.m., 700 British troops, on a mission to capture Patriot leaders and seize a Patriot arsenal, march into Lexington to find 77 armed minutemen under Captain John Parker waiting for them on the town’s common green. British Major John Pitcairn ordered the outnumbered Patriots to disperse, and after a moment’s hesitation the Americans began to drift off the green. Suddenly, the “shot heard around the world” was fired from an undetermined gun, and a cloud of musket smoke soon covered the green. When the brief Battle of Lexington ended, eight Americans lay dead or dying and 10 others were wounded. Only one British soldier was injured, but the American Revolution had begun….

When the British troops reached Concord at about 7 a.m., they found themselves encircled by hundreds of armed Patriots. They managed to destroy the military supplies the Americans had collected but were soon advanced against by a gang of minutemen, who inflicted numerous casualties. Lieutenant Colonel Frances Smith, the overall commander of the British force, ordered his men to return to Boston without directly engaging the Americans. As the British retraced their 16-mile journey, their lines were constantly beset by Patriot marksmen firing at them Indian-style from behind trees, rocks, and stone walls. At Lexington, Captain Parker’s militia had its revenge, killing several British soldiers as the Red Coats hastily marched through his town. By the time the British finally reached the safety of Boston, nearly 300 British soldiers had been killed, wounded, or were missing in action. The Patriots suffered fewer than 100 casualties.

On 4.19.1862, while fighting to preserve his country, Wisconsin’s governor dies:

1862 – Governor Harvey Drowns in the Tennessee River
On this date Governor Louis Harvey died while leading an expedition to relieve Wisconsin troops after the battle of Shiloh. The expedition was bringing doctors, nurses, and much-needed medical supplies to soldiers when Harvey, crossing from one steamboat to another, slipped, fell into the swift currents of the Tennessee River, and never re-surfaced. His body was recovered ten days later, nearly sixty miles downstream. When news reached Madison, Lieutenant Governor Edward Salomon was sworn in as Wisconsin’s first German-American governor. [Source: Wisconsin in the Civil War, by Frank L. Klement]

Here’s JigZone’s puzzle for Tuesday:

Daily Bread for 4.18.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Monday in town will be partly cloudy with a high of eighty. Sunrise is 6:05 AM and sunset 7:41 PM, for 13h 35m 47s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 87.8% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Library Board meets tonight at 6:30 PM.

On this day in 1906, an earthquake strikes San Francisco:

At 5:13 a.m., an earthquake estimated at close to 8.0 on the Richter scale strikes San Francisco, California, killing hundreds of people as it topples numerous buildings. The quake was caused by a slip of the San Andreas Fault over a segment about 275 miles long, and shock waves could be felt from southern Oregon down to Los Angeles.

San Francisco’s brick buildings and wooden Victorian structures were especially devastated. Fires immediately broke out and–because broken water mains prevented firefighters from stopping them–firestorms soon developed citywide. At 7 a.m., U.S. Army troops from Fort Mason reported to the Hall of Justice, and San Francisco Mayor E.E. Schmitz called for the enforcement of a dusk-to-dawn curfew and authorized soldiers to shoot-to-kill anyone found looting. Meanwhile, in the face of significant aftershocks, firefighters and U.S. troops fought desperately to control the ongoing fire, often dynamiting whole city blocks to create firewalls. On April 20, 20,000 refugees trapped by the massive fire were evacuated from the foot of Van Ness Avenue onto the USS Chicago.

By April 23, most fires were extinguished, and authorities commenced the task of rebuilding the devastated metropolis. It was estimated that some 3,000 people died as a result of the Great San Francisco Earthquake and the devastating fires it inflicted upon the city. Almost 30,000 buildings were destroyed, including most of the city’s homes and nearly all the central business district.

On 4.18.1818, Wisconsin formally becomes part of a larger territory:

1818 – Wisconsin Becomes Part of Michigan Territory

On this date, the land encompassing current-day Wisconsin was made part of the Michigan Territory, representing one step in Wisconsin’s path to statehood. Wisconsin was a part of the Northwest Territory from July 13, 1787-May 11, 1800; the Indiana Territory from May 1800-February 3, 1809; and the Illinois Territory from February 3, 1809-April 18, 1818. The Territory of Wisconsin was formed July 4, 1836.

JigZone‘s puzzle of the day is of a green thorntail: