Pat Shingleton: "The Moon, The Blizzard and Times Square..."
This month's Full Moon reached capacity at 10:29 PM Tuesday evening. Native Americans referred to it as the Full Cold Moon. A full Moon, reflecting from a snow surface, increases “moonlight.” Years ago, Parade Magazine’s columnist, David Levy, filed an article, “Why We Have A Moon.” Levy took a “stab” at answering the question: How did the moon get here? He explained, Earth had a “bad day” almost 4 ½ billion years ago when the planet was spurting volcanoes. The planets were closer and the moon was 10,000 miles away and rotated faster with a day lasting just 10 hours. With a 24-hour day, the moon is sliding away at about 3 feet every century and is now 240,000 miles out. From moonlight to street lights. Senator Roscoe Conkling left his Wall Street office in route to the New York Club during the Great Blizzard of 1888. “Freaks of the Storm” reported that when he reached Union Square he became stranded in a snowdrift and struggled to free himself from the surrounding snow. After arriving at the club, he had a drink and collapsed, dying the next day. C. H. McDonald stumbled through the same blinding snowstorm when he collided with a hard object that left a gash on his head. He picked through the pile of snow and determined that the cause of the accident was the hoof of a dead horse. Thereafter he was recognized as the only man ever to be kicked in the head by a dead horse. On this date in 1907, The New York Times was moving its offices to a building on a square that now bears its name. To commemorate the paper’s new home, publisher Alfred Ochs provided a lavish New Year’s Eve celebration intended to attract parishioners from Trinity Church in lower Manhattan. The church was traditionally the gathering place on the eve of a new year. Weatherwise Magazine reports that 200,000 people celebrated New Year’s Eve for the first time, 103 years ago, in the newly-named Times Square. In 1907, Ochs added a 700-pound, 5-foot-diameter ball, made of iron and wood, covered with electrical lights. In 1917 it was -13 degrees with mostly clear skies.
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