Datebook: December 16 – New Madrid Quakes 200 Years Ago
The first two in a series of four severe earthquakes occured on December 16, 1811 in the vicinity of New Madrid, Missouri. These four so-called ‘mega-quakes’ are believed to be an ongoing cataclysmic danger that could reprise the 1811-12 series of 2,000 quakes that affected the lands of what would be eight of today’s heartland states of the United States. These earthquakes remain the most powerful earthquakes to hit the eastern United States in recorded history, more than eight times the size of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Despite its magnitude (right around 7), it caused only slight damage to man-made structures, mainly because of the sparse population in the epicentral area. Residents as far away as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Norfolk, Virginia, reported being awakened by intense shaking. Church bells were reported to ring as far as Boston, Massachusetts and (what is now) Toronto, and sidewalks were reported to have been cracked and broken in Washington, D.C.. William Clark (of Lewis & Clark), then governor of the Louisiana Territory, asked for federal relief from the U.S. Government – one of the first requests for federal disaster relief in the country.
It’s Friday, December 16th
Tomorrow brings a program about making Origami ornaments for the holiday at the McCracken County Public Library. It’s from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Library at 555 Washington Street in Paducah. Lea Wentworth teaches folding paper into ornaments, gifts, or cards.
The annual Audobon Christmas Bird Count through the Nature Station at LBL is tomorrow from 6 a.m. through 4:30 p.m.. Call 270-924-2299 to register. Bring binoculars, field guides and lunch. Birders will reconvene for lunch at the Nature Station to review the count. Dress for the weather. Less experienced birders are welcome. The fee is $5 per person. Birders are involved in this count nationwide.
The Festival of Trees continues at the Janice Mason Art Museum, 71 Main Street in Cadiz. Clubs, individuals and civic organizations have decorated unique trees and the Museum shop offers gift shopping. The Museum is open 10 to 4 Tuesday through Saturday.
Be sure to see wkms.org for a complete schedule of special radio features for the season chosen to keep you Company for the Holidays.