FROM WIKIPEDIA COMMONS
Everglades National Park is an American national park that protects the southern twenty percent of the original Everglades in Florida. The park is the largest tropical wilderness in the United States and the largest wilderness of any kind east of the Mississippi River. An average of one million people visit the park each year. Everglades is the third-largest national park in the contiguous United States after Death Valley and Yellowstone. UNESCO declared the Everglades & Dry Tortugas Biosphere Reserve in 1976 and listed the park as a World Heritage Site in 1979, and the Ramsar Convention included the park on its list of Wetlands of International Importance in 1987. Everglades is one of only three locations in the world to appear on all three lists.
Most national parks preserve unique geographic features; Everglades National Park was the first created to protect a fragile ecosystem. The Everglades are a network of wetlands and forests fed by a river flowing 0.25 miles (0.40 km) per day out of Lake Okeechobee, southwest into Florida Bay. The park is the most significant breeding ground for tropical wading birds in North America and contains the largest mangrove ecosystem in the Western Hemisphere. Thirty-six threatened or protected species inhabit the park, including the Florida panther, the American crocodile, and the West Indian manatee, along with 350 species of birds, 300 species of fresh and saltwater fish, 40 species of mammals, and 50 species of reptiles. The majority of South Florida‘s fresh water, which is stored in the Biscayne Aquifer, is recharged in the park.
Humans have lived for thousands of years in or around the Everglades. Plans arose in 1882 to drain the wetlands and develop the land for agricultural and residential use. As the 20th century progressed, water flow from Lake Okeechobee was increasingly controlled and diverted to enable explosive growth of the South Florida metropolitan area. The park was established in 1934, to protect the quickly vanishing Everglades, and dedicated in 1947, as major canal-building projects were initiated across South Florida. The ecosystems in Everglades National Park have suffered significantly from human activity, and restoration of the Everglades is a politically charged issue in South Florida.
St. Nicholas (whose feast day is December 6) was likely a fourth-century bishop of Myra in what is now Turkey. Known for his generosity, he is said to have given a purse filled with gold as a dowry to each of three destitute young ladies so that they could be married. St. Nicholas’s life eventually merged with folklore, and the legend of Santa Claus was born. Learn more about St. Nicholas Day here.
Question of the Day
Why is El Nino named for the Christ child?The Spanish name El Nino (literally, “the son”) was coined by the fishermen of Ecuador and Peru to denote the warming of the coastal surface waters that often occurs in that area around Christmastime. Although this was a fairly regular seasonal event, the name later took on the larger meaning of any general warming trend and recently has come to mean the unseasonably warm weather patterns that occur two or three times a decade. For more on El Nino, visit our Weather Center. (http://www.almanac.com/weathercenter/index.php)
Advice of the Day
The wise understand half a word.
Home Hint of the Day
When sanding wood by hand, always sand with the grain of the wood, especially when using coarse sandpaper. Otherwise you’ll scratch or mar the surface.
Word of the Day
NephelococcygiaSometimes clouds look like other objects, such as dragons, elephants, letters, and even people. Cloud naming is called nephelococcygia.
Puzzle of the Day
What is the difference between 16 ounces and a small boy at the piano?One weighs a pound, and the other pounds away.
- John Phillips(educator)– 1719
- Lynn Fontanne(actress)– 1887
- Ira Gershwin(lyricist)– 1896
- Agnes Moorehead(actress)– 1906
- George(Baby Face Nelson bank robber)– 1908
- Wally Cox(comedian)– 1924
- Don King(boxing promoter)– 1932
- Bobby Van(actor)– 1935
- Richard Franklin Speck(murderer)– 1941
- Thomas Hulce(actor)– 1953
- Steven Wright(comedian & actor)– 1955
- Nick Park(filmmaker & animator)– 1958
- Janine Turner(actress)– 1962
- Jefferson Davis(served as the first and only President of the Confederate States of America in the American Civil War)– 1889
- Roy Orbison(musician)– 1988
- Don Ameche(actor)– 1993
- Phillip Berrigan(priest who fought Vietnam War and nuclear weapons)– 2002
- First international football game– 1873
- Monongah, West Virginia, coal mine disaster killed 362 men. One of the worst in U.S. history– 1907
- Ship explosion devastated Halifax, Nova Scotia– 1917
- The Anglo-Irish Treaty is signed, giving Ireland dominion status and establishing Irish Free State– 1921
- President Truman dedicated Everglades National Park in Florida.– 1947
- The Burl Ives narrated holiday classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer made its television debut– 1964
- Kitty Hambleton reached 512.71 mph land speed– 1976
- Gunman kills 14 women at University of Montreal– 1989
- 5” snow, Savannah, Georgia– 1740
- A windstorm on this day toppled the national Christmas tree on the grounds of the White House– 1970
- Strong storms spread 60 mph winds throughout northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio– 1998