Usually in the first newspaper of each month, I run down all the old news highlights from 100 years ago, but I didn’t make it around to the library this week to gather up all the old news.
One thing that the month of April a century ago has in common with the month of April today is that people living in both time periods would begin to notice the days getting longer and longer.
According to my trusty “Old Farmer’s Almanac,” the difference in the daylight hours between April 1 and April 30 this year is 57 minutes. On April 1, which was yesterday, the sun rose at 6:25 a.m. and set at 6:58 p.m. On April 30, the sun will come up at 5:50 a.m. and will go down at 7:20 p.m.
In other words, the day was 12 hours and 33 minutes long on April 1, and it’ll be 13 hours and 30 minutes long on April 30, a difference of 57 minutes. Just think about all the extra time you’ll have to mow the lawn.
The almanac says that there will also be a total lunar eclipse on April 4, which is Saturday, but you’ll need to be in the western states to see the full eclipse. Where we live, you’ll only be able to glimpse the start of the eclipse right before the moon begins to set at 6:25 a.m.
One other thing to keep your eyes open for this month is whether or not we’ll get another frost. The old-timers say that if it thunders in February, it’ll frost in April. As many of you will remember, it thundered during a storm in Evergreen on Feb. 25. In fact, it thundered at exactly 11:09 a.m. that day because Butch Adams and I put it down on the calendar at the office to test to see if the old-timers know what they’re really talking about. Only time will tell, but if it frosts on April 25, don’t say that no one gave you a friendly heads up.
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This week also marks the start of Confederate History Month, a month that’s been officially set aside by the State of Alabama to recognize and honor the history of the Confederate States of America. The high point of Confederate History Month is Confederate Memorial Day, which is the fourth Monday of each April in Alabama. This official state holiday is observed each year to honor those who died fighting for the Confederate States of America.
If you’re interested in Civil War history, you might want to check out the Battle of Selma reenactment, which will be held April 23-26 at Battlefield Park in Selma. This annual event commemorates a battle that took place on April 2, 1865, near the end of the war itself. The battle resulted in a Union victory about a month before the war’s official end on May 9 of that year. This year’s reenactment will mark the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Selma.
For more information about this year’s reenactment, visit www.battleofselma.com.