Saturday Scenes

Fri 25 May 2012

The Dark Day

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 14:22

On the 19th of May in 1780, unexpected darkness extended from Portland, Maine in the north to northern New Jersey in the south. The first report came from Rupert, New York as a red sun rose in a yellow sky. By noon, the New England was enveloped in darkness and candles were required.

The Weather Doctor Almanac 2004

At Harvard College, student Nathan Read recorded frequent observations of the darkness. His first remark that something was extraordinary came at 10:30 AM: “An uncommon degree of darkness comminied [commenced?] while increased pretty rapidly.” At 11 AM, he noted: “Mr Wigglesworth not able to read in a large bible by a window.” At 12:21 PM, he added: “Mr W. not able to read the running title of a large Bible. – Candles are in common use…”

There appears to have been a large forest fire in the Adirondacks at that time. So now we believe that the smoke from the fire combined with fog or low cloud cover was believed to have caused the darkness. At the time, however, many believed it was the end of the world. That night, the moon shone red in a pitch black sky. The stars appeared after midnight and the “Dark Day” was finished.

Ten Notable Apocalypses That (Obviously) Didn’t Happen | History & Archaeology | Smithsonian Magazine

But lingering concerns about a pending apocalypse prompted some people to seek out an obscure Christian sect–the Shakers–who had recently settled near Albany, New York. A splinter of the Quaker movement, the Shakers preached complete celibacy as the true path to redemption. The Shakers knew an opportunity when they saw one and embarked on a 26-month mission throughout New England, which brought them hundreds of converts.

Meanwhile, on the 19th of May in 2012, these movers and shakers were sharing their Saturday scenes with the world:

And here’s where you can find out more about them:

Saturday Scenes is a great way to see the world from someone else’s point of view! Taking part is easy:

1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
2. Send it to @Satscenes on Twitter
3. Wait for the webpage to get updated
4. Oooh and aah over all the great submissions from all over the world!

So take a photograph this weekend and send it to @Satscenes!

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