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National Spirit Day!

Today we celebrate National Spirit Day, to show our support for LGBTQ youth.  This day is observed on the 3rd Thursday of October each year.

This day is started in 2010 by Brittany McMillan, who stand against bullying and remember gay teens who had died by suicide, increasing awareness and acceptance to prevent more tragedies.

Spirit Day was initially created in response to a rash of widely publicized bullying-related suicides of gay school students in 2010, including that of Tyler Clementi.  GLAAD promotes this event and encourages observers to wear the color purple as a visible sign of LGBTQ youth support and to stop bullying during National Bullying Prevention Month.

After the inaugural observance promoted by GLAAD, many Hollywood celebrities wore purple on this day for the cause and many websites added a purple shade to their design.

When Brittany McMillan started this day in 2010, she said that Spirit Day is an event ultimately to make just one person feel a little bit better about himself or herself, to feel safe enough in their own skin to be proud of who they are.  She took the inspiration from Canada’s Pink Shirt Day when creating Spirit Day.

So, today, celebrate this day by supporting the event by wearing purple and telling people who are not aware of it why you are doing so and the reason behind the event.  Encourage friends, classmates, colleagues, and others to be involved to show support.  Share on social media the awareness using #SpiritDay.

1989 Loma Prieta earthquake strikes near San Francisco

An earthquake hits the San Francisco Bay Area on October 17, 1989, killing 67 people and causing more than $5 billion in damages. Though this was one of the most powerful and destructive earthquakes ever to hit a populated area of the United States, the death toll could have been much worse.

The proximity of the San Andreas Fault to San Francisco was well-known for most of the 20th century, but the knowledge did not stop the construction of many un-reinforced brick buildings in the area. Finally, in 1972, revised building codes forced new structures to be built to withstand earthquakes. The new regulations also called for older buildings to be retrofitted to meet the new standards, but the expense involved made these projects a low priority for the community.

On October 17, the Bay Area was buzzing about baseball. The Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants, both local teams, had reached the World Series. The first game of the series was scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park. Just prior to the game, with the cameras on the field, a 7.1-magnitude tremor centered near Loma Prieta Peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains rocked the region from Santa Cruz to Oakland. Though the stadium withstood the shaking, much of the rest of San Francisco was not so fortunate.

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