The End of the World? December 17, 1919?

While perusing the Cincinnati Observatory records, I ran into this time-sensitive letter from Mrytle Riley of the Western Electric Company in Cincinnati, which seems very appropriate for this apocalyptic year.  (If you haven’t heard, according to the Mayans, the world is supposed to end in 2012.  For more information, read an explanation in UC Magazine.)    Mrytle Riley had heard that the world was going to end on December 17, 1919 and contacted the observatory to find out if this was true.

Letter from Mrytle Riley

Although ARB’s records do not hold the observatory’s reply to Ms. Riley, we hope that they assured her that the planets were not set to collide, and that Ms. Riley did not take any drastic measures to prepare for the end of days.  Ms. Riley’s concerns apparently grew out of a predication by Albert Porta.  Porta, a meteorologist from the University of Michigan predicted a weather catastrophe caused by an exceptionally large sun spot combined with the electro-magnetic pull of the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune.  As we now know, Porta and many apocalyptic predications since his have been wrong.  In case you need any further assurance about December 21, 2012, consult NASA’s FAQ’s on the prediction or if you would rather be safe than sorry, you can always follow the CDC’s advice in preparing for a zombie apocalypse.