Twenty-five years ago tonight: Hurricane Hugo

Twenty-five years ago tonight, I spent one of the most terrifying nights of my life curled up with my wife, Sharon, on our fold-out sleeper sofa, listening to our neighborhood ripped apart by the fury of Hurricane Hugo.

A quarter of a century ago. Wow. As you know I’m a guy who’s pretty conscious of history and the passage of time. But this just floors me.

The weirdest thing about that night: We lived in Rock Hill, S.C., just south of Charlotte, N.C. We were 180 miles away from where Hugo made landfall near Charleston.

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We expected some wind and rain. But we didn’t have a clue we’d be struck by a full-scale hurricane — one that had spun up to Category 4 in strength before making landfall and wasn’t officially downgraded to a tropical storm until well after it ripped through our area.

In the Caribbean and in the U.S., Hugo did about $10 billion in property damage. Some folks in the region were without electricity for up to three weeks. About 100 people died in total, although — if memory serves — only six or seven in the U.S.

It was a huge event in the history of my home state and in the memories of any of us who were in Hugo’s path.

The Post and Courier of Charleston commemorated the day today by asking the question: What if it happened again today?

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As you can see from the deck: It would be a mess. The feds use outdated software to plan for hurricanes and, therefore, they consistently underestimate impact. And Charleston, surrounded by water, is particularly vulnerable to storms of this size.

Those links go to today’s main stories. Average daily circulation for the Post and Courier is 87,817.

The Herald-Journal of Spartanburg focused on the damage Hugo did in Charleston that night.

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Read the story here. Circulation for the Herald-Journal is 31,940.

The folks in Florence led today’s paper with a vintage sepia-toned picture of devastation around a local motel the next morning.

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No one was quite sure where Hugo would hit, so tourists and residents alike fled the coastal regions as the storm approached. They were surprised to take such a fierce hit that far inland.

Find the anniversary story here. Average daily circulation  for the Florence Morning News is 31,237.

The State of Columbia retold one of the most compelling stories from that night: Folks in McClellanville, a tiny fishing community maybe 30 miles from ground zero on the Isle of Palms…

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…huddled together on the highest ground in town — the local high school –  far back enough from the waterfront that it should have been a safe refuge.

Hugo produced a storm surge of more than 20 feet. Water moved inland, surrounded the school and poured in through broken windows and around door frames. Terrified evacuees, gathered in darkness in the school cafeteria, first climbed onto tables and then knocked out ceiling tiles in order to lift children into the rafters to keep them from drowning.

That didn’t seem much safer. Outside, 130-mph winds ripped mightily at the school’s roof.

Then, nature took mercy on the town of McClellanville. The winds and tide subsided. No one had died. Evacuees filed out to discover the wall of water had tossed their cars around like Hot Wheels.

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It was — and still is — a terrifying story. The State today led with an account of all that, featuring a terrifying quote headline.

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Find the story here by the State‘s Jason Ryan. Find video and photo galleries here.

Average daily circulation for the State is 70,980.

My favorite front page of the day, however, is this one from the tiny Item of Sumter, circulation 13,644.

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Reversing the entire front page out of black is a risky thing to do, but not what the folks at the item did:

  • They bumped up the point size of their body copy so it’d be more readable on a black background.
  • They used sans-serif type — rather than the usual serif — because serifs can get lost when reversed out.
  • They kept the rest of their design very clean and let the black background do the shouting.

There’s one more thing you can do with a page like this: You can make sure the black isn’t a four-color black. Use a mix like, say, 15 cyan and 100 black — with no magenta or yellow ink whatsoever. Even if you have a few registration issues, your copy will, most likely, still be readable.

I can’t tell if that’s what Sumter did here. Nor can I tell if print copies looked as good as this PDF does. But I sure like what I’m seeing.

When you go to the Item‘s home page today Wham! — you’re smacked in the eyeballs with an enormous picture of the paper’s front page from 25 years ago this coming Wednesday…

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… which was the first time the paper could publish after the storm. Note the note at the top right:

Special thanks to the Times and Democrat of Orangeburg for typesetting and publishing today’s edition. The Item hopes to resume its normal publication Schedule beginning Monday.

What did my paper at the time — the Herald of Rock Hill — do today? I dunno. Here’s their anniversary story, but sadly, their front page was a no-show in the Newseum today. If any of my friends in the McClatchy design hub in Charlotte would care to send me today’s page, I’d be happy to add it here.

All these front pages are from the Newseum. Of course.

Back to the night of Sept. 21, 1989…

I sat up that evening watching live TV coverage as the eye of Hugo seemingly smashed head-on into Charleston. We expected heavy wind and rain the next morning, but we didn’t expect it to get bad until after daybreak. I set my alarm for an hour or so earlier than normal — so I could drive to work before it got too messy — and went to sleep right around midnight.

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Sharon and I woke up around 3 a.m. to this horrible, horrible howling noise. What the hell is that? Turned out to be the wind. I had never been in a hurricane before. I had no idea the racket they make. God, it was awful.

We tried to go back to sleep. Within minutes, the power went out.

My old Herald colleague Deborah Burriss posted on Facebook, five years ago:

That’s a night I’ll never forget.

The copydesk stayed late, waiting for the storm to hit Columbia, which was supposed to get it bad. Then, we got hit with tornado warnings, so we thought it safer to stay at The Herald.

After the power went off all over town, we decided to go home. I lived less than five minutes away, but it was terrifying. Total darkness, stuff flying everywhere. A transformer blew, flaming out as I drove by.

By 4 a.m., so many tree branches and debris from our disintegrating apartment building had bounced off our bedroom windows that we decided to move downstairs.

We lit candles and found a battery-powered transistor radio with which to pull in a local station. We succeeded for a few minutes, but then the announcer said his transmitter was on fire. Then he was knocked off the air.

We were terrified. How much worse can this get?

Around 6 a.m. on the morning of the 22nd, the wind suddenly died down and the sky brightened just a bit. I ventured outside for just a few moments. Trees and power lines were down. Debris was everywhere.

I ducked back inside. Sure enough, moments later, the wind picked up again. I couldn’t believe the eye of the storm had stayed intact this far inland. But sure enough, it had.

Then, suddenly, the storm was gone. The wind stopped blowing, the rain slowed to a misty trickle and then ended. The clouds parted. The sun came out.

But everything was deathly still. No singing birds. No chirping crickets. No sounds of radio or TV. No sounds of traffic on Cherry Road, a block or so away.

The air quickly became hot and muggy. But the blue skies were a stark — and welcome — contrast to what we had suffered through just hours before.

We were lucky: Our townhouse apartment was surrounded by units on either side that protected us from the worst of the wind.

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But we could see what had caused some of the racket overnight: Large chunks of our roof were gone with the wind.

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With school canceled, Sharon straightened up the place while I dashed in to work.

All down Cherry Road, I saw things like this:

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That was one of my favorite Hugo photos, snapped by my colleagues at the Herald.

Here was the view out on Cherry Road, near our apartment.

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That’s a Wendy’s sign, denuded and leaning to the left.

And where had that fickle Wendy gotten off to? She was out messing around with a neighborhood kid:

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We were lucky. We got power back at our apartment the very next day. The secret to having your power restored quickly: Live directly behind a Wal-Mart. Works every time.

Power was out for weeks, though, for many residents. We invited folks we worked with to come over and take hot showers.

Not together. However, now that you mention it, that’s not a bad idea, either.

Hugo struck in the wee hours of a Friday morning. That afternoon, our paper attempted to put out our Saturday and Sunday editions with power from a generator trucked in from Raleigh.

I built a nice photo page for our Sunday Perspective front. As soon as the page went to plate, however, I was told we’d be producing a 12-page special section for Sunday’s paper.

A number of us came in Saturday. I came up with a design format, which we handed off to editors. We divvied up the section into geographical regions and turned everyone loose. Here was the cover I designed, with art by photo chief Andy Burriss:

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I don’t know if you can read the lede on that cover story. It’s uncredited, but I’d bet you it was written by Terry Plumb, our editor. It sounds like him:

South Carolina does not suffer her villains easily, an she will rank Hurricane Hugo up there with General Sherman, carpetbaggers and the boll weevil.

Pages two and three focused on the city of Rock Hill (click any of these for a larger view).

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Pages four and five looked at the rural areas of our coverage area, York and Chester counties.

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Pages six and seven focused on whatever cleanup and recovery photos we could get Friday and Saturday.

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Pages eight and nine looked at Charleston and the devastated lowcountry.

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Page 10 was a state-wide roundup. Page 11 focused on the Caribbean, where Hugo had beaten up the islands pretty badly before it had even gotten to us.

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Page 12 — the back page — was mine. However, I found myself handicapped by the loss of my Mac. When power finally came back on Friday night, the surge fried my power supply. I was forced to cobble together pieces from whatever I could find on floppy drives, using one of our ad production Macs.

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In the lower left is a hasty recreation of a hard copy I had saved of an Associated Press graphic by Dean Caple and Karl Gude.

Later, I did manage to put together some nicer pieces. I showed you one earlier of Hugo’s trek across the state. This one shows the mechanical forces a hurricane uses to rip apart your house.

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I had made the switch from MacDraw to Freehand just five months before. As you can see, I leaned on gradient blends just a bit too much in those days.

Our carriers did a really swell job getting papers out in the aftermath of Hugo. In a gallery of reader-submitted photos on the Herald on the 20th anniversary five years ago, I found this picture of former carrier Betty Johnson, whose work that day earned her a T-shirt. She says she wears the shirt once a year, to commemorate Hurricane Hugo.

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Yep: I designed that T-shirt.

While I was digging around in my Hugo files, I also found the special section inserted the Sunday after the storm by our competitors up the road, the Charlotte Observer.

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The Observer’s special section contained three or four good-sized graphics — a lot more than I was able to provide for the Herald.

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The reasons for that: a) The Observer employed five news artists. I was a one-man staff at the time. And b) Presumably, the Observer didn’t lose its news art Macs to an electrical glitch.

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The Observer graphics were drawn by Mike Homan and Mike Fisher. Mike the former  now designs the paper’s page one at the McClatchy hub there. Mike the latter spent a few years with KRT’s News in Motion and is now with the San Antonio Express News.

The Charleston paper — actually, there were twin papers at the time; the morning News & Courier and the evening Evening Post — one-upped us all by rushing to press this magazine-format reprint edition containing stories and photos from the week’s papers:

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The design looks a little dated now, but then again, it is dated. This printed 25 years ago.

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Hugo set off a series of events that happened very quickly for me that winter.

  • Just a couple of weeks after Hugo, I visited England for my first-ever international speaking engagement.
  • That winter, the Daniels family of Raleigh sold the Herald and its sister papers in Beaufort and Hilton Head to McClatchy company of Sacramento, Calif.
  • McClatchy immediately ordered up a redesign of the Herald, which I executed. It was the second daily redesign of my career. I was only 27 years old.
  • Then, McClatchy authorized us to hire a second artist. We selected Michael Dabrowa of the Savannah College of Art and Design. Michael would later spend eight years as graphics editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Back to Hugo, though: As chance would have it, Sharon and I had spent a long Labor Day weekend in Charleston with her parents, just three weeks before the city was was nearly wiped off the map.

Charleston, as always, had been gorgeous:

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After the redesign, Sharon and I took time off during her spring break to visit my dad, who had just moved to Moncks Corner, north of Charleston.  We couldn’t resist driving back into town to see what the place looked like, six months after our last visit.

And, in fact, the tourist-conscious downtown area looked pretty good. Most buildings were already repaired. A few still had scaffolding up, like this place just off the famed battery, along the waterfront.

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Here are four houses along the famed Rainbow Row. Three had been repaired; fixes to the fourth were underway.

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The outlying areas to the north and east of town, however, still showed heavy scars from Hugo. Rich houses along the beachfront on Sullivan’s Island — actual ground-zero the night of Sept. 21 — sat empty, some no longer attached to their foundations.

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Apartments and condos, no longer structurally sound, had been abandoned in place, awaiting demolition crews.

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Just a few months before, this area had been lively with activity. What a depressing sight this was.

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And along the beach itself, officials had erected fences to collect wind-driven sand, in hopes of accumulating the protective sand dunes lost to the storm surge.

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We found all sorts of interesting debris still washing up along the beach, six months after the storm.

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A few miles up the coast, though, was where the truly stunning visuals were.

I wrote a few minutes ago about the most terrifying story that came out of Hugo: What happened in the town of McClellanville. I wanted to see the town for myself. We couldn’t find the school. Perhaps it had been demolished.

We did, however, find fishing boats in the strangest places.

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Namely, everywhere except the water.

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The final item in my collection of Hugo memorabilia is this board game, rushed out in time for Christmas that year:

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The orange cards, by the way, are “experience.” The blue cards are “adjustor” and represent comical dealings with insurance companies.

That’s who everyone cursed in South Carolina after Hugo, by the way. Insurance companies, as opposed to FEMA.

I took those pictures five years ago. I’m not even sure this little gem survived the massive purge we made for our move to California last year.

Hugo was my first hurricane. We had had storms come through before — in particular, I remember Hurricane David dumping a ton of rain on us in 1979, causing one of my Friday night high-school football games to be postponed until Saturday.

But the howl of wind moving in excess of 75 mph, I had never heard before that night.
Since then, though, we have been through a series of hurricanes and tropical storms. Fran, which smacked us so hard in Raleigh in 1996 that we didn’t get power back for nine days. Emily. Bertha. Allison. Eduardo. Leslie. Ernesto. Bonnie. Charlie. Gaston. Ophelia. Irene, the only storm for which we evacuated our home in Virginia Beach. Probably a few more I can’t recall right now.

Hurricanes are deadly. They’re loud and terrifying — for years, our daughter, Elizabeth, referred to Fran as the night we had “big thunder,” because that’s what it sounded like to her: Big thunder that wouldn’t stop.

Twenty five years later, Hugo still gives me a shiver. I don’t want to go through that again anytime soon.

Birthday for Sunday, Sept. 21

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to Rachel Barth, design editor of Army Times Publishing in Springfield, Va.

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A 1998 graduate of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Rachel earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. She’s worked with Gannett Government Media, the Examiner — as assistant managing editor for production from 2002 to 2007 — and, since then, with Army Times. Rachel turns 38 today.

Rachel shares a birthday with actors William James “Bill” Murray, Larry Martin Hagman, Robert Alan “Rob” Morrow, Luke Cunningham Wilson, Allison Glenn Scagliotti, David James Elliott, Alfonso Lincoln Ribeiro, David Alan “Dave” Coulier, Paulo Costanzo, Patricia Neal (better known as Fannie Flagg) and James Bateman (better known as Henry Gibson); musicians Audrey Faith Perry (better known as Faith Hill), William John Paul “Liam” Gallagher (of Oasis), David Randall Silveria (of Korn) and Donald William “Don” Felder (of the Eagles); producer Jerome Leon “Jerry” Bruckheimer; animator Charles Martin “Chuck” Jones; TV personality Nicole Camille Escovedo (better known as Nicole Richie); talk show host Ricki Pamela Lake; sports greats Gregory “Greg” Jennings Jr. (football), Cecil Grant Fielder (baseball), Artis Gilmore, Sidney A. Moncrief, Bryce Homer Drew (all three basketball), Douglas Edwin “Doug” Moe (basketball coach), Arie Luyendyk and Richard Childress (both auto racing); politician William Hamilton McWhorter Jordan; humorist Jeanne Swanner Robertson; novelists Stephen Edwin King and Herbert George “H.G.” Wells and longtime CBS anchor William Horton Kuretich (better known as Bill Kurtis).

In addition, today is World Alzheimer’s Day, Wife Appreciation Day, the International Day of Peace and the Worldwide Day of Play. Seriously.

Best wishes, Rachel! Have a terrific birthday today!

Birthdays for Saturday, Sept. 20

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to three fine folks…

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Jeanette Clark is manager of group communications for Mercedes-Benz South Africa in Johannesburg. A 1999 graduate of Stellenbosch University, Jeanette worked in public relations and as an Afrikaans language teacher before joining the Diamond Fields Advertiser as a reporter and photographer in 2004. She moved to Volksblad, the daily paper in Bloemfontein in 2005 and then to Sake24, the business news arm of the Media24 company, in 2006. She was promoted to news editor in 2008. In 2010, she went back into public relations work. In 2011, she joined Moneyweb — a web site that covers finance in South Africa — working out of Pretoria. She moved into her current position last September. Jeanette turns 35 today.

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Kevin Copeland is owner of Beach Tec, a technical consultancy in Virginia Beach specializing in Apple Computers. A 1990 graduate of Virginia Commonwealth, Kevin worked as technical support for IKON documents and Canon, among other companies. He spent three-and-a-half years as a “Genius Bar” technician at the Apple Store in Norfolk, Va., before going it alone in 2009. Not long before I left town last year, Kevin got me out of a jam. I recommend him most highly.  In addition, Kevin is a cartoonist. He’s the organizer of DRAWtoberfest and the 757 Comic and Cartoon Creators. See some of his work here. Find his company’s web site here, his company’s Facebook page here and his Twitter feed here.

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Kevin Hollingsworth is a Los Angeles-based writer of poetry and the publisher of two collections of his work.

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Wonders was published in 2009. Romance With a Touch of Love came out in 2011. A 1992 graduate of UCLA, Kevin turns 46 today.

Jeanette, Kevin and Kevin share a birthday with actors Gary Michael Cole, Jonathan Edward “Jon” Bernthal, Kristen Johnston, Anne Meara, Korinna Moon Bloodgood, Aria Asia Maria Vittoria Rossa Argento and Sofia Villani Scicolone (better known as Sophia Loren); jazz great Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe (better known as Jelly Roll Morton); sports greats James Charles “Jim” Taylor (football), Arnold Jacob “Red” Auerbach (basketball coach), Guy Damien Lafleur (hockey), Robert Granville “Bob” Lemon, Jason Raymond Bay (both baseball) and Juan Pablo Montoya Roldán (auto racing); celebrity psychologist Dr. Joyce Diane Bauer Brothers; Japanese leader Tarō Asō; philosopher Leo Strauss; comics writer Stephen Ross “Steve” Gerber (creator of Howard the Duck); animator J. Troplong “Jay” Ward (creator of Bullwinkle) and author Upton Sinclair Jr.

In addition, today is International Eat an Apple Day, International Coastal Cleanup Day, International Gymnastics Day, Puppy Mill Awareness Day, Responsible Dog Ownership Day and Big Whopper Liar Day. Seriously.

Have a truly great birthday today, you three! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Friday, Sept. 19

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to three wonderful visual journalists…

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Judith Chetrit is a journalist based in Paris, France. A 2010 graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ind., Judith served as managing editor of the Paris Globalist, a biannual student magazine that covers international affairs. She moved to Paris to attend grad school at the Institut d’Etudes politiques. She graduated last year. Judith served internships at Citizenside, le Nouvel Observateur, Slate, Libération and BFM Business. Find her Tumblr blog here and her Twitter feed here. Judith turns 25 today.

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Meredith Kruse is senior editor for local news at the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk. A 1991 graduate of Cornell University, Meredith worked as a reporter for a number of papers in upstate New York and Virginia before joining the Pilot in 1998. She covered city government in Suffolk and Norfolk before becoming military editor in 2008 and then adding state coverage in 2009. She moved into her current duties in 2012. Find her Twitter feed here.

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Sarah Morris is an artist and designer for the Kansas City Star. A 2010 graduate of the University of Missouri, Sara earned a master’s degree from that same institution in 2012 and went to work for Gannett soon after. She had worked internships at Standard & Poor’s in New York City, the Associated Electric Cooperative in Springfield, Mo. and the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch. She moved to the Gannett Design Studio in Louisville, Ky., in 2012 and then again to the Star earlier this year. Find her portfolio here, her blog here and her Twitter feed here.

Judith, Sarah and Meredith share a birthday with actors William West Anderson (better known as Adam West), Randolph Donald Mantooth, David Keith McCallum Jr., Jeremy John Irons, Alison Ann Sweeney, Faye Reagan and Cheryl Ann O’Teari (better known as Cheri Oteri); musicians Patricia Lynn “Trisha” Yearwood, William Thomas “Bill” Medley, Brook Benton, Paul Hamilton Williams Jr. and Ellen Naomi Cohen (better known as Mama Cass Elliot); TV hosts James Lipton, Alison Ann Sweeney, Joan Elise Blunden (better known as Joan Lunden), Mario Batali and James “Jimmy” Fallon Jr.; home improvement guru Carter Oosterhouse; model Leslie Hornby Lawson (better known as Twiggy); sports greats Alfred “Al” Oerter Jr. (discus), Sally McLellan Pearson (track and field), Abner Haynes (football), Edwin Vernon “Ed” Westfall (hockey), Tyreke Jamir Evans (basketball), Edwin Donald “Duke” Snider, James Anthony “Jim” Abbott, Joe Leonard Morgan (all three baseball); Watergate prosecutor Leonidas “Leon” Jaworski; TV journalist María de la Soledad Teresa O’Brien and legendary columnist Michael “Mike” Royko.

In addition, today is National POW/MIA Recognition Day, National Trademen Day and Talk Like a Pirate Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, you three! Have a terrific birthday today!

A look at today’s UK front pages about today’s vote for Scottish independence

Today is a huge day in the UK — Scotland is voting on whether it should remain part of the United Kingdom or break away to form a separate country.

It would be a completely separate country — much like most of Ireland is. But it would keep Queen Elizabeth as its monarch and it also wishes to keep the pound sterling as its currency.

Let’s look at how papers in the UK are covering today’s vote…

The Scotsman of Edinburgh used a great headline today but kind of wimped out with its lead photo.

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A man placing polling signs? Really?

Average daily circulation for the Scotsman is 28,500.

The Herald of Glasgow — circulation 37,728 — also used a nice headline and went with an inspiring — but purely illustrative — picture of a man looking off into the mist of a distant Loch.

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I was surprised at English papers. Neither the Sun nor the Daily Mail made a big deal today about the vote, so I didn’t bother to collect them. The Daily Express of London — circulation 488,246 — used a huge headline today, but under a gigantic skybox featuring a circulation-boosting promotion.

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Personally, I’d think the news of the day would drive circulation. But perhaps not.

The Times of London, on the other hand, used a gorgeous picture of the UK Union Jack for a wonderful poster front today.

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Now, see? That’s more like what I expected to see. What’s more: This is just the front part of a wraparound cover.

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Ont the back are the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne.

On its actual front page, the Times ran a somewhat routine headline and lead photo.

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Downpage is an editorial advocating a “no” vote.

Average daily circulation for the Times is 394,448.

The Times was just one paper that built its display around a flag motif today. The free Metro papers of England went with a picture of the Union Jack and the Scottish flag on a flagpole but also managed to find a clever headline to pair with it.

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The Independent of London used a much more dramatic picture of flags and came up with perhaps the most clever headline of all.

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Average daily circulation for the Independent is 63,907.

The Independent‘s i — circulation 292,801 — didn’t do nearly as nicely as its sister paper.

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The Daily Mirror of London photoshopped the cross of St. Andrews out of the Union Jack for this morning’s lead art.

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Average daily circulation for the Mirror is 962,670.

The Daily Telegraph built its front around what appeared to be a picture taken at the same time as the Daily Mirror‘s.

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Average daily circulation for the London Telegraph is 523,048.

My favorite flag-themed front page of the day, however, was this one by the Glasgow version of the Daily Mail.

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Now, that’s outstanding. And powerful.

The Daily Mail circulates 113,771 papers in Scotland.

Metro publishes two editions in Scotland: Glasgow and Edinburgh. Those papers today used page one to urge citizens to the polls.

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This is important, because in 1979, Scotland voted on whether or not to create its own Parliament. The “yes” side got 52 percent of the vote, but the decision didn’t stick because not enough people voted. In the fallout afterwards, the UK elected a new prime minister: Margaret Thatcher.

I doubt a low turnout will be an issue today. But still, it’s an interesting approach.

The Daily Record of Glasgow — circulation 253,500 — also urged citizens to vote today on the cover that wrapped around its daily edition.

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Take note of the list of inside pages across the bottom. That doesn’t seem well thought-out, does it?

Meanwhile, the actual front page of the paper today showed the very latest poll numbers — this referendum is simply too close to call.

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The Glasgow version of the Sun used its front page today for a very interesting conceptual piece illustrating the importance of today’s vote.

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Naturally, there were folks out there who had a little fun with this today.

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The Sun circulates 340,000 papers in Scotland.

But my favorite treatment of the day was the huge satellite photo the Guardian used today.

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Average daily circulation for the London-based Guardian is 185,313

These front pages were culled from a number of sources, including Press Display, the Paperboy and Wales Online.

For a truly great look at today’s UK front pages, though, make sure you check out Peter Sands‘ blog.


UPDATE: 9:20 a.m. PDT

In addition, my Focus page today was on Scottish independence. This was aimed at folks here who might not have been keeping up with all the issues involved.

Click for a much larger — and, hopefully, readable — look:

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The picture is by the New York Times Andrew Testa of a rail line that runs from England to Scotland. I played off that picture — both in theme and with color — for the rest of my page.

Polls close tonight at 10 p.m. local time. That’s 5 p.m. EDT and 2 pm here on the west coast. I’m not sure when we’ll know results.