Daily Almanac for Wednesday, March 23, 2022

On this date in 1857, Elisha Graves Otis installed the first commercial passenger elevator, in NYC store. Elisha Graves Otis. Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org

COURTESY WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

Elisha Graves Otis (August 3, 1811 – April 8, 1861) was an American industrialist, founder of the Otis Elevator Company, and inventor of a safety device that prevents elevators from falling if the hoisting cable fails.

Otis Worldwide

Otis Worldwide Corporation (branded as the Otis Elevator Company, its former legal name) is an American company that develops, manufactures and markets elevators, escalators, moving walkways, and related equipment.

Based in Farmington, Connecticut, U.S, Otis is the world’s largest manufacturer of vertical transportation systems, principally focusing on elevatorsmoving walkways, and escalators. The company pioneered the development of the “safety elevator”, invented by Elisha Otis in 1852, which used a special mechanism to lock the elevator car in place should the hoisting ropes fail.

The Otis Elevator Company was acquired by United Technologies in 1976, but it was spun off as an independent company 44 years later in April 2020 as Otis Worldwide Corporation.

TODAY’S ALMANAC

Question of the Day

I’m curious about Gregorian chants. Who was Gregory?There were 16 popes named Gregory, but the one who lent his name to the chants was Pope Gregory I, also known as Gregory the Great (540?-604). He was the father of the medieval papacy and a tremendous influence on his time. Gregorian chant proper is a body of music, purely vocal and ecclesiastical, that evolved from the papal choirs of the fifth and sixth centuries. It was codified in the time of Gregory I and stands as the basis for all Gregorian music.

Advice of the Day

Hang bird-nesting materials outside now. Dryer lint, hair clippings, yarn, and any natural fibers are good choices.

Home Hint of the Day

The intense heat from a chimney fire is likely to crack the bricks in the chimney, making it easy for the fire to ignite any woodwork that’s in contact with it. For this reason, keep all structural members at least 2 inches from a chimney.

Word of the Day

OppositionThe Moon or a planet appears on the opposite side of the sky from the Sun (elongation 180°).

Puzzle of the Day

Why does a man paving the streets correct the public morals?Because he is amending the public ways.

Born

  • John Bartram (botanist) – 1699
  • Fannie Farmer (cookery expert) – 1857
  • Eric Fromm (psychoanalyst) – 1900
  • Joan Crawford (actress) – 1908
  • Werner von Braun (rocket scientist) – 1912
  • Roger Bannister (runner) – 1929
  • Ron Jaworski (football player) – 1951
  • Teofilo Stevenson (boxer) – 1952
  • Chaka Khan (singer) – 1953
  • Moses Malone (basketball player) – 1955
  • Amanda Plummer (actress) – 1957
  • Keri Russell (actress) – 1976
  • Nicholle Tom (actress) – 1978

Died

  • Barney Clark (first person to receive a permanent artificial heart) – 1983
  • Arthur Lithgow (actor, producer, and director who was a pioneer in American regional theater) – 2004
  • Elizabeth Taylor (actress) – 2011
  • Gary Dahl (creator of the Pet Rock) – 2015
  • Madeleine Albright (first woman to serve as U.S. secretary of state ) – 2022

Events

  • The first standing ovation was recorded at the first performance of Handel’s Messiah. King George was so inspired (or restless) that he jumped to his feet; when the king did that, everyone else did– 1743
  • Halifax Gazette became Canada’s first newspaper– 1752
  • In a speech to the Virginia Provincial Convention, Patrick Henry made a plea for independence from Britain, saying I know not what course others might take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death.– 1775
  • Society L’Institut Canadien du Quebec incorporated– 1848
  • Elisha Graves Otis installed the first commercial passenger elevator, in NYC store– 1857
  • Opera diva Nellie Melba recounted how she prepared toast, the original melba toast– 1901
  • SS Yongala sank in cyclone, near Townsville, Australia– 1911
  • Herbert Hoover became the first president to have a telephone installed on his desk– 1929
  • WWII relocation of Japanese-Americans away from the West Coast began– 1942
  • The World Meteorological Organization established by the UN– 1950
  • U.S. Army sold its last homing pigeons– 1957
  • NASA astronaut John Young smuggled a corned beef sandwich onboard Gemini 3– 1965
  • America’s first two-person space flight began as Gemini 3 blasted off from Cape Kennedy with astronauts Virgil I. Grissom and John W. Young on board– 1965
  • President Reagan first proposed development of technology to intercept enemy missiles — a proposal that came to be known as the strategic defense initiative, or Star Wars– 1983
  • Billy Joel married model Christie Brinkley in NYC– 1985
  • Sandinistas and Contras signed a 60-day ceasefire accord– 1988
  • A 1910 Honus Wagner baseball card was sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $451,000 to hockey great Wayne Gretzky and Los Angeles Kings owner Bruce McNall– 1991
  • Wayne Gretzky scored his 802nd career goal in front of a sellout crowd at the Great Western Forum, to break the legendary Gordie Howe’s NHL all-time goal record– 1994
  • Mir space station deorbited as planned, falling into the South Pacific Ocean– 2001
  • An oil refinery explosion occurred in Texas City, Texas– 2005

Weather

  • Edmonton, Alberta, reached 22.2 degrees C (72 degrees F)– 1889
  • Easter Sunday tornado killed 94 in Omaha, Nebraska– 1913
  • First robin of the season seen, Dublin, N.H.– 1941
  • 65 degrees F, Montreal, Quebec– 1979

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