Daily Almanac for Sunday, July 17, 2022

On this date in 1997, the last 400 Woolworth’s department stores closed
The Woolworth’s store at 3rd & Pike in downtown Seattle in 1986. Photo by Steve Morgan, CC BY-SA 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

FROM WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

The F. W. Woolworth Company (often referred to as Woolworth’s or simply Woolworth) was a retail company and one of the pioneers of the five-and-dime store. It was among the most successful American and international five-and-dime businesses, setting trends and creating the modern retail model that stores follow worldwide today.

The first Woolworth store was opened by Frank Winfield Woolworth on February 22, 1879, as “Woolworth’s Great Five Cent Store” in Utica, New York. Though it initially appeared to be successful, the store soon failed. When Woolworth searched for a new location, a friend suggested Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Using the sign from the Utica store, Woolworth opened his first successful “Woolworth’s Great Five Cent Store” on July 18, 1879, in Lancaster. He brought his brother, Charles Sumner Woolworth, into the business.

The two Woolworth brothers pioneered and developed merchandising, direct purchasing, sales, and customer service practices commonly used today. Despite its growing to be one of the largest retail chains in the world through most of the 20th century, increased competition led to its decline beginning in the 1980s, while its sporting goods division grew. The chain went out of business in July 1997, when the company decided to focus primarily on sporting goods and renamed itself Venator Group. By 2001, the company focused exclusively on the sporting goods market, changing its name to the current Foot Locker, Inc., changing its ticker symbol from its familiar Z in 2003 to its present ticker (NYSEFL).

Retail chains using the Woolworth name survived in Austria, Germany, Mexico and the United Kingdom as of early 2009. The similarly named Woolworths supermarkets in Australia and New Zealand are operated by Australia’s largest retail company, Woolworths Group, a separate company with no historical links to the F. W. Woolworth Company or Foot Locker, Inc. However, Woolworths Limited did take their name from the original company, as it had not been registered or trademarked in Australia at the time. Similarly, in South Africa, Woolworths Holdings Limited operates a Marks & Spencer-like store and uses the Woolworth name, but has never had any connection with the American company. The property development company Woolworth Group in Cyprus began life as an offshoot of the British Woolworth’s company, originally operating Woolworth’s department stores in Cyprus. In 2003, these stores were rebranded Debenhams, but the commercial property arm of the business retained the Woolworth’s name.

TODAY’S ALMANAC

Question of the Day

I just inherited a wisteria with my new house. How should I care for it?

Wisterias need full sun, which we presume you have. They like to be in moist, well-drained soil that has been fortified with peat moss or leaf mold. If your plant is young, give it a general-purpose fertilizer in the spring. If it is mature, give it a complete fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, in the spring. If you’re in one of the northern zones, use pine boughs or leaves to mulch your wisteria in the fall for protection through the winter. Prune established plants to encourage flowering. Do this in late summer by removing new growth to above the sixth or seventh leaf from the base of each branch.

Advice of the Day

Of what use is it for a cow to give plenty of milk if she upsets the pail?

Home Hint of the Day

Should you bag your lawn clippings or leave them be? As the grass clippings decompose, they provide up to half the nitrogen your lawn needs. Chemical fertilizers will hinder the decomposition. Instead, feed your lawn with organic fertilizers such as compost, lime, blood meal, bonemeal, and wood ashes.

Word of the Day

Indian Summer

Indian summer is a period of warm weather following a cold spell or a hard frost. It can occur between St. Martin’s Day (November 11) and November 20, although the Almanac adheres to the proverb, “If All Saints’ brings out winter, St. Martin’s brings out Indian summer.” As for the origin of the term, some say it comes from the early Native Americans, who believed that the condition was caused by a warm wind sent from the court of their southwestern god, Cautantowwit.

Puzzle of the Day

My first and second designate abbreviations of two states. My whole these states would be before the Revolution, see?(What’s the word? Here are clues to its parts!)

Colo-NY (colony)

Born

  • John Jacob Astor (businessman) – 1763
  • James Cagney (actor) – 1899
  • Art Linkletter (television personality) – 1912
  • Phyllis Diller (actress) – 1917
  • Nils Bohlin (inventor of seat belts) – 1920
  • Diahann Carroll (singer) – 1935
  • Lucie Arnaz (actress, daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz) – 1951
  • David Hasselhoff (actor) – 1952
  • Mark Burnett (television producer) – 1960
  • Bitty Schram (actress) – 1968
  • Eric Moulds (football player) – 1973

Died

  • Billie Holiday (jazz & blues singer) – 1959
  • Ty Cobb (baseball player) – 1961
  • Joseph Maher (actor) – 1998
  • Hugh Reilly (actor) – 1998
  • Walter Cronkite (newscaster) – 2009
  • Morgan Paull (actor) – 2012
  • John Robert Lewis (American politician; civil rights leader) – 2020

Events

  • Florida formally ceded by Spain to the U.S.– 1821
  • First photo taken of star other than Sun (Vega), Harvard College Observatory– 1850
  • U.S. National Cemetery Act passed– 1862
  • In Boston, Massachusetts, the Harvard School of Dental Medicine established as the first university-based dental school in the U.S.– 1867
  • Disneyland Park opened in Anaheim, California– 1955
  • Contact with Surveyor 4 lost 2.5 minutes before Moon touchdown– 1967
  • U.S. Apollo 18 and U.S.S.R. Soyuz 19 docked with each other in space marking the first such link-up between spacecrafts from the two nations– 1975
  • Maiden flight of B-2 stealth bomber– 1989
  • Two triple plays were made by the Minnesota Twins in a game against the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox won 1-0– 1990
  • Last 400 Woolworth’s department stores closed– 1997
  • Tsunami in Indonesia– 2006

Weather

  • Atlanta, Georgia, received its 14th consecutive day of rain– 1994

COURTESY www.almanac.com

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