Daily Almanac for Sunday, December 12, 2021; Day 346 of the Year

On this date in history in 1870, Joseph became the first African-American to serve as a U.S. representative. This portrait by Simmie Knox, from the Collection of U.S. House of Representatives. 2004 photo. Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org


Joseph Hayne Rainey (June 21, 1832 – August 1, 1887) was an American politician. He was the first black person to serve in the United States House of Representatives and the second black person (after Hiram Revels) to serve in the United States Congress. His service included time as presiding officer of the House of Representatives.

Born into slavery in South Carolina, he and his family were freed in the 1840s when his father purchased their freedom. Both Revels and Rainey were members of the Republican Party.


Question of the Day

What is the name of the dog in the classic Dr. Seuss tale How the Grinch Stole Christmas?The dog’s name is Max.

Advice of the Day

Drop peeled apples, pears, and potatoes in cold, lightly salted water, and they won’t turn brown.

Home Hint of the Day

Dog odor can be eliminated by sprinkling baking soda on the dog’s coat, working it into the fur with your hands, then brushing well. The dirt in the dog’s fur will come out along with the soda.

Word of the Day

OmbrophobiaThe fear of rain

Puzzle of the Day

Why is the inside of everything so mysterious?Because we cannot make it out.


  • Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett (introduced the poinsettia plant to the U.S.) – 1851
  • Robert Browning (poet) – 1889
  • Henrietta Swan Leavitt (astronomer) – 1921
  • Dee Brown (author) – 2002
  • Keiko the killer whale (star of the Free Willy movies, died at 27 of pneumonia in a Norwegian fjord) – 2003
  • Peter Boyle (actor) – 2006
  • Tom Laughlin (actor) – 2013


  • Edvard Munch (artist) – 1863
  • Frank Sinatra (singer) – 1915
  • Bob Barker (game show host) – 1923
  • Edward Ed” Koch” (former mayor of New York City) – 1924
  • Connie Francis (singer) – 1938
  • Madeleine Wickham (author, aka Sophie Kinsella) – 1969
  • Jennifer Connelly (actress) – 1970
  • Katrina Elam (country music singer) – 1983


  • Pennsylvania ratified the Constitution and became the second state in the Union– 1787
  • Joseph Hayne Rainey became the first African-American to serve as a U.S. representative– 1870
  • Golf was played for the first time in the U.S. at Franklin Park, Boston– 1890
  • George Grant received patent for improved golf tee– 1899
  • Father Edward Flanagan founded a home for boys in Omaha, Nebraska—the start of Boys Town– 1917
  • Orange soil discovered by Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene A. Cernan and Harrison H. Schmitt during their second day of exploration on the lunar surface– 1972
  • Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones accepted a knighthood from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace– 2003
  • Jean Chretien stepped down after 10 years as Canada’s popular and often argumentative prime minister. Paul Martin, a former finance minister, inherited her post, becoming the 21st prime minister.– 2003


  • Snow accumulated to 16 inches in Nantucket, Massachusetts– 1960
  • Baltimore received 12 inches of snow in the first of three major storms that winter– 1960
  • 20.4 inches of snow covered Newark, New Jersey– 1960
  • Albany, New York, registered a low of -12 degrees F– 1988
  • After a two-day storm, 17.1 inches of snow covered Minneapolis, Minnesota. The snow event set an all-time record for two-day snowfall in December. The weight of the snow caused a tear in the roof of the Metrodome and deflated it, forcing the Vikings-Giants game to be rescheduled and moved to Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.– 2010

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