Daily Almanac for Sunday, December 19, 2021; Day 353 of the Year

On this date in 1871, Mark Twain received a patent for suspenders. Here he is in 1907. By A.F. Bradley, New York – steamboattimes.com, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org
Suspenders, a young man wearing them with grip fastenings, 2013. By Alwayzsinging25 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.org



There have been several precursors to suspenders throughout the past 300 years, but modern suspenders were first popularised as “braces” in 1822 by a London haberdasher Albert Thurston. They were once almost universally worn, due to the high cut of mid-nineteenth and early twentieth century skirts and trousers that made a belt impractical. During the nineteenth century, suspenders were sometimes called galluses. Samuel Clemens, known for his work as the author Mark Twain, patented “Adjustable and Detachable Straps for Garments” (ADSG), becoming one of the first to receive a United States patent for suspenders in 1871.

After losing popularity during World War I, when men became accustomed to uniform belts, suspenders were still regular attire throughout the 1920s. Because of their image as ‘underwear’, some men switched to belts during the 1930s as the vests (US/Canada) or waistcoats which had hidden suspenders became worn less often. This also signaled the switch in the position of securing buttons from the outside of the waistband to the inside. Life magazine stated in 1938 that 60% of American men chose belts over suspenders. Though the return of fuller-cut trousers in the 1940s revived suspenders, they did not dominate over belts again to the same extent. However, in the UK they remained the norm to wear with suits and dress trousers.


Question of the Day

Why do people say, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”?The saying, which generally means “Don’t be ungrateful,” seems to stem from the practice of giving horses as gifts. To check the age of a horse, you normally look into its mouth. This would be considered quite rude if the horse was being given to you as a gift.

Advice of the Day

When bubbles in your coffee collect in the center of the cup, expect fair weather. If they form a ring or cling to the sides, expect rain.

Home Hint of the Day

Here’s how to tell real antique ivory from plastic imitations. Heat the end of a needle with a match, then try to insert the needle into a spot that will not show. The heated needle will not pierce real ivory, but it will sink into any imitation.

Word of the Day

AuroraphobiaFear of the northern lights

Puzzle of the Day

Why are dudes no longer imported into this country from England?Because a Yankee dude’ll do (Yankee doodle doo).


  • Emily Brontë (writer) – 1848
  • Walter Williams (age 117: last known Civil War vet) – 1959
  • Hope Lange (actress) – 2003


  • Joe King” Oliver” (jazz musician) – 1885
  • Fritz Reiner (conductor) – 1888
  • Cicely Tyson (actress) – 1933
  • Tim Reid (actor) – 1944
  • Jennifer Beals (actress) – 1963
  • Criss Angel (illusionist) – 1967
  • Alyssa Milano (actress) – 1972
  • Jake Gyllenhaal (actor) – 1980
  • Marla Sokoloff (actress) – 1980


  • Fictional Robinson Crusoe left island after 28 years. Daniel Defoe’s story is based on an actual person, Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish sailor, who was found on an island where he had been stranded for 52 months. (He was rescued on Feb. 1, 1709)– 1686
  • Mark Twain received a patent for suspenders– 1871
  • The National Hockey League began its first professional season with four teams– 1917
  • Robert Ripley’s column, Believe It or Not!, first appeared in The New York Globe– 1918
  • The first known radio broadcast from outer space was transmitted when President Eisenhower’s recorded voice issued a holiday greeting for the whole world from the Atlas satellite which was launched the previous day– 1958
  • New transatlantic submarine cable, CANTAT-1, between Britain and Canada (first link in a proposed around-the-world Commonwealth system) is inaugurated by a telephone conversation between Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Diefenbaker of Canada– 1961
  • Intelsat III F-2 communications satellite launched– 1968


  • Louisiana Purchase explorer William Dunbar wrote, “… the e[a]ves of our cabin hang with beautiful icicles”– 1804
  • The temperature at Yellowstone National Park was -59 degrees F– 1924
  • It was so cold in Moosomin, Saskatchewan, that several children got stuck to their playground equipment and had to be thawed off. (It was -43F or -41.5C.)– 1983

COURTESY www.almanac.com

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