Daily Almanac for Sunday, December 26, 2021; Day 360 of the Year

On this date in 1865, James Nason of Franklin, Massachusetts, invented the coffee percolator. Here is an electric Coffee percolator, By Andreaze – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https commons.wikimedia.org



The first modern percolator incorporating the rising of boiling water through a tube to form a continuous cycle and capable of being heated on a kitchen stove was invented in 1819 by the Parisian tinsmith Joseph-Henry-Marie Laurens. Its principle was then often copied and modified. There were also attempts to produce closed systems, in other words “pressure cookers”.

The first US patent for a coffee percolator, which however still used a downflow method without rising steam and water, was issued to James Nason of Franklin, Massachusetts, in 1865.

An Illinois farmer named Hanson Goodrich patented the modern U.S. stove-top percolator as it is known today, and he was granted patent 408707 on August 13, 1889. It has the key elements, the broad base for boiling, the upflow central tube and a perforated basket hanging on it. He still describes the downflow as being the “percolating”. Goodrich’s design could transform any standard coffee pot of the day into a stove-top percolator. Subsequent patents have added very little.

There has also been a claim that the world’s first electric coffee percolator was invented by the British company Russell Hobbs in 1952. However, electric percolators have been in production since at least the 1920s and automatic electric percolators have been available since the 1940s or earlier.


First Day of Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is celebrated for seven days beginning on December 26 and lasting through January 1. This holiday was created in 1966 and named for the time of year when some African tribes traditionally celebrated the first harvest of their crops. During Kwanzaa, people decorate their homes with straw mats, ears of corn, and a candleholder called a kinara. They light a candle in the home each evening and may exchange homemade gifts. The seven-day celebration ends with a feast, usually held at a community center and featuring music and dancing. This spiritual holiday focuses on seven basic principles: unity (umoja), self-determination (kujichagulia), collective work and responsibility (ujima), cooperative economics (ujamaa), purpose (nia), creativity (kuumba), and faith (imani). 

Read more about Kwanzaa here.

Boxing Day (Canada)

This holiday derives from the Old English custom of giving Christmas “boxes” to tradesmen, postmen, and servants. The original boxes were usually made of earthenware and contained money, which could be retrieved only by breaking the boxes open. These days, a gift of money is usually contained in a greeting card and given before the holiday. Where celebrated (Great Britain, Canada, and Australia), Boxing Day is welcomed as a quiet day of recuperation from the season’s hectic festivities. It is also the biggest day of the year for soccer playoffs.

Question of the Day

Will asters survive the winter in northern Kentucky? What measures should I take to ensure this?Asters will generally do nicely in a Kentucky winter. Mulching does provide protection, and we recommend it. It’s good for preventing soil crusting, conserving moisture, and controlling weeds. Don’t go too heavy, though. This can result in too much moisture retention and crown rot. Pine bark, pine straw, wood chips, and a variety of other materials may be used successfully.

Advice of the Day

Grow African violets in an east window and water with warm or tepid water.

Home Hint of the Day

To remove rust stains on old china (either on or under the glaze), soak the china in a mild solution of household (5 percent) bleach and water. Soak for an hour or so, then wash and rinse.

Word of the Day

AntlophobiaFear of floods

Puzzle of the Day

When does a caterpillar improve in morals?When it turns over a new leaf.


  • Henry Miller (writer) – 1891
  • Steve Allen (actor & comedian) – 1921
  • Norm Ullman (hockey player) – 1935
  • Carlton Fisk (baseball player) – 1947
  • Ozzie Smith (baseball player) – 1954
  • Jared Leto (actor) – 1971
  • Chris Daughtry (singer) – 1979


  • Melvil Dewey (librarian famous for developing the Dewey Decimal Classification system) – 1931
  • Harry Truman (33rd U.S. president) – 1972
  • Jack Benny (actor) – 1974
  • Jason Robards (actor) – 2000
  • Herb Ritts (celebrity photographer) – 2002
  • Reggie White (football player) – 2004
  • Vincent Schiavelli (actor) – 2005
  • Gerald Ford (38th U.S. president) – 2006


  • James Nason of Franklin, Massachusetts, invented the coffee percolator– 1865
  • Law amended to admit girls into Little League baseball– 1974
  • An earthquake at Bam in Southern Iran killed more than 20,000 people– 2003
  • Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts broke Dan Marino’s single-season touchdown pass record when he threw his 48th and 49th of the season against the San Diego Chargers– 2004
  • A powerful 9.0 earthquake erupted underwater off the island of Sumatra and set off tsunamis that built up speeds of as much as 500 miles per hour, which crashed into areas of Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Indonesia, the Maldives, and Malaysia. An estimated 225,000 people were killed– 2004


  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received 21 inches of snow in a coastal storm that also brought record tides– 1909
  • Delaware received 24 inches of snow in a coastal storm that also brought record tides– 1909
  • NYC’s deepest snowstorm commenced: 25.8” at battery, 32” in suburbs – traffic completely stopped – removal costed $8 million – 27 people died– 1947

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