Daily Almanac for Wednesday, December 29, 2021; Day 363 of the Year

On this date in 1930, Fred Newton became the first and only person to swim the length of the Mississippi River. It took him about six months to cover the 1,826 miles from Minnesota to New Orleans. He was in the water for 742 hours and was protected from the cold water by a layer of axle grease on his body. This is Fred Newton during his record-setting days. (courtesy of the Newton Family & Smithsonianmag.org)

FROM WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

Fred Newton (1903 – 1992) was an American swimmer who was known for being the first person to swim the full length of the Mississippi River. Over the course of 176 days in 1930, Newton swam from Minneapolis, near the source of the Mississippi River, to New Orleans, a city at its mouth.

Swim of the Mississippi River

Newton pursued the journey primarily to generate publicity and wealth. At age 27, he began the swim on July 6, 1930, in Minneapolis with his brother, Byron, following in a rowboat with supplies. He initially predicted that the journey would take 90 days, though it ended up taking almost twice as long. They stopped in towns along the way, with Newton painting signs for room and board. During the journey, Newton encountered pollution and cold temperatures. He used wool clothing and axle grease to keep himself warm.

Newton arrived in New Orleans on December 29, 1930. He was welcomed by a crowd and was offered a bath by the New Orleans Athletic Club. In total, the swim was 1,826 miles and Newton was in the water for 742 hours.

TODAY’S ALMANAC

Question of the Day

What is the significance of the dreidel game that children play at Chanukah?In ancient times, Jews living in Syrian lands were prohibited from reading their holy book, “The Torah.” However, many adults continued to do so, but kept a dreidel (a small top-lik toy) nearby. If officials entered their home, they could quickly hide their books and pretend to be playing a game.

Advice of the Day

Don’t forget to fill the bird feeder when winter storms are forecast.

Home Hint of the Day

You can dry woven wool garments on hangers. Knitted wool clothing should be laid flat to dry; it will stretch if hung.

Word of the Day

FrigophobiaFear of cold

Puzzle of the Day

Can a leopard change his spots?Yes, when he is tired of one place, he can go to another.

Born

  • Charles Macintosh (chemist & inventor) – 1766
  • Charles Goodyear (inventor) – 1800
  • Andrew Johnson (17th U.S. president) – 1808
  • Ed Flanders (actor) – 1934
  • Mary Tyler Moore (actress) – 1936
  • Ted Danson (actor) – 1947
  • Patricia Clarkson (actress) – 1959
  • Kevin Weisman (actor) – 1970
  • Jude Law (actor) – 1972

Died

  • Earl Hindman (actor) – 2003

Events

  • Saint Thomas Becket was murdered by four knights– 1170
  • Texas admitted to the Union as the 28th state– 1845
  • Gaslights were first used at the White House– 1848
  • American Meteorological Society founded at St. Louis, Missouri– 1919
  • William Lyon Mackenzie King became 10th Prime Minister of Canada– 1921
  • Fred Newton became the first and only person to swim the length of the Mississippi River. It took him about six months to cover the 1,826 miles from Minnesota to New Orleans. He was in the water for 742 hours and was protected from the cold water by a layer of axle grease on his body– 1930
  • The discovery of deuterium was publicly announced– 1931
  • Lake Washington Floating Bridge construction began, Seattle, Washington– 1938
  • Ashrita Furman stood on a Swiss ball for 3 hours, 38 minutes, and 30 seconds– 2003
  • Tom Brady of the New England Patriots broke Peyton Mannings’s single-season touchdown pass record when he threw his 50th of the season against the New York Giants– 2007
  • Randy Moss of the New England Patriots set an NFL record with 23 touchdown catches– 2007
  • The New England Patriots set an NFL record by winning 16 out of 16 games in the regular season– 2007

Weather

  • Morning “silvered by the icicles everywhere shining,” New London, Connecticut– 1747
  • Thirty inches of snow fell on central Illinois– 1830

COURTESY www.almanac.com

RELATED ARTICLES
NFL Week 16 Schedule
1 month ago
NFL Week 15 Preview
1 month ago
NFL Week 14 Preview
2 months ago
NFL Week 14 Schedule
2 months ago
NFL Week 13 Preview
2 months ago
NFL Week 13 Schedule
2 months ago
NFL Week 12 Preview
2 months ago