Daily Almanac for Sunday, March 20, 2022

On this date in 1852, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, written by Harriet Beecher Stowe, was published. Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Title page for Volume I of the first edition of Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852). By Hammatt Billings, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org
An engraving of Harriet Beecher Stowe from 1872, based on an oil painting by Alonzo Chappel.; Library of Congress, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org


Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly is an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published in two volumes in 1852, the novel had a profound effect on attitudes toward African Americans and slavery in the U.S., and is said to have “helped lay the groundwork for the [American] Civil War“.

Stowe, a Connecticut-born woman of English descent, was part of the religious Beecher family and an active abolitionist. She wrote the sentimental novel to depict the reality of slavery while also asserting that Christian love could overcome slavery. The novel focuses on the character of Uncle Tom, a long-suffering black slave around whom the stories of the other characters revolve.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the best-selling novel and the second best-selling book of the 19th century, following the Bible,[better source needed] and is credited with helping fuel the abolitionist cause in the 1850s. The impact attributed to the book was so great that a likely apocryphal story arose of Abraham Lincoln meeting Stowe at the start of the Civil War and declaring, “So this is the little lady who started this great war.”

The book and the plays it inspired helped popularize a number of stereotypes about black people including that of the namesake character “Uncle Tom,” with the term now used to describe an excessively subservient person. The negative associations with Uncle Tom’s Cabin have, to an extent, overshadowed the historical impact of the book as a “vital antislavery tool”. However, the novel stands as a “landmark” in protest literature with later books such as The Jungle by Upton Sinclair and Silent Spring by Rachel Carson owing a large debt to it.

Harriet Elisabeth Beecher Stowe (/stoʊ/; June 14, 1811 – July 1, 1896) was an American author and abolitionist. She came from the Beecher family, a religious family, and became best known for her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), which depicts the harsh conditions experienced by enslaved African Americans. The book reached an audience of millions as a novel and play, and became influential in the United States and in Great Britain, energizing anti-slavery forces in the American North, while provoking widespread anger in the South. Stowe wrote 30 books, including novels, three travel memoirs, and collections of articles and letters. She was influential both for her writings and for her public stances and debates on social issues of the day.


Vernal Equinox

In the Northern Hemisphere, the vernal or spring equinox occurs on this day and marks the astronomical start of the spring season. To learn everything about this equinox, go to Almanac.com/spring. The word equinox is derived from the Latin words meaning “equal night.” The vernal, or spring, equinox is the point at which the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator from south to north, signaling the beginning of nature’s renewal in the Northern Hemisphere.

Question of the Day

Where did the expression “behind the eight ball” come from?The phrase comes from a type of pool game in which the balls must be pocketed in a certain order, except for number 8. Touching the eight ball carries a penalty, so if it is in front of another ball a player intends to pocket, the player is in a rather dicey situation.

Advice of the Day

Never gulp tea or gruel; always sip it.

Home Hint of the Day

If you’re a beginner, choose a small room or just one wall for your first wallpapering project. Avoid complex rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens until you build up some confidence.

Word of the Day

PrecessionThe slowly changing position of the stars and equinoxes in the sky resulting from variations in the orientation of Earth’s axis.

Puzzle of the Day

What is that which everyone likes to have but wants to get rid of as soon as possible after he gets it?A good appetite


  • King Henry IV of England – 1413
  • Sir Thomas Seymour (brother of Queen Jane, uncle to Prince Edward) – 1549
  • Sir Isaac Newton (physicist) – 1727


  • Henrik Ibsen (poet & playwright) – 1828
  • Charles William Eliot (educator) – 1834
  • Ozzie Nelson (actor) – 1906
  • Sir Michael Redgrave (actor) – 1908
  • Jack Barry (game show host) – 1918
  • Carl Reiner (actor & director) – 1922
  • Ray Goulding (comedian) – 1922
  • Fred Rogers (educator, minister, host of children’s television show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood) – 1928
  • Jerry Reed (actor) – 1937
  • Bobby Orr (hockey player) – 1948
  • William Hurt (actor) – 1950
  • Carl Palmer (musician) – 1950
  • Spike Lee (director) – 1957
  • Holly Hunter (actress) – 1958
  • Christy Carlson Romano (actress) – 1984


  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin, written by Harriet Beecher Stowe, was published– 1852
  • American Bell Telephone Co. was organized– 1880
  • The first Farm Bureau in U.S. formed in Binghamton, N.Y.– 1911
  • First U.S. figure skating championship in international style took place in New Haven, Connecticut– 1914
  • The first flight between England and South Africa was completed by Col. H.A. van Rejneveld and Maj. C.J. Brand of the South African Air Force– 1920
  • USS Midway launched, Newport News, Virginia– 1945
  • British troops captured Japanese-held Mandalay (WWII)– 1945
  • The peace treaty restoring Japanese sovereignty was ratified by U.S. Senate, ending American occupation of Japan– 1952
  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono were married in a civil ceremony in Gibraltar– 1969
  • Communications satellite NATO 1 launched– 1970
  • Libby Riddles of Teller, AK, became the first woman to win the Iditarod Trail Dog Race, from Anchorage to Nome– 1985
  • Skier Lauren Woolstencroft won her 5th gold medal of the Winter Paralympic Games– 2010
  • A magnitude-7.6 earthquake located 120 miles east of Acapulco shook southern Mexico– 2012


  • Snowstorm in Oklahoma dropped nearly a foot in Tulsa– 1924
  • Juneau, Alaska, had 32.5 inches of snow– 1948
  • 38” snow fell in Morgantown, Pennsylvania– 1958

COURTESY www.almanac.com