Daily Almanac for Tuesday, March 29, 2022

On this date in 1806, National Road, the first federally funded road, was authorized. This is the National Road sign in Richmond, IN. 2012 photo. By Peetlesnumber1 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.org


The National Road (also known as the Cumberland Road) was the first major improved highway in the United States built by the federal government. Built between 1811 and 1837, the 620-mile (1,000 km) road connected the Potomac and Ohio Rivers and was a main transport path to the West for thousands of settlers. When improved in the 1830s, it became the second U.S. road surfaced with the macadam process pioneered by Scotsman John Loudon McAdam.

Construction began heading west in 1811 at Cumberland, Maryland, on the Potomac River. After the Financial Panic of 1837 and the resulting economic depression, congressional funding ran dry and construction was stopped at Vandalia, Illinois, the then capital of Illinois, 63 miles (101 km) northeast of St. Louis across the Mississippi River.

The road has also been referred to as the Cumberland Turnpike, the Cumberland–Brownsville Turnpike (or Road or Pike), the Cumberland Pike, the National Pike, and the National Turnpike.

In the 20th century with the advent of the automobile, the National Road was connected with other historic routes to California under the title, National Old Trails Road. Today, much of the alignment is followed by U.S. Route 40 (US 40), with various portions bearing the Alternate U.S. Route 40 (Alt. US 40) designation, or various state-road numbers (such as Maryland Route 144 for several sections between Baltimore and Cumberland).

In 1976, the American Society of Civil Engineers designated the National Road as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. In 2002, the entire road, including extensions east to Baltimore and west to St. Louis, was designated the Historic National Road, an All-American Road.


Borrowing Days

The last three days of March have a reputation for being stormy. Scottish folklore proposes that these three days were borrowed from April so that March might extend his power. The Spanish story about the borrowing days is that a shepherd promised March a lamb if he would temper the winds to suit the shepherd’s flocks. But after his request was granted, the shepherd refused to deliver the payment. In revenge, March borrowed three days from April, in which fiercer winds than ever blew to punish the deceiver. 

A Scottish proverb describing these days:March borrowit from April
Three days, and they were ill:
The first was frost, the second was snaw [snow],
The third was cauld [cold] as ever’t could blaw [blow].

Question of the Day

Can I plant jicama in Michigan?Probably not. Jicama requires a frost-free, nine-month growing season since it is a tropical plant. You could do it in a greenhouse, but otherwise this plant is confined to the southern regions of the U.S. It is primarily grown in Mexico, the Philippines, Hawaii, and Formosa. You would be wise to get jicama into your diet, however. It’s a cheap substitute for water chestnuts in Asian dishes, and is high in vitamins, A, B, and C, along with calcium and phosphorus.

Advice of the Day

Rub vitamin E oil into your pets’ ears to help relieve ear mites.

Home Hint of the Day

Paint a room from the top down. Start with the ceiling, do the walls next, and then work on doors, windows, and other trim. If you’re going to paint the floors, do them last.

Word of the Day

Moon rides High/runs LowThe Moon is highest above or farthest below the celestial equator.

Puzzle of the Day

I am a word of four letters; in me may be found a verb, an animal, a viscid liquid, a science, a conjunction, and a preposition.Star – sat – rat – tar – art – as – at


  • John Tyler (10th U.S. president) – 1790
  • Cy Young (baseball player) – 1867
  • Lou Henry Hoover (U.S. First Lady) – 1874
  • Sam Walton (businessman) – 1918
  • Pearl Bailey (singer) – 1918
  • Judith Guest (author) – 1936
  • Eric Idle (actor) – 1943
  • Dennis McLain (baseball player) – 1944
  • Karen Ann Quinlan (patient on life-support whose parents fought for her right to die) – 1954
  • Kurt Thomas (gymnast) – 1956
  • Elle Macpherson (model) – 1964
  • Lucy Lawless (actress) – 1968
  • Jennifer Capriati (tennis player) – 1976


  • Alistair Cooke (a journalist for almost 70 years, Cooke was widely known to television audiences as the master of ceremonies on the cultural program Omnibus in the 1950s and later as the host of Masterpiece Theater) – 2004
  • Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. (lawyer) – 2005
  • Patty Duke (actress) – 2016
  • Anita Shreve (writer) – 2018


  • First federal highway, the Great National Pike, authorized– 1806
  • National Road, the first federally funded road, was authorized– 1806
  • Vesta, brightest asteroid, discovered– 1807
  • The first White House wedding took place. Lucy Payne Washington, sister-in-law of President James Madison, married Supreme Court Justice Thomas Todd– 1812
  • Gen. Winfield Scott formally occupied Vera Cruz, Mexico– 1847
  • Due to ice jam, Niagara Falls stopped flowing for the first time in recorded history– 1848
  • The first batch of Coca Cola was brewed over a fire in a backyard in Atlanta. John Pemberton created the concoction as a hangover cure, and it was advertised as brain tonic. Cocaine was an ingredient of Coke until 1904 when Congress banned it– 1886
  • First performance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus– 1919
  • Sunbeam 1000 HP first car to exceed 200 mph– 1927
  • Jack Benny’s radio debut– 1932
  • World War II food rationing began– 1943
  • Julius and Ethel Rosenberg convicted of conspiring to convey atom bomb secrets to Soviet agents– 1951
  • Ratification of the 23rd amendment to the Constitution gave residents of Washington, D.C., right to vote in presidential elections– 1961
  • Lt. William Calley Jr. convicted for massacre of civilians at Mylai, S. Vietnam– 1971
  • Last U.S. personnel left S. Vietnam– 1973
  • After protesting—in song—that they were never featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show got their wish. A week later, the band’s single Cover of the Rolling Stone went gold– 1973
  • The film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest won five Academy Awards– 1976
  • Madonna made her stage debut in David Mamet’s Speed the Plow in NYC– 1988
  • First Soviet hockey player signed with the NHL– 1989
  • Catherine Callbeck became the first woman to be elected premier (P.E.I.) in Canada– 1993
  • Tom Jones was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace– 2006
  • Bono of U2 was crowned a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in an informal ceremony in the Dublin home of British Ambassador David Reddaway– 2007
  • Shiveluch volcano erupted, Kamchatka, Russia– 2007


  • From March 28 to 29, Washington, D.C., experienced a drop in temperature from 82F to 26F, ending an early “false spring.”– 1921
  • A bad sleet storm hit Fort Wayne, Indiana– 1928
  • The temperature in Boston reached 70 degrees F– 1981

COURTESY www.almanac.com


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