Daily Almanac for Monday, May 23, 2022

On this date in 2007, “House” actor Hugh Laurie was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. Here is Hugh Laurie, from a bit of Fry & Laurie in 2012. By Jeroen Komen from Utrecht, Netherlands, CC BY-SA 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org


James Hugh Calum Laurie CBE (/ˈlɒri/; born 11 June 1959) is an English actor and comedian, best known for starring on the medical drama series House (2004–2012). He has received two Golden Globe Awards and many other accolades for portraying Dr. Gregory House on the Fox television show. He was listed in the 2011 Guinness World Records as the most watched leading man on television and was one of the highest-paid actors in a television drama, earning £250,000 ($409,000) per episode of House.  His other television credits include arms dealer Richard Onslow Roper in the miniseries The Night Manager (2016), for which he won his third Golden Globe Award, and Senator Tom James in the HBO sitcom Veep (2012–2019), for which he received his 10th Emmy Award nomination.

Laurie first gained recognition for his work as one half of the comedy double act Fry and Laurie with his friend and comedy partner Stephen Fry. The two men acted together in a number of projects during the 1980s and 1990s, including the sketch comedy series A Bit of Fry & Laurie and the P. G. Wodehouse adaptation Jeeves and Wooster. Laurie’s other roles during this time include the period comedy series Blackadder and the films Sense and Sensibility (1995), 101 Dalmatians (1996), The Borrowers (1997), and Stuart Little (1999).

Laurie has won three Golden Globe Awards and two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and has been nominated for 10 Primetime Emmy Awards. Outside of acting, Laurie released the blues albums Let Them Talk (2011) and Didn’t It Rain (2013), both to favourable reviews, and authored the novel The Gun Seller (1996). He was appointed OBE in the 2007 New Year Honours and CBE in the 2018 New Year Honours, both for services to drama.


Victoria Day (Canada)

Victoria Day commemorates the May 24, 1819, birthday of Britain’s Queen Victoria (who since has had a whole era named for her—the Victorian era). The British have always celebrated the birthday of the ruling monarch. After Queen Victoria’s death in 1901, the people of Canada continued to mark her birthday to show loyalty to the British Empire. In the early 1890s, this day was known as Empire’s Day. In 1947, the name was changed to Commonwealth Day. Today it is again known as Victoria Day, and it is a legal holiday in all Canadian provinces except Quebec.

Question of the Day

We live in an old, two-story farmhouse and are having trouble with snakes in the house. Most, I believe, are blacksnakes. My husband says they will not bother anyone, but I’m scared to death of them. Please tell me how to get rid of them and keep them away. Also, do they carry any diseases that a human can catch?We don’t know what kind of snakes you have in your house, but if your husband says they won’t harm you, we’ll assume they are not poisonous. They don’t carry any contagious diseases, but to get rid of them, first seal all the openings and cracks in your house that a snake can use to get in, including in the attic. To catch them in the house, try a glue board, which can be found in hardware stores. A board less than a foot square will hold a large snake. In addition, you’ll need a piece of plywood about 18 inches square. Bore a 1/4-inch hole near one edge of the plywood, then nail the glue board to the plywood, sticky side up. (The extra weight will prevent the snake from dragging the glue board off.) Place the glue board flat on the floor next to the wall in the area where snakes are a problem. A snake hugs the wall as it travels, and when it crosses the glue board, it will become stuck. To get it out of the house, drive a nail into the end of a three-foot wooden pole, hook the nail into the hole you drilled in the plywood, and drag the wood and the stuck snake outdoors. To release the snake, pour vegetable oil on the board to soften the glue. A word to the wise: Get rid of mice and you’ll get rid of the snakes.

Advice of the Day

Bigger is not necessarily better and going faster is not necessarily progress.

Home Hint of the Day

A square of asphalt shingles will cover 100 square feet of surface. Three bundles of asphalt shingles (each containing twenty-two 3-foot-long shingles) make up a square.

Word of the Day

To catch a crabIn rowing when a stroke of the oar either misses the water or digs too deeply.

Puzzle of the Day

What day of the week do chickens hate most?Fry day.


  • Captain William Kidd (hanged in London) – 1701
  • John D. Rockerfeller (entrepreneur) – 1937
  • Sam Snead (golfer) – 2002
  • Anne Meara (actress) – 2015
  • Eric Carle (children’s book author, most notably The Very Hungry Caterpillar) – 2021


  • Carolus Linnaeus (botanist) – 1707
  • Douglas Fairbanks (actor) – 1883
  • John Bardeen (physicist) – 1908
  • Artie Shaw (bandleader) – 1910
  • Rosemary Clooney (singer) – 1928
  • Barbara Barrie (actress) – 1931
  • Joan Collins (actress) – 1933
  • Robert Moog (inventor) – 1934
  • Drew Carey (actor; host of The Price is Right) – 1958
  • Mitch Albom (author) – 1958
  • Ken Jennings (won 74 straight games on Jeopardy! game show in 2004) – 1974
  • Jewel (musician) – 1974


  • Benjamin Franklin created his own pair of bifocals– 1785
  • South Carolina was admitted to the Union as the 8th state– 1788
  • Explorer William Clark: Water freeses [sic] on the oars” in what is now Montana”– 1805
  • North-West Mounted Police formed (now Royal Canadian Mounted Police)– 1873
  • New York Public Library in New York City is established– 1895
  • Townsend-Purnell Plant Patent Act became the first in the United States to grant patent protection to plant breeders– 1930
  • Actor Errol Flynn appeared on the cover of LIFE Magazine– 1938
  • Queen Juliana of the Netherlands laid the cornerstone of the tower housing the Netherlands Centennial Carillon in Victoria, British Columbia– 1967
  • Five people were killed, when a large part of the roof of a new terminal collapsed at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport in France– 2004
  • Hugh Laurie was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace– 2007


  • Folks were sleighing in Farmington, Maine– 1858
  • Late season snowstorm blanketed eastern Iowa with 4 to 6 inches of snow– 1882

COURTESY www.almanac.com


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