Daily Almanac for Saturday, July 16, 2022

On this date in 2005, The 6th book in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series sold 6.9 million copies in its first 24 hours — averaging better than 250,000 sales per hour. J. K. Rowling at the White House in 2010. By Daniel Ogren – Flickr 100405_EasterEggRoll_683, CC BY 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org


Joanne Rowling CH OBE HonFRSE FRCPE FRSL (/ˈroʊlɪŋ/ ROH-ling; born 31 July 1965), also known by her pen name J. K. Rowling, is a British author and philanthropist. She wrote a seven-volume children’s fantasy series, Harry Potter, published from 1997 to 2007. The series has sold over 500 million copies, been translated into at least 70 languages, and spawned a global media franchise including films and video gamesThe Casual Vacancy (2012) was her first novel for adults. She writes Cormoran Strike, an ongoing crime fiction series, as Robert Galbraith.

Born in Yate, Rowling graduated with a degree in French from the University of Exeter in 1987 and began working temp jobs as a bilingual secretary. In 1990, the idea for the characters of Harry Potter came to her while she waited on a delayed train; later that year, her mother died of multiple sclerosis. In the seven years before publication of the first Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997), Rowling moved to Portugal, married, had a daughter, relocated to Scotland when her marriage failed, divorced, and earned a teaching certificate. She wrote while living on state assistance as a single parent, deeply affected by her mother’s death. By 2008, Forbes had named her the world’s highest-paid author.

Rowling concluded the Harry Potter series with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007). The novels follow a boy called Harry Potter as he attends Hogwarts, a school for wizards, and battles Lord Voldemort. Death and the divide between good and evil are the central themes of the series. Its influences include: Bildungsroman (the coming-of-age genre), school storiesfairy tales, and Christian allegory. The series revived fantasy as a genre in the children’s market, spawned a host of imitators, and inspired an active fandom. Critical reception has been more mixed. Many reviewers see Rowling’s writing as conventional; some regard her portrayal of gender and social division as regressive. There were also religious debates over Harry Potter.

Rowling has won many accolades for her work. She has been appointed to the Order of the British Empire and made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to literature and philanthropy. Harry Potter brought her wealth and recognition that she has used to advance philanthropic endeavours and political causes. She co-founded the charity Lumos and established the Volant Charitable Trust, named after her mother. Rowling’s charitable giving centres on medical causes and supporting at-risk women and children. In politics, she has donated to Britain’s Labour Party and opposed Scottish independence and Brexit. Since late 2019, she has publicly expressed her opinions on transgender people and related civil rights. These have been criticised as transphobic by LGBT rights organisations and some feminists, but have received support from other feminists and individuals.


Question of the Day

What’s the best way to clean my aluminum siding?

Aluminum with a faded, weathered look needs to be cleaned with a strong detergent solution, but you might want to test this solution in an inconspicuous spot on your house first. Washing may result in a color that is not uniform after it dries. If the color in your test area is consistent, it’s safe to clean the rest of the siding this way. To make a detergent solution, combine 1/3 cup laundry detergent, 2/3 cup trisodium phosphate (TSP), 1 quart household bleach (5 percent), and 3 quarts water. Avoid any abrasive cleaners; these will damage the finish. Clean your siding once a year with a strong spray of water from a hose. Use the detergent solution when the siding begins to look old and weathered.

Advice of the Day

Bees will not swarm before a near storm.

Home Hint of the Day

For relief from sunburn, take a vinegar sponge bath.

Word of the Day


Summer: The Sun reaches its greatest declination (23-1/2°) north of the celestial equator. Winter: The Sun reaches its greatest declination (23-1/2°) south of the celestial equator.

Puzzle of the Day

The Badger State.(Name the U.S. state!)



  • Andrea del Sarto (painter) – 1486
  • Pierre Le Moyne (French-Canadian explorer) – 1661
  • Giuseppe Piazzi (Italian astronomer) – 1746
  • Mary Baker Eddy (religious leader) – 1821
  • Shoeless Joe Jackson (baseball player) – 1889
  • Barbara Stanwyck (actress) – 1907
  • Ginger Rogers (actress) – 1911
  • Michael Flatley (dancer & choreographer) – 1958
  • Phoebe Cates (actress) – 1963
  • Will Ferrell (actor) – 1967
  • Barry Sanders (football player) – 1968
  • Corey Feldman (actor) – 1971


  • Anne of Cleves (fourth wife of King Henry VIII) – 1557
  • Mary Todd Lincoln (U.S. First Lady) – 1882
  • Harry Chapin (singer & songwriter) – 1981
  • John F. Kennedy, Jr. (died in a plane crash on his way to a cousin’s wedding on Martha’s Vineyard. His wife, Carolyn Bessette, and her sister, Lauren, were also aboard) – 1999
  • Charles W. Sweeney (pilot of the U.S. bomber that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, in the last days of World War II) – 2004


  • Congress established the District of Columbia on the Potomac River, voting to set up the permanent seat of the government of the U.S. there– 1790
  • Dr. Emily Howard Stowe, the first woman to practice medicine in Canada, received her medical license.– 1880
  • First parking meters installed, Oklahoma City, OK– 1935
  • Apollo 11 launched from Cape Kennedy, Florida, to become the first manned space mission to land on the moon– 1969
  • 135 pilot whales beached at Point au Gaul, Newfoundland and Labrador– 1979
  • In the Philippines, an earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter Scale killed over 1,600 people– 1990
  • The 6th book in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series sold 6.9 million copies in its first 24 hours — averaging better than 250,000 sales per hour– 2005
  • A 3.6-magnitude earthquake struck about 20 miles northwest of Washington, D.C., in Maryland– 2010
  • 3.4 earthquake occurred near Germantown, Maryland– 2010
  • Bryan Cranston received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame– 2013
  • To mark the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s launch, U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, launched 5,000 model rockets simultaneously, breaking a Guinness world record– 2019


  • F2 tornado in Grafton County, New Hampshire– 1880
  • 15th to 16th: 22.22 inches of rain in 24 hours, Altapass, North Carolina– 1916
  • In Churdan, Iowa, a tornado touched down and moved northwest, opposite the normal pattern– 1969

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