Daily Almanac for Wednesday, September 14, 2022

On this date in 1741, Composer George Handel completed The Messiah. Here is a portrait of George Frideric Handel by Balthasar Denner. Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org


George Frideric (or FrederickHandel (/ˈhændəl/; baptised Georg Friedrich HändelGerman: [ˈɡeːɔʁk ˈfʁiːdʁɪç ˈhɛndl̩] (listen); 23 February 1685 – 14 April 1759) was a German-British Baroque composer well known for his operasoratoriosanthemsconcerti grossi, and organ concertos. Handel received his training in Halle and worked as a composer in Hamburg and Italy before settling in London in 1712, where he spent the bulk of his career and became a naturalised British subject in 1727. He was strongly influenced both by the middle-German polyphonic choral tradition and by composers of the Italian Baroque. In turn, Handel’s music forms one of the peaks of the “high baroque” style, bringing Italian opera to its highest development, creating the genres of English oratorio and organ concerto, and introducing a new style into English church music. He is consistently recognized as one of the greatest composers of his age.

Handel started three commercial opera companies to supply the English nobility with Italian opera. In 1737, he had a physical breakdown, changed direction creatively, and addressed the middle class and made a transition to English choral works. After his success with Messiah (1742), he never composed an Italian opera again. His orchestral Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks remain steadfastly popular. One of his four coronation anthemsZadok the Priest, has been performed at every British coronation since 1727. Almost blind, he died in 1759, a respected and rich man, and was given a state funeral at Westminster Abbey.

Handel composed more than forty opere serie over a period of more than thirty years. Since the late 1960s, interest in Handel’s music has grown. The musicologist Winton Dean wrote that “Handel was not only a great composer; he was a dramatic genius of the first order.” His music was admired by Classical-era composers, including MozartHaydn and Beethoven.


Holy Cross Day

Holy Cross Day is also known as the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Triumph of the Cross, or Holyrood Day (“rood” meaning “cross”. It commemorates the recovery of the Holy Cross on which Jesus was crucified. (It had been taken from Jerusalem by the Persians in a war in A.D. 614. In A.D. 629, Byzantine Emperor Heraclius recovered and returned the Cross to Jerusalem.)

Holy Cross Day is one of four annual markers for the “Ember Days,” which occur on the first Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday following Holy Cross Day, Whit Sunday (Pentecost), the first Sunday in Lent, and St. Lucy Day. The Ember Days are special times for prayer, fasting, and the ordination of clergy in certain Christian denominations. The weather on each of the three Ember Days is supposed to foretell the weather for each of the three succeeding months. A Spanish proverb notes, “On Holy Cross Day / Vineyards are gay.”

Question of the Day

When was the planet Uranus discovered and by whom?

The seventh planet from the sun was discovered by William Herschel in 1781.

Advice of the Day

Chickens feeding outside in the rain foretell rain for several days.

Home Hint of the Day

Yellow carpenter’s glue is best for regluing a chair. Available at hardware stores, it sets up hard and fast. Assemble the pieces immediately after applying the glue.

Word of the Day

Vanishing Tide

A mixed tide of considerable inequality in the two highs and two lows, so that the lower high (or higher low) may become indistinct or appear to vanish.

Puzzle of the Day

Read from the left, I shall be found a portion of all things that are; but change your hand and turn me ‘round, I then am nothing but a snare.(What word fits the first clue, but when read backwards, fits the second?)

Part – trap


  • Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (physiologist) – 1849
  • Margaret Higgins Sanger (founder of the birth control movement) – 1883
  • Douglas Kennedy (Lone Ranger” actor”) – 1915
  • Kate Millett (feminist writer) – 1934
  • Sam Neill (actor) – 1947
  • Michelle Stafford (actress) – 1965
  • Kimberly Williams-Paisley (actress) – 1971
  • Katie Lee Biegel (chef) – 1981


  • Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (architect) – 1852
  • Arthur Wellesley (1st Duke of Wellington) – 1852
  • Henry Bliss (first American automobile fatality) – 1899
  • William McKinley (25th U.S. president) – 1901
  • Princess Grace of Monaco (former actress Grace Kelly) – 1982
  • Mickey Hargitay (actor & world champion bodybuilder) – 2006
  • Patrick Swayze (actor) – 2009
  • Norm Macdonald (comedian) – 2021


  • The first lighthouse in North America, Boston Light, was lit– 1716
  • Composer George Handel completed The Messiah– 1741
  • Francis Scott Key wrote The Star-Spangled Banner”“– 1814
  • Typewriter ribbon patented– 1886
  • Sound-absorbing material patented– 1915
  • The world’s largest airship, Graf Zeppelin II, made its first flight– 1938
  • The first helicopter flight was made by Igor Sikorsky– 1939
  • Zond 5 was launched; 4 days later it became the first spacecraft to circle the Moon and return to Earth– 1968
  • The Waltons premiered on CBS– 1972
  • Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton, the first U.S. born saint, was canonized by Pope Paul VI– 1975
  • World Series was cancelled due to strike– 1994
  • Roger Craig, a University of Delaware graduate student, won $77,000 on Jeopardy!. It was the show’s highest one-day total ever.– 2010
  • Crayola announced crayon name Bluetiful”“– 2017


  • Seattle, Washington, had a high temperature of 92 degrees F– 1937

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