Daily Almanac for Wednesday, November 23, 2022

On this date in 1942, U.S. Coast Guard Women’s Reserve (SPARs) was authorized. SPARS recruiting poster during World War II. By U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org
United States Coast Guard Academy, New London, CT. 2006 photo. By USCG Public Affairs photograph of United States Coast Guard, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org


The United States Coast Guard (USCG) Women’s Reserve, also known as the SPARS (SPARS was the acronym for “Semper Paratus—Always Ready”), was the women’s branch of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. It was established by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on 23 November 1942. This law authorized the acceptance of women into the reserve as commissioned officers and at the enlisted level for the duration of World War II plus six months. Its purpose was to release officers and men for sea duty and to replace them with women at shore stations. Dorothy C. Stratton was appointed director of the SPARS with the rank of lieutenant commander and later promoted to captain.

The qualifying age for officer candidates was between 20 and 50, and they were required to have a college degree, or two years of college and two years of professional or business experience. For enlisted personnel, the qualifying age was between 20 and 36, and they were required to have completed at least two years of high school. Initially African American women were not recruited, however, late in the war five African American women were accepted and served as SPARS. Officer candidates received their indoctrination at Smith CollegeNorthampton, Massachusetts and later at the USCG AcademyNew London, Connecticut. Enlisted personnel first received their training on several college campuses. Later, their training took place at Palm Beach, Florida, in the Biltmore Hotel that was remodeled for use as a training center. Toward the end of the war, training of enlisted personnel was transferred from Palm Beach to Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, New York.

Women of the SPARS served in every USCG district except Puerto Rico and also served in Hawaii and Alaska. Most officers were general duty officers, and most of the enlisted women performed clerical duties. The SPARS peak strength was approximately 11,000 officers and enlisted personnel. It was inactivated in 1947 but reestablished on a much smaller scale in 1949. Approximately 200 former SPARS reenlisted and served during the Korean War. The majority of them served at the Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. In 1973 Congressional legislation ended the Women’s Reserve (SPARS) and women were first officially integrated into the active-duty Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Reserve. Female reservists then serving on active duty were given the choice of enlisting in the regular Coast Guard or completing their reserve enlistments.


Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Question of the Day

What was the first network to broadcast color television programming?

It was CBS, on June 25, 1951. The show, called Premiere, starred Ed Sullivan.

Advice of the Day

A handful of common sense is worth a bushel of learning.

Home Hint of the Day

Stains in a bathtub can be removed with household (5 percent) bleach. Lay several paper towels on top of the stain and soak them with bleach, leaving the towels in place for 45 minutes. Remove them and rinse. Repeat if necessary.

Word of the Day


Make a mess of, destroy or ruin.

Puzzle of the Day

What is that which is full of holes and yet holds water?

A sponge


  • Franklin Pierce (14th U.S. president) – 1804
  • Jose Clemente Orozco (painter) – 1883
  • Boris Karloff (actor) – 1887
  • Harpo Marx (comedian & actor) – 1888
  • Bruce Hornsby (musician) – 1954
  • Dominique Dunne (actress) – 1959
  • Robin Roberts (broadcast journalist) – 1960
  • Jonathan Papelbon (baseball player) – 1980
  • Miley Cyrus (actress & singer) – 1992
  • Jordan Fry (actor) – 1992


  • Walter Reed (American pathologist) – 1902
  • Roald Dahl (author) – 1990
  • Roy Acuff (country music singer) – 1992
  • Larry Hagman (actor) – 2012


  • Horseshoe manufacturing machine patented– 1835
  • The water level in Lake Merced in California dropped 30 feet– 1852
  • The Intercollegiate Football Association formed– 1876
  • The first jukebox was installed in the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco– 1889
  • The first issue of LIFE debuted– 1936
  • U.S. Coast Guard Women’s Reserve (SPARs) authorized– 1942
  • Food rationing ended– 1945
  • Newsman Dan Rather announced he would step down in March as the anchor of the CBS Evening News after nearly a quarter-century in the job– 2004


  • Berlin, New Hampshire, received 55 inches of snow– 1943
  • -38 degrees Fahrenheit, Chinook, Montana– 1985
  • Yarmouth, Massachusetts, received 14 inches of snow– 1989
  • Strasburg, Connecticut, received 6.5 inches of snow– 1989

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