Daily Almanac for Friday, December 2, 2022

On this date in 1763, Touro Synagogue, oldest in the United States, was dedicated in Newport, Rhode Island. This is the Touro Synagogue National Historic Site in Newport, Rhode Island. 2017 photo. By Kenneth C. Zirkel – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https commons.wikimedia.org


The Touro Synagogue or Congregation Jeshuat Israel (Hebrew: קהל קדוש ישועת ישראל) is a synagogue built in 1763 in Newport, Rhode Island. It is the oldest synagogue building still standing in the United States, the only surviving synagogue building in the U.S. dating to the colonial era, and the oldest surviving Jewish synagogue building in North America. In 1946, it was declared a National Historic Site.

The first congregation was made up of Sephardic Jews, who are believed to have come via the West Indies, where they participated in the triangular trade along with Dutch and English settlements. They practiced a Spanish and Portuguese Jewish liturgy and ritual. In the late eighteenth century, when warfare threatened, the congregation transferred the deed and Torah scrolls to Congregation Shearith Israel in New York for safekeeping. Since the late 19th century, the congregants have been primarily Ashkenazi.

In 2012 the two congregations went to court to try to resolve which owned the synagogue and its contents, as the Newport congregation wanted to sell some items to raise money for restoration of the building. In 2017 the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that the New York congregation owned it; as the US Supreme Court declined to hear the case, this ruling stands.


Question of the Day

What is red flannel hash?

In old-time New England, red flannel hash was any combination of hash to which red beets were added, the standard hash being made of corned beef, onions, turnips, potatoes, and seasonings. Without the beets, it was white flannel hash. Don’t sneak in any orts (scraps meant for the chickens or the compost) if you are proud of your hash.

Advice of the Day

A freshly cut tree can consume a gallon of water in the first 24 hours.

Home Hint of the Day

The tender branches of small fruit trees are a temptation for deer. Try hanging some strongly scented soap on the branches to discourage them.

Word of the Day

Pineapple Express

A strong south-westerly wind off the Pacific Ocean. This wind can bring heavy rain and flooding to the Pacific Northwest during winter.

Puzzle of the Day

Why didn’t the dog want to go into the ark?

He had a bark (ship) of his own.


  • Jean-Charles Chapais (statesman) – 1811
  • Charles Ringling (circus owner) – 1863
  • Charles E. Bennett (In God We Trust” promoter”) – 1910
  • Julie Harris (actress) – 1925
  • Lucy Liu (actress) – 1968
  • Monica Seles (tennis player) – 1973
  • Nelly Furtado (singer & songwriter) – 1978
  • Britney Spears (singer) – 1981
  • Aaron Rogers (football player) – 1983


  • Jane Means Appleton Pierce (U.S. First Lady) – 1863
  • Desi Arnaz (actor) – 1986
  • Aaron Copland (composer) – 1990


  • Touro Synagogue, oldest in the United States, was dedicated in Newport, Rhode Island– 1763
  • Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned French Emperor Napoleon I of France– 1804
  • First T. Eaton Co. Santa Claus parade, in Toronto, Ontario– 1905
  • Ambrose Small sold Canadian chain of theaters and disappeared the next day– 1919
  • First controlled, self-sustained nuclear chain reaction– 1946
  • The first televised human birth was transmitted on 49 NBC network stations– 1952
  • The United States Environmental Protection Agency began operation– 1970
  • First unmanned landing on Mars, by USSR Mars 3– 1971
  • Cowhide-made baseballs first accepted for use by Major League Baseball– 1974
  • First pizza party in space took place on the International Space Station– 2017


  • A late-season tornado killed four people in Illinois– 1950

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