Daily Almanac for Wednesday, January 4, 2023

On this date in 2007, The first female Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, was sworn in. Speaker Nancy Pelosi Official photo 2019. By John Harrington – www.speaker.gov, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org


Nancy Patricia Pelosi (/pəˈloʊsi/née D’Alesandro; born March 26, 1940) is an American politician who served as the 52nd speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011 and again from 2019 to 2023. She has represented California’s 11th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives since 1987. The district, numbered as the 5th district from 1987 to 1993, the 8th from 1993 to 2013, and the 12th from 2013 to 2023, includes most of the city of San Francisco. A member of the Democratic Party, Pelosi is the first woman elected Speaker and the first woman to lead a major political party in either chamber of U.S. Congress. She led House Democrats for twenty years, from 2003 to 2023, before stepping down as leader while remaining a member of the House.

Pelosi was born and raised in Baltimore, the daughter of mayor and congressman Thomas D’Alesandro. She graduated from Trinity College, Washington, in 1962 and married businessman Paul Pelosi the next year; the two had met while both were students. They moved to New York City before settling down in San Francisco with their children. Focused on raising her family, Pelosi stepped into politics as a volunteer for the Democratic Party. She was first elected to Congress in a 1987 special election and is now in her 18th term; she is the dean of California’s congressional delegation. Pelosi steadily rose through the ranks of the House Democratic Caucus to be elected House minority whip in 2002 and elevated to House minority leader a year later, becoming the first woman to hold each of those positions in either chamber of Congress.

In the 2006 midterm elections Pelosi led the Democrats to a majority in the House for the first time in 12 years and was subsequently elected as Speaker, becoming the first woman to hold the office. During her first speakership, Pelosi was a major opponent of the Iraq War as well as the Bush administration’s attempts to partially privatize Social Security. She participated in the passage of the Obama administration’s landmark bills, including the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and the 2010 Tax Relief Act. Pelosi lost the speakership after the Republican Party retook the majority in the 2010 midterm elections, but she retained her role as leader of the House Democrats and became House minority leader for a second time.

In the 2018 midterm elections, Democrats regained majority control of the House, and Pelosi was again elected Speaker, becoming the first former speaker to reclaim the gavel since Sam Rayburn in 1955. During her second speakership, the House twice impeached President Donald Trumpfirst in December 2019 and again in January 2021; the Senate acquitted Trump both times. She participated in the passage of the Biden administration‘s landmark bills, including the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, and the Respect for Marriage Act.

In the 2022 midterm elections, Republicans regained control of the House, thus ending her second speakership. She announced her retirement as the leader of the House Democratic Caucus shortly thereafter, but said she would remain a member of the House. On November 29, 2022, the Steering and Policy Committee of the House Democratic Caucus named Pelosi “Speaker Emerita”.


Question of the Day

Can one eat the berries of an English holly?

Heavens, no! The result will be severe gastroenteritis.

Advice of the Day

One vice adds fuel to another.

Home Hint of the Day

The common house mouse can squeeze through a 3/4-inch-diameter hole, has a range of up to a mile, and lives for about 1 year, during which time it leaves behind about 18,000 droppings.

Word of the Day


A boating song sung by Venetian gondoliers.

Puzzle of the Day

What’s that in the Fire, and not in the Flame? What’s that in the Master, and not in the Dame? What’s that in the Courtier, and not in the Clown? What’s that in the Country, and not in the Town?

The letter R


  • Sir Isaac Newton (physicist) – 1643
  • Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm (folklorist) – 1785
  • Louis Braille (teacher) – 1809
  • General Tom Thumb (circus performer and little person) – 1838
  • Thornton W. Burgess (author) – 1874
  • Sterling Holloway (actor) – 1905
  • Barbara Rush (actress) – 1929
  • Don Schula (football coach) – 1930
  • Floyd Patterson (boxer) – 1935
  • David Bradley (Control-Alt-Delete computer code author) – 1949
  • Dave Foley (actor) – 1963


  • Commodore Vanderbilt (entrepreneur) – 1877
  • Gary Calkins (scientist) – 1943
  • T.S. Eliot (author) – 1965
  • Mae Questel (actress and voice of Betty Boop, Olive Oyl, and Casper the Friendly Ghost) – 1998
  • Tsutomu Yamaguchi (only person certified by Japan as having survived both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Second World War atomic bombings) – 2010


  • Utah admitted to the Union as the 45th state– 1896
  • Mahatma Gandhi arrested and began a fast unto death to win suffrage for the untouchables– 1932
  • Seoul captured by Chinese Communists and North Koreans (Korean War)– 1951
  • The first man-made satellite, Sputnik I, disintegrated on re-entry to the earth’s atmosphere– 1958
  • Countries outside the Common Market formed the European Free Trade Association– 1960
  • The Orphan Drug Bill was signed into law. It encouraged pharmaceutical companies to produce drugs for unusual illnesses with limited markets– 1983
  • Doctors at the University of Miami and the Centers for Disease Control published information on one of the first cases of heterosexual transmission of AIDS in the U.S.– 1984
  • The worst Amtrak accident in history occured when a freight train collided with a passenger train in Chase, MD– 1987
  • U.S. Navy F-14s shot down two Libyan MiGs over Mediterranean– 1989
  • The first female Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, was sworn in– 2007
  • Minnesota representative Keith Ellison was sworn in as the first Muslim elected to Congress– 2007
  • A 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Alaska– 2013


  • Twenty inches of snow fell in upstate New York– 1960
  • A temperature of -40F was recorded in Canton, New York.– 1981
  • Eight inches of rain fell in 12 hours in Marin County, California– 1982
  • Blizzard hit New England and eastern Canada– 2018

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