Daily Almanac for Saturday, January 7, 2023

On this date in 1990, The Leaning Tower of Pisa closed to the public because of safety concerns. Here is the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa in 2022. By Arne Müseler, www.arne-mueseler.com, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, https commons.wikimedia.org


The Leaning Tower of Pisa (Italiantorre pendente di Pisa), or simply, the Tower of Pisa (torre di Pisa [ˈtorre di ˈpiːza; ˈpiːsa]), is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of Pisa Cathedral. It is known for its nearly four-degree lean, the result of an unstable foundation. The tower is one of three structures in the Pisa‘s Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo), which includes the cathedral and Pisa Baptistry.

The height of the tower is 55.86 metres (183 feet 3 inches) from the ground on the low side and 56.67 m (185 ft 11 in) on the high side. The width of the walls at the base is 2.44 m (8 ft 0 in). Its weight is estimated at 14,500 tonnes (16,000 short tons). The tower has 296 or 294 steps; the seventh floor has two fewer steps on the north-facing staircase.

The tower began to lean during construction in the 12th century, due to soft ground which could not properly support the structure’s weight. It worsened through the completion of construction in the 14th century. By 1990, the tilt had reached 5.5 degrees. The structure was stabilized by remedial work between 1993 and 2001, which reduced the tilt to 3.97 degrees.


Orthodox Christmas

Celebration of Christmas by Orthodox Christians in Central and Eastern Europe according to the Julian calendar.

Distaff Day

The day after Epiphany (January 6) was traditionally the one on which women went back to work after the 12-day Christmas celebration. A distaff is the wooden rod (staff) that holds the flax or wool on a spinning wheel. The term distaff came to refer to both women’s work and the female branch (distaff side) of the family. As is often the case, it’s hard to go back to work after the holidays and not much got done! The women’s husbands would mischievously try to set fire to the flax on their wives’ distaffs, while the women, lying in wait, would retaliate with humor by dousing them with buckets of water. The English poet Robert Herrick wrote:If the maids a-spinning goe Burn their flax and fire their tow.Bring the pails of water then Let the maids bewash the men.

Question of the Day

Is it true that a delphinium is poisonous?

Very young delphinium plants and delphinium seeds are poisonous. If ingested, they can cause nausea, twitching muscles, paralysis, and even death.

Advice of the Day

Use one part lemon juice and two parts vegetable oil for furniture polish.

Home Hint of the Day

Trisodium phosphate is a terrific multipurpose cleaner. Just remember to wear rubber gloves when using it, as it can be pretty rough on your hands. One popular product with a trisodium phosphate base is TSP.

Word of the Day


An idle talker; an irrational prater; a teller of secrets. A hound too noisy on finding a good scent. A name given to any one of family of thrushlike birds, having a chattering note.

Puzzle of the Day

You may travel abroad in a carriage whose name read backward or forward is always the same.

Gig (a light, two-wheeled sprung cart pulled by a single horse)


  • Israel Putnam (American Revolutionary War general) – 1718
  • Millard Fillmore (13th U.S. president) – 1800
  • Zora Neale Hurston (author) – 1903
  • Vincent Gardenia (actor) – 1922
  • William Peter Blatty (author) – 1928
  • Douglas Kiker (broadcast journalist) – 1930
  • Hunter Davies (author) – 1936
  • Tony Conigliaro (baseball player) – 1945
  • Kenny Loggins (singer) – 1948
  • Erin Gray (actress) – 1950
  • Katie Couric (newscaster) – 1957
  • Nicolas Cage (actor) – 1964
  • Jon Lester (baseball player) – 1984
  • Liam Aiken (actor) – 1990


  • Lou Henry Hoover (U.S. First Lady) – 1944
  • Emperor Hirohito (Japan died after the longest reign of any Japanese monarch, 62 years, and was succeeded by his son, Akihito) – 1989
  • Joe Robbie (founder of the Miami Dolphins) – 1990
  • Bronko Nagurski (football player) – 1990
  • Rosemary Kennedy (sister of President John F. Kennedy who was born with a disability. She was the inspiration for the Special Olympics spearheaded by the Kennedy family) – 2005


  • Major satellites of Jupiter first seen by Galileo– 1610
  • Astronomer Galileo Galilei, armed with a primitive telescope, saw three stars near Jupiter. About a week later a fourth one appeared. Galileo had discovered the four largest moons of Jupiter. Today the moons are called Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto; they are known as the Galilean Satellites.– 1610
  • First typewriter patent issued in England– 1714
  • Bank of North America, first commercial bank chartered by Congress, opened, Philadelphia.– 1782
  • D. Landreth Seed Co. in Philadelphia established– 1784
  • Francois Blanchard and John Jefferies crossed the English Channel from Dover to Calais by hot-air ballon; the first crossing of the Channel by air– 1785
  • The electors were chosen for the first U.S. presidential election. (George Washington was elected president on February 4.)– 1789
  • Indians attempted to ambush cavalry of Iowa volunteers at Julesburg, Colorado– 1865
  • In 1892, with $638, Thomas A. Edison constructed the first movie studio. His first film was made on this day in 1894. Entitled Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze, it documents Edison employee Fred Ott while he is sneezing. This remains the earliest copyrighted film still in existence.– 1894
  • Fannie Farmer published her first cookbook– 1896
  • Transatlantic telephone service began between NY and London– 1927
  • U.S. military plant Question Mark completed a 150-hour, 40-minute nonstop flight– 1929
  • Surveyor VII spacecraft launched– 1968
  • A U.S. court of appeals ordered a ban on the pesticide DDT until its effects on public health were studied– 1971
  • Lewis Powell, and William Rehnquist are confirmed as US Supreme Court justices– 1972
  • Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, fell to United Front insurgents– 1979
  • President Reagan banned trade and travel to Libya and called for an international boycott because of its involvement in terrorist activities– 1986
  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa closed to the public because of safety concerns– 1990
  • Tom Seaver won election into the Baseball Hall of Fame– 1992


  • A snowstorm brought a foot of snow to Washington, D.C., 14 inches to New York City, and 18 inches to Philadelphia– 1821
  • Great blizzard raged on Plains; many settlers lost– 1873
  • Severe cold wave in South; worst freeze since 1835 in Florida– 1886
  • The world record 24-hour rainfall total was 72 inches at Foc-Foc, La Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. The rain ended on January 8.– 1966
  • The temperature at Hawley Lake in Arizona dipped to -40F, setting a new record-low temperature for the state.– 1971
  • First snow in 14 yrs, 6 inches in Rome, Italy; 20 degrees F— lowest temperature in 100 years– 1985
  • Snow covered the Sahara Desert in Ain Sefra, Algeria– 2018
  • The temperature soared to 117 degrees F in Sydney, Australia– 2018

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