Daily Almanac for Thursday, January 12, 2023

On this date in 1966, Batman made its television debut
Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward) (courtesy ABC TV)


Batman is an American live-action television series based on the DC Comics character of the same name. It stars Adam West as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Burt Ward as Dick Grayson/Robin—two crime-fighting heroes who defend Gotham City from a variety of archvillains. It is known for its camp styleupbeat theme music, and its intentionally humorous, simplistic morality (aimed at its largely teenage audience). This included championing the importance of using seat belts, doing homework, eating vegetables, and drinking milk. It was described by executive producer William Dozier as the only situation comedy on the air without a laugh track. The 120 episodes aired on the ABC network for three seasons from January 12, 1966, to March 14, 1968, twice weekly during the first two seasons, and weekly for the third. In 2016, television critics Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz ranked Batman as the 82nd greatest American television series of all time. A companion feature film was released in 1966 between the first and second seasons of the TV show.

Batman held the record for the longest-running live-action superhero series in terms of episodes until Smallville in 2011.


The series focuses on Batman and Robin as they defend Gotham City from its various criminals. Although the lives of their alter-egos, millionaire Bruce Wayne and his ward Dick Grayson are frequently shown, it is usually only briefly, in the context of their being called away on superhero business or in circumstances where they need to employ their public identities to assist in their crime-fighting. The “Dynamic Duo” typically comes to the aid of the Gotham City Police Department upon the latter being stumped by a supervillain, who was accompanied in his/her appearances by several henchmen and an attractive female companion. Throughout each episode, Batman and Robin follow a series of seemingly improbable clues (also known as “bat logic”) to discover the supervillain’s plan, then figure out how to thwart that plan and capture the criminal.

For the first two seasons, Batman aired twice a week on consecutive nights. Every story is a two-parter, except for two three-parters featuring villainous team-ups (the Joker and the Penguin, then the Penguin and Marsha, Queen of Diamonds) in the second season. The titles of each multi-part story usually rhyme. The third and final season, which aired one episode a week and introduced Yvonne Craig as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, consist of self-contained stories. Each third-season story ends with a teaser featuring the next episode’s guest villain, except for the series finale. The cliffhangers between multiple-part stories consist of villains holding someone captive, usually Batman or Robin, with the captive(s) being threatened by death, serious injury, or another fate. These cliffhangers are resolved early in the follow-up episode with Batman and Robin getting themselves out of every trap.

Ostensibly a crime series, the style of the show is intentionally campy and tongue-in-cheek. It exaggerates situations and plays them for laughs, though the characters take the absurd situations very seriously.

Batmobile Leaving the Batcave (courtesy ABC TV)


Question of the Day

I haven’t gardened before but am thinking about growing some vegetables. How do I begin?

The best way to begin is to think about the type of vegetables you most like to eat. Look through seed catalogs to help you. Next, prioritize your list and research the important characteristics for growing each vegetable—for example, how much space it will need, how much sun, what kind of soil, how much moisture, when it must be planted, and how long it needs to grow before it can be harvested. Choose vegetables that you know grow well in your area. Ask your local nursery or the county extension office for suggestions. We’ve written an entire beginner gardening guide—check it out here: Learn How to Grow a Vegetable Garden

Advice of the Day

Clutter control: Next time you add to your wardrobe, discard something.

Home Hint of the Day

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) glue works by welding — dissolving the surfaces to be joined and mating them chemically — so it’s most effective when the surfaces being joined are free of all foreign material.

Word of the Day


The figure, statue, or bust, on the prow of a ship. A person who allows his name to be used to give standing to enterprises in which he has no responsible interest or duties; a nominal, but not real, head or chief.

Puzzle of the Day

How many hard-boiled eggs can a man eat on an empty stomach?

One, because after he has eaten it, his stomach will not be empty.


  • Marie-Antoine Carême (French haute cuisine founder) – 1833
  • Shep (loyal dog) – 1942
  • Agatha Christie (author) – 1976
  • Cyrus Vance (Secretary of State under Jimmy Carter) – 2002
  • Maurice Gibb (with his brothers built the Bee Gees into a disco sensation with hits like Stayin’ Alive” and “More Than a Woman”“) – 2003


  • John Singer Sargent (artist) – 1856
  • Frank Gerber (manufacturer) – 1873
  • Jack London (author) – 1876
  • Joe Lewis (comedian) – 1902
  • Tex Ritter (singer) – 1907
  • Jose Arcadio Limon (dancer) – 1908
  • James Leonard Farmer Jr. (civil rights activist) – 1920
  • Katherine MacGregor (actress) – 1925
  • Tim Horton (hockey player) – 1930
  • Joe Frazier (boxer) – 1944
  • Kirstie Alley (actress) – 1955
  • Christiane Amanpour (broadcast journalist) – 1958
  • Dominique Wilkins (basketball player) – 1960


  • First public museum in America, Charleston Museum, organized in Charleston, South Carolina – 1773
  • Mission Santa Clara de Asis in California established– 1777
  • Forward pass legalized in football– 1906
  • A couple from China became the youngest parents in history. The dad was 9 years old and the mom was 8– 1910
  • Ford Motor Co. raised minimum daily wage from $2.30 to $5.00– 1914
  • Hattie Caraway was the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate. She was appointed in 1931 to fill the Arkansas seat left vacant by the death of her husband, and then elected in 1932 and re-elected in 1938– 1932
  • U.S. State Department denied passports to American Communist Party members– 1962
  • Batman made its television debut– 1966
  • Boeing 747 landed at Heathrow Airport in London after its first trans-atlantic proving flight from NY– 1970
  • All in the Family made its television debut– 1971
  • Swimmer Melvin Stewart set world record in 200-meter butterfly– 1991
  • Fictional Hal 9000 computer in film 2001: A Space Odyssey became operational– 1992
  • Launch of Deep Impact spacecraft to study comet Tempel 1– 2005
  • A 7.0-magnitude earthquake shook Haiti approximately 16 miles from the capital city of Port-au-Prince– 2010


  • Coldsnap that froze Columbia River on January 9th spawned Great Plains blizzard, 200 lives lost– 1888
  • Schoolchildren’s Blizzard in Great Plains killed 235 people– 1888
  • Record high of 57 degrees F in Helena, Montana– 1959
  • -35 degrees F in Chester, Massachusetts– 1981
  • Snowstorm of the century in southern Texas. San Antonio recorded more snow in 24 hours (nine inches) than was received during any entire winter in the previous 100 years. Total snowfall for the storm was 13.5 inches.– 1985

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