Daily Almanac for Friday, January 13, 2023

Robert C. Weaver. By Department of Housing and Urban Development, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org


Robert Clifton Weaver (December 29, 1907 – July 17, 1997) was an American economist, academic, and political administrator who served as the first United States secretary of housing and urban development (HUD) from 1966 to 1968, when the department was newly established by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Weaver was the first African American to be appointed to a US cabinet-level position.[1][2]

Prior to his appointment as cabinet officer, Weaver had served in the administration of President John F. Kennedy. In addition, he had served in New York State government, and in high-level positions in New York City. During the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration, he was one of 45 prominent African Americans appointed to positions and helped make up the Black Cabinet, an informal group of African-American public policy advisers. Weaver directed federal programs during the administration of the New Deal, at the same time completing his doctorate in economics in 1934 at Harvard University.


St. Knut’s Day

In Sweden, January 13 is the traditional day to discard the Christmas tree and end the season’s festivities.

A children’s party is the favored way to strip the tree of its decorations, after which the children are free to plunder” the edible treats and small gifts placed on the tree especially for the occasion.

This Christmas tree plundering is often accompanied by smashing up the gingerbread houses and eating them while discarding of the decorations.

Finally, everyone “dances” the tree out the door. Singing special songs, they pick up the tree and toss it out into the snow.”

Friday the 13th

There is no year without one Friday the 13th, and no year with more than three. This day is considered the unluckiest of days in many superstitions, unless you were born on Friday the 13th, in which case it is your lucky day. “Friggatriskaidekaphobia” is the fear of Friday the 13th. Some people don’t like the number 13, whether it’s a Friday or not. The fear of the number 13 is called “triskaidekaphobia.” Quite a few skyscrapers and hotels do not have a 13th floor (or a room 13, for that matter), and many buildings substitute 12 1/2 for 13 in their addresses. Winston Churchill wouldn’t travel on Friday the 13th, considering it too unlucky.”  Discover more fun and freaky facts about Friday the 13th!

Question of the Day

Can you recommend some baits for my Havahart mousetrap? (No cheese, please!)

Mice may pause at a trap for cheese, but they often prefer a less expensive lure or a food that lasts longer. Try tempting them with gumdrops, peanut butter, flour, small nuts, or oatmeal.

Advice of the Day

Stubborn drawers slide more easily when rubbed with candle wax.

Home Hint of the Day

A wood drill bit with clean, smooth flutes will easily eject the wood chips it creates. A rusty bit will bind and clog when boring deep holes. Whenever you detect a bit of rust, rub the flutes lightly with steel wool.

Word of the Day


From the French chaudiere, a kettle, a pot. A dish made of fresh fish or clams, biscuit, onions, etc., stewed together.

Puzzle of the Day

A boy undertakes to put something in a playmate’s left hand which the playmate cannot possibly take in his right. What is this?

The playmate’s right elbow.


  • Maria Sibylla Merian (naturalist/artist) – 1717
  • Wyatt Earp (legendary marshal) – 1929
  • James Joyce (author) – 1941
  • Hubert Humphrey (vice president of the United States) – 1978
  • Charity Adams Earley (first African American officer in the Women’s Army Corps and commander of the only unit of African American women to serve overseas in WW II) – 2002
  • Patrick McGoohan (actor) – 2009
  • Teddy Pendergrass (R&B singer) – 2010
  • Blackie (thought to be the oldest male Nile hippopotamus recorded in North America at the time; he died at an estimated age 59) – 2014
  • Alfred K. Newman (U.S. Marine Corps specialist) – 2019


  • Friedrich Muller (painter) – 1749
  • Horatio Alger (author) – 1832
  • Sophie Tucker (singer) – 1884
  • Kay Francis (actress) – 1905
  • Robert Stack (actor) – 1919
  • Gwen Verdon (actress) – 1925
  • Charles Nelson Reilly (actor) – 1931
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus (actress) – 1961
  • Patrick Dempsey (actor) – 1966
  • Orlando Bloom (actor) – 1977


  • American troops ordered into disputed territory between the Nueces and Rio Grande River– 1846
  • A meeting took place in Washington, D.C., to organize the National Geographic Society – 1888
  • Opera was heard live for the first time on the radio– 1910
  • Mickey Mouse comic strip debuted in newspapers– 1930
  • The Wham-O Company developed the first frisbee– 1957
  • Brazil and the U.S. signed their first extradition treaty– 1961
  • Robert C. Weaver, the first African American ever nominated to the U.S. Cabinet, named Secratary of the new Department of Housing and Urban Development– 1966
  • U.S. Department of the Interior approved construction of the Alaskan pipeline– 1971
  • Hank Aaron was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame– 1982
  • Air Florida plane crashed into a bridge in Washington, D.C., killing 78 people– 1982
  • The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public school officials can censor student newspapers– 1988
  • Figure skater Tonya Harding’s bodyguard, Shawn Eckardt, was arrested for his alleged role in the attack on skater Nancy Kerrigan– 1994
  • Existence of monkey clone Tetra announced– 2000


  • Nochian Flood of California created a vast sea in the Sacramento Valley– 1862
  • Sixty-five degrees below zero F at Fort Keogh near Miles City, Montana– 1888
  • Temperature rose 64 degrees in 14 hours at Radio City, South Dakota– 1913
  • Citrus crop froze in Florida; 8 degrees F, in Tallahasee– 1981
  • 13.5 inches of snow in San Antonio, Texas– 1985
  • Hallock, Minnesota, suffered a cold temperature of -38 degrees F– 2009

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