Daily Almanac for Wednesday, January 25, 2023

On this date in 1966, Constance Baker Motley was named U.S. District Judge for southern NY and became the first African American female federal judge. Constance Baker Motley in 1964. First woman Senator, 21st Senatorial District, N.Y., raising hand in V sign. By Walter Albertin (World Telegram & Sun); restored by Adam Cuerden, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org


Constance Baker Motley (September 14, 1921 – September 28, 2005) was an American jurist and politician, who served as a Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

A key strategist of the civil rights movement, she was state senator, and Borough President of Manhattan in New York City before becoming a United States federal judge. She obtained a role with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund as a staff attorney in 1946 after receiving her law degree, and continued her work with the organization for more than twenty years.

She was the first Black woman to argue at the Supreme Court and argued 10 landmark civil rights cases, winning nine. She was a law clerk to Thurgood Marshall, aiding him in the case Brown v. Board of Education.

Motley was also the first African-American woman appointed to the federal judiciary, serving as a United States district judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

In 1965, Motley was elected President of the Borough of Manhattan to fill a one-year vacancy. She was both the first woman and Black woman to ever hold this office. As president, she authored a revitalization plan for Harlem and East Harlem, successfully fighting for $700,000 to improve these and other underserved areas of the city.


Burns Night

The birthday of Scotland’s most famous poet, Robert Burns (1759-1796), has become an occasion for Scots all over the world to gather together in his honor. A Burns Night supper usually includes haggis, a traditional dish of the heart, lungs, and liver of a sheep or calf minced with suet, onions, oatmeal, and seasonings. Burns’s words, Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o’ the pudding-race!” greets the dish’s entry into the room. Men wear kilts and women their tartan sashes, and the evening’s celebration includes reading Burns’s poems and singing his songs, ending with one of his most famous, “Auld Lang Syne.” Most of us are familiar with the first verse, “Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And auld lang syne.”“

Question of the Day

Do herbs grow well indoors during the winter months?

Herbs do grow well indoors, and although the harvest will be smaller than with garden plants, you can produce plenty. You’ll need a site with lots of sun. Select good containers and potting mixes, and provide regular water and fertilizer. When in doubt, choose clay pots. Rosemary likes dry soil. Mint likes plenty of moisture. Oregano and thyme may need pruning to prevent them from taking over others. Be on the lookout for indoor pests such as aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites.

Advice of the Day

Lemons are great for cleaning piano keys, china, glass, baby bottles, porcelain, marble, and copper.

Home Hint of the Day

Never sand old vinyl or linoleum flooring or the backing or lining felt of such flooring. These products may contain asbestos fibers that are not readily identifiable. Inhalation of asbestos dust is a serious health hazard.

Word of the Day

Mean temperature

The average of the maximum and the minimum temperatures for a particular period; the mean equals the sum of the max and min divided by two.

Puzzle of the Day

When will there be but 24 letters in the alphabet?

When U and I are 1.
(If the two letters, U and I, became the number 1, that would eliminate two letters from the alphabet, making a total of 24.)


  • Robert Burns (poet) – 1759
  • Charles Curtis (U.S. vice president) – 1860
  • Virginia Woolf (author) – 1882
  • Edwin Newman (news commentator) – 1919
  • Dean Jones (actor ) – 1931
  • Alicia Keys (musician) – 1981


  • Al Capone (gangster) – 1947
  • Ava Gardner (actress) – 1990
  • Philip Johnson (architect) – 2005
  • Mary Tyler Moore (actress) – 2017


  • Henry VIII of England and Anne Boleyn were secretly married, he for the second time– 1533
  • Hot drinks served on frozen Hudson River to warm pedestrians crossing between New Jersey and New York City– 1821
  • Mendelssohn’s Wedding March was played at the wedding of Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Victoria, to Crown Prince Frederick of Prussia. It is believed that this is where the tradition of playing the Wedding March at weddings came from– 1858
  • G. D. Dows patented an improved soda fountain– 1870
  • S.S. City of Boston disappeared– 1870
  • Reporter Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane) of the New York World received a tumultuous welcome home after she completed a round-the-world journey in 72 days, 6 hours and 11 minutes– 1890
  • Elecktra, by Richard Strauss, premiered at the Dresden Royal Opera House– 1909
  • First transcontinental telephone call was made, between New York and San Francisco; Alexander Graham Bell and Dr. Thomas A. Watson exchanged greetings– 1915
  • The Paris Peace Conference of WW I adopted President Wilson’s resolution for the creation of a League of Nations as part of the peace agreement– 1919
  • The governor general of Canada, the Earl of Bessborough, declared the Trans-Canada telephone system officially open– 1932
  • Guiding Light debuted on radio– 1937
  • President John F. Kennedy was the first United States president to hold a live televised news conference– 1961
  • Constance Baker Motley was named U.S. District Judge for southern NY and became the first African American female federal judge– 1966
  • 44-pound 10-ounce cod caught at Five Fathom Bank near Delaware– 1975
  • Nazi war criminal, Klaus Barbie, was arrested in Bolivia– 1983
  • The Infrared Astronomical Satellite launched into orbit to gather information on distant stars and the solar system– 1983
  • Iraq opened outlet valves at Kuwait refinery to create the world’s largest oil spill (450 million gallons estimated)– 1991
  • Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute founded– 2010


  • Hot drinks were served on the frozen Hudson River, between New Jersey and New York City– 1821
  • Boston received 22.1 inches of snow– 1948

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