Daily Almanac for Sunday, February 26, 2023

On this date in 1983, Michael Jackson’s Thriller album hit number 1 on Billboard 200 chart and remained there for 37 weeks (courtesy Epic Records)


Thriller” is a song by the American singer Michael Jackson. It was released by Epic Records in the UK on November 5, 1983, and in the US on January 23, 1984, as the seventh and final single from his sixth studio album, Thriller. “Thriller” is a funk song produced by Quincy Jones and written by Rod Temperton, who wanted to write a theatrical song to suit Jackson’s love of film. The music and lyrics evoke horror films, with sound effects such as thunder, creaking doors, footsteps, and wind. It ends with a spoken-word sequence performed by the horror actor Vincent Price.

“Thriller” received positive reviews and became the album’s seventh top-ten single on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching number four. It reached number one in Belgium, France and Spain, and the top ten in many other countries. “Thriller” is certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America. In the week of Jackson’s death in 2009, it was Jackson’s bestselling track in the US, with sales of 167,000 copies on the Billboard Hot Digital Tracks chart. It charted on the Billboard Hot Digital Singles Chart at number two, and remained in the charts’ top ten for three consecutive weeks. It appears on several of Jackson’s greatest-hits albums and has been covered by numerous artists.

The “Thriller” music video was directed by John Landis and premiered on MTV on December 2, 1983. In the video, Jackson becomes a zombie and performs a dance routine with a horde of the undead. Many elements of the video have had a lasting impact on popular culture, such as the zombie dance and Jackson’s red jacket, and it was the first music video inducted into the National Film Registry. It has been named the greatest music video of all time by various publications and readers’ polls.

Vincent Price, horror actor, provided the spoken-word sequence at the end of Thriller. 1959 photo. By film screenshot from Allied Artists http www.toutlecine.com images film, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org


Question of the Day

If the Sun is closest to Earth during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter and farthest from it during the summer, why is summer hotter than winter?

The seasons are not caused by the distance between Earth and Sun, but by the angle of the Sun’s rays hitting Earth. In the summer, the Sun’s rays hit the Northern Hemisphere at the most direct angle, causing maximum warming. The winter Sun’s rays hit Earth at an oblique angle and are less effective at warming it. Learn more about the seasonal cycle here.

Advice of the Day

When requesting seconds at tea, always ask for “some tea,” not “more tea.”

Home Hint of the Day

The average person in the U. S. throws out his or her own weight in packaging materials each month. To help counter this waste, buy a product in the easy-to-use size once and thereafter buy the jumbo bottle. Just keep refilling the smaller one from the bigger one.

Word of the Day

Vanishing Tide

A mixed tide of considerable inequality in the two highs and two lows, so that the lower high (or higher low) may become indistinct or appear to vanish.

Puzzle of the Day

Why is a blacksmith the most dissatisfied of mechanics?

Because he is always striking for pay.


  • Victor Hugo (author, Les Miserables) – 1802
  • Levi Strauss (manufacturer) – 1829
  • Buffalo Bill (Army scout) – 1846
  • John Harvey Kellogg (physician) – 1852
  • Robert Alda (actor) – 1914
  • Jackie Gleason (actor & comedian) – 1916
  • Tony Randall (actor) – 1920
  • Antoine “Fats” Domino (singer) – 1928
  • Johnny Cash (singer) – 1932
  • Hagood Hardy (composer) – 1937
  • Adrian Dantley (basketball player) – 1956
  • Jenny Thompson (Olympic swimmer) – 1973
  • Corinne Bailey Rae (singer) – 1979
  • Taylor Dooley (actress) – 1993


  • Constance Ford (actress) – 1993
  • David Doyle (actor) – 1997
  • Bill Cardoso (writer who coined the term gonzo” to describe the unrestrained participatory journalism practiced by Hunter S. Thompson and others”) – 2006
  • Wendy Richard (actress) – 2009


  • President Lincoln signed the National Currency Act, establishing a national banking system and uniform currency– 1863
  • Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona was established– 1919
  • Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming is established– 1929
  • Groundbreaking ceremony for Golden Gate Bridge took place in San Francisco, California– 1933
  • Spelling Bee, the first quiz show, aired on television– 1940
  • NASA announced that Venus is about 800 degrees F– 1963
  • Buffalo Creek disaster: 50 foot wall of water smashed down a narrow valley when a dam broke in Logan County, West Virginia– 1972
  • Michael Jackson’s Thriller album hit number 1 on Billboard 200 chart and remained there for 37 weeks– 1983
  • Robert Penn Warren named U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry– 1986
  • A powerful bomb exploded in an underground parking lot of the World Trade Center in NYC, killing 6 people– 1993
  • Canada’s GEODESIC mission launched in to northern lights, Alaska– 2000
  • First sextuplets to be born in Ohio (Akron)– 2004
  • At age 82, Christopher Plummer became the oldest Oscar winner after receiving the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Beginners– 2012


  • An intense ocean storm blasted Cape Cod and Nantucket, with reported winds of 61 mph– 1952

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