Daily Almanac for Thursday, March 9, 2023

On this date in 1959, The Barbie doll debuted. Here is that Barbie Doll which first was introduced in both blonde and brunette on March 9, 1959. By Original uploaded by Barbieologin at Wikimedia Commons (UTC)., CC BY 3.0, https en.wikipedia.org


Barbie is a fashion doll manufactured by American toy company Mattel, Inc. and launched on March 9, 1959. American businesswoman Ruth Handler is credited with the creation of the doll using a German doll called Bild Lilli as her inspiration.

Barbie is the figurehead of a brand of Mattel dolls and accessories, including other family members and collectible dolls. Barbie has been an important part of the toy fashion doll market for over six decades and has been the subject of numerous controversies and lawsuits, often involving parodies of the doll and her lifestyle. Mattel has sold over a billion Barbie dolls, making it the company’s largest and most profitable line.

The brand has expanded into a long-running multimedia franchise since the late 1980s, including video games and CGI/computer-animated films, the latter which began in 2001, became originally available on home video formats and broadcast regularly on the Nickelodeon cable channel in the United States from 2002 to 2017. Since 2017, the franchise has been moved over to streaming services.

Barbie and her best male friend Ken have been described as two most popular dolls in the world. Since its launch, Barbie has transformed the toy business in affluent communities globally by becoming a vehicle for the sale of related merchandise (accessories, clothes, friends and relatives of Barbie, etc.). Writing for Journal of Popular Culture in 1977, Don Richard Cox noted that Barbie has a significant impact on social values by conveying characteristics of female independence, and with her multitude of accessories, an idealized upscale life-style that can be shared with affluent friends.

Sales of Barbie dolls declined sharply from 2014 to 2016. In 2020, Mattel sold $1.35 billion worth of Barbie dolls and accessories and this was their best sales growth in two decades. This is an increase from the $950 million the brand sold during 2017.


Question of the Day

I know why the colors of a rainbow refract in the order they do (ROYGBIV), but why do rainbows bend, and why is red always on the bottom? Also, is there really an end of a rainbow (with a pot of gold)?

The first definition of a rainbow (by Descartes) was based on tracing the path of a light ray falling on a transparent sphere. If the Sun is at the horizon, the rainbow is an arc of 180 degrees, but it cannot appear if the Sun is high in the sky. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet (ROYGBIV) are the colors of a rainbow, but these are not necessarily the sequence of colors an observer sees. Since the color sequence of a rainbow is the result of refraction, the color order depends on the viewer’s angle of perception. As for the end of a rainbow, it seems always to elude us. However, here at The Old Farmer’s Almanac, we firmly believe that there’s a pot of gold waiting for the person lucky enough to find a rainbow’s end.

Advice of the Day

The more you smoke (or sunbathe), the more wrinkled your face is apt to be.

Home Hint of the Day

To clean gold jewelry, fill a small container with dishwashing liquid and 1 teaspoon of ammonia. Soak the jewelry in this strong solution for a few minutes, then clean with an old toothbrush. Rinse and pat dry.

Word of the Day

Cornscateous Air

First used by the old almanac makers, this term signifies warm, damp air. Though it signals ideal climatic conditions for growing corn, it also poses a danger to those affected by asthma, pneumonia, and other respiratory problems.

Puzzle of the Day

Why are dudes no longer imported into this country from England?

Because a Yankee dude’ll do (Yankee doodle doo).


  • Amerigo Vespucci (merchant & navigator) – 1454
  • Edwin Forrest (Shakespearean actor) – 1806
  • Will Geer (actor) – 1902
  • Samuel Barber (composer) – 1910
  • Mickey Spillane (author) – 1918
  • Yuri Gagarin (first human to travel in space) – 1934
  • Raul Julia (actor) – 1940
  • Mark Lindsay (musician; member of Paul Revere & the Raiders ) – 1942
  • Bobby Fischer (champion chess player) – 1943
  • Charles Gibson (journalist) – 1943
  • David Hume Kennerly (photographer) – 1947
  • Juliette Binoche (actress) – 1964
  • Emmanuel Lewis (actor) – 1971
  • Lil’ Bow Wow (rapper, actor) – 1987
  • Sunisa “Suni” Lee (Olympic gymnast) – 2003


  • Charles Bukowski (poet) – 1994
  • Fernando Rey (actor) – 1994
  • George Burns (comedian & actor) – 1996
  • Chris LeDoux (country musician) – 2005
  • Brad Delp (musician) – 2007
  • Doris “Granny D” Haddock (political activist) – 2010


  • Napoleon Bonaparte married Josephine de Beauharnais in Paris—he arrived two hours late for the wedding– 1796
  • President James Monroe’s daughter, Maria, became the first daughter of a president to be married in the White House– 1820
  • A patent for artificial teeth was granted to Charles Graham of New York– 1822
  • Abraham Lincoln announced he was running for his first political office. He failed for his bid for a seat in the Illinois legislature– 1832
  • First Japanese Ambassador to U.S. arrived in San Francisco, CA– 1860
  • Battle of U.S.S. Monitor and U.S.S. Merrimack (renamed C.S.S. Virginia) ended in a draw– 1862
  • First V-8 Ford was built by Ford Motor Company– 1932
  • The Hundred Days began. President FDR pushed sweeping social and economic reforms of the New Deal through Congress within the next 100 days– 1933
  • Journalist Edward R. Murrow accused Sen. McCarthy of misleading the U.S. public and persecuting Congressional witnesses– 1954
  • Celebrity premiere of East of Eden, the film version of John Stienbeck’s novel– 1955
  • Barbie doll debuted– 1959
  • The first animal to return from space was a dog whose Russian name translated as Blackie, aboard the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 9– 1961
  • The Smothers Brothers’ television show was cancelled after they refused to censor a comment made by Joan Baez. She wanted to dedicate her song to her husband, David, who was about to go to jail for objecting to the draft– 1969
  • Work began on the 789-mile Alaskan oil pipeline, the largest private construction project in U.S. history– 1975
  • Health and Welfare Canada banned saccharin as a food additive– 1977
  • Anne M. Burford was forced to resign as head of the EPA following a dispute with Congress over the agency’s enforcement of toxic waste regulations– 1983
  • Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Carole King, Gerry Goffin, and Carole Bayer Sager were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame– 1987
  • President George H. W. Bush’s nominee for defense secratary, John Tower, lost Senate ratification vote– 1989
  • Chris Bertish, a South African surfer, paddleboarded across the Atlantic solo. The 4,050 trek took him 93 days.– 2017


  • Twelve-inch snowstorm in narrow band from Louisville, Kentucky, into Virginia and North Carolina’s mountains– 1960
  • Southern Indiana received up to 9 inches of snow– 1994

COURTESY www.almanac.com