Daily Almanac for Sunday, April 23, 2023

On this date in 1966, Natalie Wood made Harvard history when she became the first performer voted the year’s worst by the Harvard Lampoon to show up and accept her citation. This is Natalie Wood 1979 photograph by Jack Mitchell. CC BY-SA 4.0, https commons.wikimedia.org


Natalie Wood (née Zacharenko; July 20, 1938 – November 29, 1981) was an American actress who began her career in film as a child and successfully transitioned to young adult roles.

Wood started acting at age four and was given a co-starring role at age 8 in Miracle on 34th Street (1947). As a teenager, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Rebel Without a Cause (1955), followed by a role in John Ford‘s The Searchers (1956). Wood starred in the musical films West Side Story (1961) and Gypsy (1962) and received nominations for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performances in Splendor in the Grass (1961) and Love with the Proper Stranger (1963). Her career continued with films such as Sex and the Single Girl (1964), Inside Daisy Clover (1965), and Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969).

During the 1970s, Wood began a hiatus from film and had two daughters: one with her second husband Richard Gregson, and one with Robert Wagner, her first husband whom she married again after divorcing Gregson. She acted in only two feature films throughout the decade, but she appeared slightly more often in television productions, including a remake of From Here to Eternity (1979) for which she won a Golden Globe Award. Wood’s films represented a “coming of age” for her and for Hollywood films in general. Critics have suggested that her cinematic career represents a portrait of modern American womanhood in transition, as she was one of the few to take both child roles and those of middle-aged characters.

On November 29, 1981, at the age of 43, Wood drowned in the Pacific Ocean near Santa Catalina Island during a break from production of her would-be comeback film Brainstorm (1983). She was with her husband Wagner and Brainstorm co-star Christopher Walken. The events surrounding her death have been the subject of conflicting witness statements, prompting the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, under the instruction of the coroner’s office, to list her cause of death as “drowning and other undetermined factors” in 2012. In 2018, Wagner was named as a person of interest in the ongoing investigation into her death.


Question of the Day

Do British scones always contain raisins? Where can I find a “genuine” recipe? Those I’ve tried don’t do justice to “real” scones.

No, British scones do not always contain raisins; they are optional. Here is a recipe for Cream Tea Scones that appeared in the Canadian edition of The 1997 Old Farmer’s Almanac: 2 cups all-purpose flour; 2 tablespoons sugar; 1 tablespoon baking powder; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1/2 cup butter; 1 egg; 2/3 cup milk or light cream. Combine the dry ingredients and cut in the butter. Beat the egg lightly, reserving a tablespoon for topping. Add milk to remaining egg, beat, and add to dry ingredients. Stir to make a soft dough, knead, and roll out on a lightly floured board. Cut into 2-1/2 inch rounds. Place on an ungreased baking sheet, and brush with reserved egg. Bake at 425 degrees F for 12 to 14 minutes. We should point out that our “all-purpose” flour is a little harder than the “plain” flour called for in traditional British recipes, which gives a slightly softer scone. A good substitute for plain flour is half all-purpose flour and half cake and pastry flour.

Advice of the Day

Eat artichokes to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Home Hint of the Day

Knots on new woodwork will bleed through a careless paint job. Apply a coat of a white shellac stain-kill product such as B-I-N. Let the shellac dry, prime the bare wood, then paint over it with any color.

Word of the Day


One of three sea nymphs, — or, according to some writers, of two, — said to frequent an island near the coast of Italy, and to sing with such sweetness that they lured mariners to destruction.

Puzzle of the Day

What is the biggest ant in the world?

A gi-ant!


  • William Shakespeare (playwright) – 1564
  • James Buchanan (15th U.S. president) – 1791
  • Lester Pearson (Canadian prime minister) – 1897
  • Shirley Temple Black (actress) – 1928
  • Roy Orbison (musician) – 1936
  • Lee Majors (actor) – 1939
  • Tony Esposito (hockey player) – 1943
  • Judy Davis (actress) – 1955
  • Valerie Bertinelli (actress) – 1960
  • George Lopez (comedian & actor) – 1961
  • Melina Kanakaredes (actress) – 1967
  • Kal Penn (actor) – 1977
  • Chloe Kim (Olympic snowboarder) – 2000


  • William Shakespeare (playwright) – 1616
  • William Wordsworth (poet) – 1850
  • Harold Arlen (composer) – 1986
  • Howard Cosell (sports journalist) – 1995
  • Paul K. Keene (pioneer of organic farming in U.S.) – 2005
  • Boris Yeltsin (president of Russia) – 2007
  • David Halberstam (Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter) – 2007


  • Church of England annulled the marriage between Catherine of Aragon and King Henry VIII– 1533
  • First postage stamps issued in Canada– 1851
  • Guelph, Ontario, incorporated as a city– 1879
  • Hank Aaron hit his first major league home run– 1954
  • Ranger 4 spacecraft launched– 1962
  • Natalie Wood made Harvard history when she became the first performer voted the year’s worst by the Harvard Lampoon to show up and accept her citation– 1966
  • The first YouTube video, “Me at the zoo,” was uploaded – 2005


  • Denver received 23 inches of snow in 24 hours– 1885
  • Ice out, Lake Winnipesaukee, NH– 2007

COURTESY www.almanac.com