Daily Almanac for Thursday, August 17, 2023

By Lady Williamson

On this date in 1945, Indonesia proclaimed itself independent from the Netherlands. This is the Indonesia Flag


Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia (IndonesianRepublik Indonesia), is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It consists of over 17,000 islands, including SumatraJavaSulawesi, and parts of Borneo and New Guinea. Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelagic state and the 14th-largest country by area, at 1,904,569 square kilometres (735,358 square miles). With around 280 million people, Indonesia is the world’s fourth-most populous country and the most populous Muslim-majority country. Java, the world’s most populous island, is home to more than half of the country’s population.

Indonesia is a presidential republic with an elected legislature. It has 38 provinces, of which nine have special status. The country’s capital, Jakarta, is the world’s second-most populous urban area. Indonesia shares land borders with Papua New GuineaEast Timor, and the eastern part of Malaysia, as well as maritime borders with SingaporeVietnamThailand, the PhilippinesAustraliaPalau, and India. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support one of the world’s highest levels of biodiversity.

The Indonesian archipelago has been a valuable region for trade since at least the seventh century, when the Srivijaya Kingdom formed trade links with China. Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Under Indian influence, Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished from the early centuries CE. Muslim traders later brought Islam, and European powers fought one another to monopolise trade in the Spice Islands of Maluku during the Age of Discovery. Following three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism, Indonesia secured its independence after World War II. Indonesia’s history has since been turbulent, with challenges posed by natural disasters, corruption, separatism, a democratisation process, and periods of rapid economic change.

Indonesia consists of thousands of distinct native ethnic and hundreds of linguistic groups, with Javanese being the largest. A shared identity has developed with the motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (“Unity in Diversity” literally, “many, yet one”), defined by a national language, cultural diversity, religious pluralism within a Muslim-majority population, and a history of colonialism and rebellion against it. The economy of Indonesia is the world’s 16th-largest by nominal GDP and the 7th-largest by PPP. It is the world’s third-largest democracy, a regional power and is considered a middle power in global affairs. The country is a member of several multilateral organisations, including the United NationsWorld Trade OrganizationG20, and a founding member of the Non-Aligned MovementAssociation of Southeast Asian NationsEast Asia SummitD-8 and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Indonesia Provinces (courtesy Wikipedia Commons)


Cat Nights begin on August 17. This term harks back to the days when people believed in witches. A rather obscure old Irish legend said that a witch could turn herself into a cat eight times, but on the ninth time (August 17), she couldn’t regain her human form. This bit of folklore also gives us the saying, “A cat has nine lives.” Because August is a yowly time for cats, this may have prompted the speculation about witches on the prowl in the first place. Also, nights continue to get longer. Cats, crepuscular creatures, are nocturnal hunters. Their superior night vision means that the nights belong to them.

Question of the Day

In cooking, how exactly should I “macerate” something?

This term means “to soften,” and the method for doing so involves soaking something in a liquid. You are soaking it either to soften it or to flavor the liquid. Dried fruit, for instance, can be soaked in wine. The wine will soften the fruit, but it also will be flavored by the fruit.

Advice of the Day

Talk does not cook rice.

Home Hint of the Day

To keep raccoons out of your garbage, stretch a rubber bungee cord tight from one handle over the top of the lid to the other handle.

Word of the Day


The long-term atmospheric conditions of an area; the “average” weather conditions, along with normal variations and extremes.

Puzzle of the Day

The Sunflower State.(Name the U.S. state!)



  • Davy Crockett (frontiersman) – 
  • Samuel Goldwyn (producer) – 
  • Mae West (actress) – 
  • Rudy York (baseball player) – 
  • Maureen O’Hara (actress) – 
  • Robert DeNiro (actor) – 
  • Belinda Carlisle (singer) – 
  • Sean Penn (actor) – 
  • Donnie Wahlberg (actor) – 
  • Dustin Pedroia (baseball player) – 


  • Vivian Vance (actress) – 
  • Ira Gershwin (songwriter) – 
  • Pearl Bailey (singer) – 
  • Connie Reeves (America’s oldest cowgirl at 101, died 12 days after being thrown from her horse, Dr. Pepper. She was one of the first women to study law at the University of Texas and she started one of Texas’s first girls’ drill teams) – 


  • The Clermont, a steamboat designed by Robert Fulton , departed NYC heading to Albany– 
  • Solyman Merrick granted wrench patent– 
  • First official U.S. airmail was carried by balloon– 
  • Blacksmith F.P. Cahill fatally wounded by Billy the Kid– 
  • The Wizard of Oz made its east coast premiere in NYC. Its use of a relatively new method of technicolor dazzled audience members– 
  • Indonesia proclaimed itself independent from the Netherlands– 
  • Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center opened in Santa Rosa, CA– 
  • U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps became the first person to win eight gold medals in a single Olympics– 
  • Collision of 2 neutron stars about 130 million years ago created ripples in space-time that traveled to Earth and set off detectors in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory– 


  • A hurricane prevented a sea battle between the British and the French, Rhode Island– 
  • The temperature in Amos, California, reached 130 degrees F– 
  • Hurricane Diane hit Carolina Beach, North Carolina– 
  • Hurricane Camille hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast killing 259 people and causing $1.5 billion in damage– 

COURTESY www.almanac.com