Daily Almanac for Monday, April 22, 2024; Passover Starts and Earth Day

By Lucy Santiago

Passover begins at sundown on this day. Passover, or Pesach, is an annual weeklong festival commemorating the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt and slavery. The holiday, which begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nissan, derives its name from the passing over of the homes of the Israelite slaves during the tenth plague. Family and friends gather together on the first and second nights of the holiday for the high point of the festival observance, the Seder. During the Seder, which means “order” in Hebrew, the experience of the Exodus is told in story, song, prayer, and the tasting of symbolic foods. Perhaps the most well-known of these foods is the matzoh (flat, crackerlike unleavened bread), which is a reminder of the haste with which the slaves—who had no time to wait for the bread to rise—left Egypt. Read more about Passover here.

Passover Begins. Table set for the Passover Seder. 2010 photo. By Gilabrand at en.wikipedia, CC BY 2.5, https commons.wikimedia.org
Actor Jack Nicholson is 87 today. Here he is with actress/singer Michelle Phillips at the 1971 Golden Globes. By Borsari, Peter, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org


John Joseph Nicholson (born April 22, 1937) is an American retired actor and filmmaker. Nicholson is widely regarded as one of the greatest actors of the 20th century. Throughout his five-decade career he received numerous accolades, including three Academy Awards, three BAFTA Film Awards, six Golden Globe Awards, and a Grammy Award. He also received the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award in 1994 and the Kennedy Center Honor in 2001. In many of his films, he played rebels against the social structure.

Nicholson has won three Academy Awards, for Best Actor for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) and As Good as It Gets (1997) and for Best Supporting Actor for Terms of Endearment (1983). He was Oscar-nominated for Easy Rider (1969), Five Easy Pieces (1970), The Last Detail (1974), Chinatown (1974), Reds (1981), Prizzi’s Honor (1986), Ironweed (1987), A Few Good Men (1992) and About Schmidt (2002). Nicholson is also known for his notable roles in Carnal Knowledge (1971), The Shining (1980), Heartburn (1986), Broadcast News (1987), Batman (1989), Hoffa (1992), Mars Attacks! (1996), Something’s Gotta Give (2003), The Departed (2006) and The Bucket List (2007).

Nicholson has directed three films, Drive, He Said (1971), Goin’ South (1978), and The Two Jakes (1990). He is one of only three male actors to win three Academy Awards and one of only two actors to be nominated for an Academy Award for acting in films made in every decade from the 1960s to the 2000s (alongside Michael Caine). His 12 Academy Award nominations make him the most nominated male actor in the Academy’s history.


(courtesy sunrex.ca)

Earth Day is April 22 of every year. Back on April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans—10% of the U.S. population at the time—protested to bring attention to the very concerning environmental issues of the day, including oil spills, dangerous smog levels, and rivers that were so polluted that they literally caught fire. Today, Earth Day is one of the biggest civic and community event in the world and is celebrated through action to protect and restore the planet, from joining a park cleanup to joining a climate or carbon initiative to taking part in the world’s largest citizen science initiative. See more about Earth Day activities.

Question of the Day

In a math book talking about the Fibonacci sequence, it said that often the sequence works with certain things in nature. There was a picture of a pinecone in the book. Do pinecones have anything to do with the Fibonacci sequence?

Fibonacci numbers are a series of numbers where each, after the second term, is the sum of the preceding two numbers (e.g., 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, etc.). In the study of botany, these numbers have proved useful in describing the positioning of leaves around plant stems, the spiral patterns in sunflower heads, and the scales of pinecones, to name but a few.

Advice of the Day

Frequent mistings under the leaves of houseplants will discourage spider mites.

Home Hint of the Day

In praise of the drywall screw: It taps its own holes, neatly countersinks its own head, is made for power driving with a Phillips head in a drill, and its needle-sharp point even drills and taps right through thin metal.

Word of the Day


A small crude shelter used as a dwelling. A rhythmical work song originally sung by sailors.

Puzzle of the Day

Where do cows go on Saturday night?

To the moo-vies!


  • Queen Isabella I of Spain – 
  • Reverend Eleazar Wheelock (founded Dartmouth College) – 
  • Julius Sterling Morton (Arbor Day founder) – 
  • J. Robert Oppenheimer (physicist) – 
  • Aaron Spelling (American television producer ) – 
  • Charlotte Rae (actress) – 
  • Glen Campbell (country musician) – 
  • Jack Nicholson (actor) – 
  • Peter Frampton (musician) – 
  • Ryan Stiles (comedian & actor) – 


  • Ansel Adams (photographer) – 
  • Richard M. Nixon (37th U.S. president) – 
  • Erma Bombeck (humorist) – 
  • Pat Tillman (Former NFL player, was killed while serving as an Army Rangers soldier in Afghanistan. Tillman walked away from a $3.6 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals to join the military after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S.) – 


  • U.S. Proclamation of Neutrality issued– 
  • Sirius became first ship to complete trek across Atlantic solely by steam– 
  • First White House Easter Egg Roll– 
  • Every student in Nebraska City, Nebraska planted at least one tree in honor of the first official Arbor Day, which was founded by Julius Sterling Morton– 
  • Oklahoma land rush began– 
  • Symphony Society of N.Y. began first European tour by U.S. orchestra– 
  • Ray Keech drove 207,552 mph in the White Triplex car– 
  • Jacques Cousteau granted patent for diving apparatus– 
  • Lester Pearson inaugurated as prime minister of Canada– 
  • Doctors in Houston, Texas, performed the first substantial human eye transplant– 
  • The first Earth Day was celebrated in the United States– 
  • The Blues Brothers made their first appearance on Saturday Night Live– 
  • In Washington, D.C., the Albert Einstein memorial was unveiled on the grounds of the National Academy of Sciences– 
  • The Holocaust Memorial Museum was dedicated in Washington, D.C.– 
  • Red Sox players Manny Ramirez, J. D. Drew, Mike Lowell, and Jason Varitek hit 4 consecutive home runs. This was a first in Red Sox history– 


  • It rained geese in Elgin, Manitoba, after 52 flying geese were struck by lightning.– 
  • Sixteen inches of snow fell in Sheridan, Wyoming– 
  • The Red River crested at 54.35 feet in Grand Forks, North Dakota– 


COURTESY www.almanac.com