Daily Almanac for Wednesday May 22, 2024

By StephanieLee Elliott


Famous U.S. Olympic Speed Skater Apolo Ohno turns 42 today. Here he is at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. By Noelle Neu (http ohnozone.net), CC BY-SA 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.org


Apolo Anton Ohno (/əˈpɒl ˈæntɒn ˈn/; born May 22, 1982) is an American retired short track speed skating competitor and an eight-time medalist (two gold, two silver, four bronze) in the Winter Olympics. Ohno is the most decorated American at the Winter Olympics and was inducted into the International Sports Hall of Fame in 2017 and the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 2019.

Raised by his father, Ohno began training full-time in 1996. At the age of 14, he became the youngest U.S. national champion in 1997 and was the reigning champion from 2001 to 2009, winning the title a total of 12 times. In December 1999, he became the youngest skater to win a World Cup event title, and became the first American to win a World Cup overall title in 2001, which he won again in 2003 and 2005. Ohno has been the face of short track in the United States since winning his medals at the 2002 Winter Olympics. He won his first overall World Championship title at the 2008 championships.

Ohno’s accolades and accomplishments include the United States Olympic Committee‘s Male Athlete of the Month in October 2003 and March 2008, U.S. Speedskating’s Athlete of the Year for 2003, and a finalist for the 2002, 2003, and 2006 Sullivan Award, which recognizes the best amateur athlete in the United States.

Since gaining recognition through his sport, Ohno has worked as a motivational speaker, philanthropist, started a nutritional supplement business, and won the 2007 season of Dancing with the Stars. Ohno later became host of a revival of Minute to Win It on Game Show Network and served as a commentator for NBC‘s coverage of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi and the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang. Outside of competing, he has been an entrepreneur in the health, wellness, and technology industries.


Ember Days happen four times a year at the start of each season. Traditionally observed by some Christian denominations, each set of Ember Days is three days, kept on a successive Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.

Ember Days for 2023
September: 20, 22, 23
December: 20, 22, 23

Ember Days for 2024
February 21, 23, 24
May 22, 24, 25
September 18, 20, 21
December 18, 20, 21

These three days are set apart for fasting, abstinence, and prayer. The first of these four times comes in winter, after the Feast of St. Lucia, December 13; the second set comes with the First Sunday in Lent; the third set comes after Whitsunday/Pentecost Sunday; the four and last set comes after the Feast of the Holy Cross. Their dates can be remembered by this old mnemonic:

“Sant Crux, Lucia, Cineres, Charismata Dia Ut sit in angaria quarta sequens feria.”

Which means:

“Holy Cross, Lucy, Ash Wednesday, Pentecost, are when the quarter holidays follow.”

In Latin, Ember Days are known as the quattuor anni tempora (the “four seasons of the year”). Folklore has it that the weather on each of the three days foretells the weather for three successive months.

As with much folklore, this is grounded in some common sense since the beginning of the four seasons cue the changes in weather as well as a shift in how we keep harmony with the Earth and respect our stewardship of the Earth, our “garden of Eden.”“

In 1933, Congress designated May 22 as National Maritime Day. On this day in 1819, the “first successful transoceanic voyage under steam propulsion” began when the steamship S.S. Savannah set sail from Savannah, Georgia. It arrived in Liverpool, England, on June 20. National Maritime Day is an occasion to honor the past and present contributions of the U.S. merchant marine during both peace and war.

Question of the Day

Why is a nautical mile different from a land mile?

The mile was originally a Roman linear measure of 1,000 paces — about 1,618 yards. (Its length has varied considerably at different periods and in different localities; the legal mile is now 1,760 yards, or 5,280 feet.) Such a linear measurement cannot be used at sea, so the nautical mile is based on the length of one minute of arc (or 1/60 of a degree) of a great circle of Earth. Owing to the fact that Earth is not a true sphere, the mile as thus defined varies considerably. Therefore, the British assigned it a standard value of 6,080 feet.

Advice of the Day

Plant marigolds around your lover’s footsteps to keep your true love.

Home Hint of the Day

Sharpen your hand scraper frequently throughout a paint scraping project. It’s the rough edge left on the scraper after you file it that removes the paint.

Word of the Day

To catch a crab

In rowing when a stroke of the oar either misses the water or digs too deeply.

Puzzle of the Day

What day of the week do chickens hate most?

Fry day.


  • William Sturgeon (inventor) – 
  • Richard Wagner (composer) – 
  • Mary Cassatt (painter) – 
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (author most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes) – 
  • Laurence Olivier (actor) – 
  • Peter Nero (pianist) – 
  • Paul Winfield (actor) – 
  • Morrissey (singer) – 
  • Naomi Campbell (model) – 
  • Alastair Ralphs (wrestler) – 
  • Ginnifer Goodwin (actress) – 
  • Apolo Ohno (Olympic speed skater) – 


  • Martha Washington (U.S. First Lady) – 
  • Victor Hugo (writer) – 
  • Langston Hughes (writer) – 
  • Thurl Ravenscroft (character voice, most well known for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes’ pitchman Tony the Tiger) – 
  • Tiffany Two (oldest known cat at the time) – 


  • Train of 100-plus wagons left Independence, Missouri, for Oregon– 
  • Representative Preston Brooks caned Senator Charles Sumner in Senate– 
  • Patent granted for Wright brothers’ “Flying-Machine”– 
  • The American Cancer Society was founded– 
  • The Space Needle’s revolving restaurant in Seattle, Washington, was dedicated– 
  • Barry Bishop and the other members of a National Geographic expedition team were the first Americans to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Barry Bishop placed the U.S. flag on top of Mount Everest– 
  • First permanent IMAX theater opened in Toronto– 
  • Athlete Rick Hansen completed Man in Motion World Tour– 
  • Hubble telescope detected at least two more Saturn moons– 


  • Northeast Maine had 6 inches of snow– 
  • Lewiston, Maine, reached 101 degrees F– 
  • Rains caused flooding, New Mexico– 
  • Heavy rain brought the Pearl River ten feet above flood stage at Carthage, Mississippi– 
  • A 2.5 mile-wide tornado touched down near Hallam, Nebraska.– 
  • An EF-5 tornado devastated Joplin, Missouri, causing at least 155 deaths. An evaluation by the National Weather Service estimated the tornado’s wind speeds reached 198 miles per hour.– 


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