Order 2016 Almanac Now - Get 3 FREE Gifts

Calendar for January 7th, 2013

Handsel Monday

According to Scottish custom, the first Monday of the new year was the time to give children and servants a small gift, or handsel. Literally something given into the hands of someone else, the gift itself was less important than the good luck it signified. The handsel was popular as a new year's gift from the 14th to 19th centuries, but it also had a broader application to mark any new situation. It continues today in the form of a housewarming gift to someone moving into a new home.

Every Year

  • Orthodox Christmas

  • Distaff Day

  • 1610s

  • 1610: Astronomer Galileo Galilei, armed with a primitive telescope, saw three "stars" near Jupiter. About a week later a fourth one appeared. Galileo had discovered the four largest moons of Jupiter. Today the moons are called Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto; they are known as the Galilean Satellites.

  • 1610: Major satellites of Jupiter first seen by Galileo

  • 1710s

  • 1714: First typewriter patent issued in England

  • Born 1718: Israel Putnam (American Revolutionary general)

  • 1780s

  • 1782: Bank of North America, first commercial bank chartered by Congress, opened, Philadelphia.

  • 1784: D. Landreth Seed Co. in Philadelphia established

  • 1785: Francois Blanchard and John Jefferies crossed the English Channel from Dover to Calais by hot-air ballon; the first crossing of the Channel by air

  • 1789: The electors were chosen for the first U.S. presidential election. (George Washington was elected president on February 4.)

  • 1800s

  • Born 1800: Millard Fillmore (13th U.S. president)

  • 1860s

  • 1865: Indians attempted to ambush cavalry of Iowa volunteers at Julesburg, Colorado

  • 1890s

  • 1894: In 1892, with $638, Thomas A. Edison constructed the first movie studio. His first film was made on this day in 1894. Entitled "Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze," it documents Edison employee Fred Ott while he is sneezing. This remains the earliest copyrighted film still in existence.

  • 1896: Fannie Farmer published her first cookbook

  • 1900s

  • Born 1903: Zora Neale Hurston (author)

  • 1920s

  • Born 1922: Vincent Gardenia (actor)

  • 1927: Transatlantic telephone service began between NY and London

  • Born 1928: William Peter Blatty (author)

  • 1930s

  • Born 1930: Douglas Kiker (broadcast journalist)

  • Born 1936: Hunter Davies (author)

  • 1940s

  • Died 1944: Lou Henry Hoover (U.S. First Lady)

  • Born 1945: Tony Conigliaro (baseball player)

  • Born 1948: Kenny Loggins (singer)

  • 1950s

  • Born 1950: Erin Gray (actress)

  • Born 1957: Katie Couric (newscaster)

  • 1960s

  • Born 1964: Nicolas Cage (actor)

  • 1970s

  • 1971: A U.S. court of appeals ordered a ban on the pesticide DDT until its effects on public health were studied

  • 1972: Lewis Powell, and William Rehnquist are confirmed as US Supreme Court justices

  • 1979: Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, fell to United Front insurgents

  • 1980s

  • Born 1984: Jon Lester (baseball player)

  • 1986: President Reagan banned trade and travel to Libya and called for an international boycott because of its involvement in terrorist activities

  • Died 1989: Emperor Hirohito of Japan died after the longest reign of any Japanese monarch (62 years), and was succeeded by his son, Akihito

  • 1990s

  • Died 1990: Joe Robbie (founder of the Miami Dolphins)

  • Died 1990: Bronko Nagurski (football player)

  • Born 1990: Liam Aiken (actor)

  • 1990: The Leaning Tower of Pisa closed to the public because of safety concerns

  • 1992: Tom Seaver won election into the Baseball Hall of Fame

  • 2000s

  • Died 2005: Rosemary Kennedy (sister of President John F. Kennedy who was born mentally retarded. She was the inspiration for the Special Olympics spearheaded by the Kennedy family)

2015 Special Edition Garden GuideCooking Fresh with The Old Farmer's AlmanacThe Almanac Monthly Digital MagazineWhat the heck is a Garden Hod?