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Calendar for April 24th, 2014

Robert B. Thomas' Birthday

founder of The Old Farmer's Almanac. Born in Grafton, Massachusetts, nine years before the start of the American Revolution, Thomas was brought up on a farm in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. He was fascinated by science and at age 16 read Ferguson's Astronomy, which he came across in his father's library. He later wrote that "it was from the pleasing study of this work I first imbibed the idea of calculating an almanack." With this dream in mind, he became a bookseller, taught school, built a store and bindery near the family farm, and studied astronomy in his spare time. In early 1792, he went to Boston to study mathematics under the tutelage of another almanac maker, Osgood Carlton, and that fall delivered the copy for the first edition of what he called The Farmer's Almanac to printers Joseph Belknap and Thomas Hall. With its format and contents established, it was ready for the longest publishing tenure in American history. Although Thomas died more than 150 years ago and 12 Almanac editors have followed him, no other name but his has ever appeared on the cover of The Old Farmer's Almanac. See more about the history of The Old Farmer's Almanac.


  • Born 1766: Robert B. Thomas, founder of The Old Farmer's Almanac

  • 1770s

  • Died 1779: Reverend Eleazar Wheelock (founded Dartmouth College)

  • 1790s

  • 1792: La Marseillaise composed

  • 1800s

  • 1800: U. S. Library of Congress established

  • 1830s

  • 1833: The soda fountain was patented

  • 1890s

  • 1895: Joshua Slocum left Boston on his 37-foot sloop named Spray. He arrived in Newport, Rhode Island, on June 27, 1898, becoming the first sailor to have circumnavigated the globe alone

  • 1898: Spain declared war on the United States (Spanish-American War)

  • 1900s

  • Born 1905: Robert Penn Warren (poet)

  • 1930s

  • Born 1934: Shirley MacLaine (actress)

  • Born 1936: Jill Ireland (actress)

  • 1940s

  • Born 1942: Barbra Streisand (singer & actress)

  • Died 1942: Lucy Maud Montgomery (author)

  • 1950s

  • 1953: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II

  • 1960s

  • Died 1967: Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov became the first person to die during a space mission

  • 1970s

  • Died 1974: Bud Abbott (comedian & actor)

  • 1980s

  • Born 1982: Kelly Clarkson (singer)

  • 1990s

  • 1990: Hubble space telescope launched

  • 2000s

  • Died 2004: Estée Lauder (started a kitchen business blending face creams and built it into a multimillion-dollar international cosmetics empire)

  • 2005: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger inaugurated as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. He took the name Pope Benedict XVI

  • 2010s

  • Died 2010: Elizabeth Post (etiquette expert)

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