The Old Farmer's Almanac daily calendar gives you quick reference for the significant events on any day throughout the year.
The day after Epiphany (January 6) was traditionally the one on which women went back to work after the 12-day Christmas celebration. A distaff is the wooden rod (staff) that holds the flax or wool on a spinning wheel. The term distaff came to refer to both women's work and the female branch (distaff side) of the family. As is often the case, it's hard to go back to work after the holidays and not much got done! The women's husbands would mischievously try to set fire to the flax on their wives' distaffs, while the women, lying in wait, would retaliate with humor by dousing them with buckets of water. The English poet Robert Herrick wrote: If the maids a-spinning goe Burn their flax and fire their tow. Bring the pails of water then Let the maids bewash the men.
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.
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.