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Daily Calendar for Friday, December 13, 2024

St. Lucia (also called Lucy) was a fourth-century Italian martyr. Her name is derived from the Latin lux, meaning “light,” and thus she is associated with festivals of light. Before the Gregorian calendar reform in 1582 (adopted in Great Britain and the American colonies in 1752), her feast day occurred on the shortest day of the year (hence the saying “Lucy light, Lucy light; Shortest day and longest night”). St. Lucia’s Day is celebrated especially in Italy and in Sweden, where the oldest (or sometimes youngest) daughter dons a crown of burning candles and wakes the family with coffee and St. Lucia buns (sweet rolls seasoned with saffron).

There is no year without one Friday the 13th, and no year with more than three. This day is considered the unluckiest of days in many superstitions, unless you were born on Friday the 13th, in which case it is your lucky day. “Friggatriskaidekaphobia” is the fear of Friday the 13th. Some people don’t like the number 13, whether it’s a Friday or not. The fear of the number 13 is called “triskaidekaphobia.” Quite a few skyscrapers and hotels do not have a 13th floor (or a room 13, for that matter), and many buildings substitute 12 1/2 for 13 in their addresses. Winston Churchill wouldn’t travel on Friday the 13th, considering it too unlucky.”  Discover more fun and freaky facts about Friday the 13th!

Question of the Day

What is Saturnalia?
The Roman Saturnalia, honoring the god Saturn, was held on December 17 to 23 and was a time of pagan feasting. (Saturnalia traditions later became absorbed into the celebration of Christmas..) To start a war during this time would have been a sin against the gods. Schools were closed, courts were out of session, and no penalties were handed down to lawbreakers. It was a seven-day period of peace and candle-lighting.

Advice of the Day

Don’t cross the stream to find water.

Home Hint of the Day

To save on energy and hot water, make it a practice to take quick showers rather than baths.

Word of the Day

Minnesota
The name is from the Sioux word meaning “sky-tinted water” or “cloudy water.”

Puzzle of the Day

Why are crows the most sensible birds?
Because they never complain without cause (caws).

Died

  • Samuel Johnson (writer)
  • Grandma Moses (artist)

Born

  • Mary Todd Lincoln (U.S. First Lady)
  • Anthony B. Heinsbergen (muralist)
  • Archie Moore (boxer)
  • Dick Van Dyke (actor)
  • Christopher Plummer (Canadian actor)
  • Ted Nugent (musician)
  • Steve Buscemi (actor)
  • Jamie Foxx (actor)
  • Amy Lee (singer)
  • Taylor Swift (singer/songwriter)

Events

  • New Zealand was discovered by Dutch navigator Abel Tasman
  • Reverend Eleazar Wheelock founded Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., with a royal charter. His intention was to provide education and instruction of Youth and of the Indian Tribes in this Land … and also of English Youth and any others.
  • The San Diego city council hired moisture accelerator Charles Hatfield to bring rain to the city’s nearly empty reservoirs. He did his job so well that by the end of January, 28 inches of rain had fallen, causing major flooding. The council refused to pay him and he fled town with his secret formula.
  • Woodrow Wilson became the first US President to visit European countries while in office, arriving France to attend the Versailles Conference.
  • The Philadelphia Mint began stamping the Susan B. Anthony dollar
  • Highest scoring game in NBA history. Detroit Pistons 186 - Denver Nuggets 184, triple OT.

Weather

  • Tampa, Florida, experienced a severe freeze with a temperature of 18 degrees F

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