Daily Calendar for Tuesday, December 31, 2024

In Scotland, December 31 is known as Hogmanay, the word children use to ask for their traditional present of an oatmeal cake (which is why this is also called Cake Day). It’s believed that Hogmanay originated with the invading Vikings who celebrated the passing of the winter solstice with much revelry.

Immediately after midnight it is traditional to sing Robert Burns’ Auld Lang Syne”—
“Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and auld lang syne
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup o kindness yet, for auld lang syne.”

Along with fireworks, “First footing” (or the “first foot” in the house after midnight) is still common across Scotland. The first person to cross the threshold into one’s home, called the first footer, is an indication of the year to come. Although the tradition varies, if the first footer is tall and dark, the year will be a good one.

Of course, the entire spirit of a Hogmanay party is to welcome both friends and strangers with warm hospitality and of course lots of kissing all-around!

Question of the Day

What is the best way to get rid of thistles?
The thistle is one of the most difficult perennial weeds to control because its underground stems can travel up to 20 feet a season. After chopping them down, use a plastic mulch to cover the entire area. A straw mulch, laid at least three inches thick, also will smother thistles. (Do not use a leaf mulch.) Your weed-control program must be long-lasting because the roots can lie dormant for several years. In addition to mulching, plowing the garden deeply in the fall will bring the rhizomes (stems) to the surface. But avoid rototilling, because this will cut the rhizomes, and each piece will become a new plant.

Advice of the Day

On New Year’s Eve, kiss the person you hope to keep kissing.

Home Hint of the Day

A lightweight wrecking bar with at least a 2-inch-wide blade is a good tool for removing old plaster and lath (the narrow wooden support strips under plaster).

Word of the Day

Fear of fog or humidity

Puzzle of the Day

What word is that to which if you add a syllable, it will make it shorter?


  • Jacques Cartier (explorer)
  • Henri Matisse (artist)
  • Jule Styne (composer)
  • Odetta (American folk singer)
  • Anthony Hopkins (actor)
  • Ben Kingsley (actor)
  • John Denver (singer)
  • Donna Summer (singer)
  • Val Kilmer (actor)
  • Nicholas Sparks (author)
  • Gabby Douglas (gymnast, Olympic gold medalist)


  • Rick Nelson (singer)
  • Edward Herrmann (actor)
  • Natalie Cole (singer)
  • Pope Benedict XVI


  • A window tax was imposed in England, causing many shopkeepers to brick up their windows to avoid the tax
  • Baltimore, Maryland was incorporated
  • Ottawa selected by Queen Victoria as capital of Province of Canada
  • The cornerstone for the Iolani Palace in Honolulu, Hawaii, was laid
  • Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians first played Auld Lang Syne” at midnight”
  • C. B. Darrow received a patent for his Monopoly game
  • Entertainer Roy Rogers and actress Dale Evans were married
  • Helium-filled sun shade patented
  • The last new Calvin and Hobbes cartoon strip was published
  • An extra second, or leap second, was added to clocks worldwide


  • Los Angeles received 7.36 inches of rain in 24 hours, causing flooding
  • For the month of December, Kansas City, Missouri, received a total snowfall of 16.6 inches.
  • New Year’s Eve snowstorm hit the deep South: Meridian, Mississippi, received 15 inches of snow
  • Concord, New Hampshire, set a new December snowfall record with 44.5 inches for the month

Explore Other Dates on the Calendar