To the day…
Almanacs are books published annually that can contain a host of useful information including a calendar of holy days, holidays, farmer’s planting dates, weather forecasts, astronomical data and various statistics. The times of the sunrise and sunset as well as tide charts can also be included. Almanacs, in various forms, have been in existence for hundreds of years. It has been stated in the Encyclopedia of Ephemera that the first printed almanac was published in Vienna in 1457 and the Almanack Calculated for New England – the first American almanac was published in 1639 in Cambridge Massachusetts. The Old Farmer’s Almanac has been published since 1792, making it the oldest continuously published periodical in North America
According to ABC for Book Collectors (an invaluable source for any book lover) an almanac is: “[c]alendar[s], usually in pocket-book (more rarely sheet) form, augmented with Saints’ days, fair-dates and astronomical and meteorological data; a bestseller from the start and protected by jealously guarded patents, the different titles [were especially] hot rivals in the 17th century….”
More data on day books on the ever-illuminating Abe Books blog.
[TotH to reader MK]
As we page through the year, we might recall that President Abraham Lincoln wasn’t the only person to die in Ford’s Theater: it was on this date in 1893 that three interior floors of the building collapsed. Following Lincoln’s assassination, the United States Government appropriated the theatre, (Congress payed Ford $100,000 in compensation), and an order was issued forever prohibiting its use as a place of public amusement. In 1866, the theatre was taken over by the U.S. military… then in 1893, the front of the building gave way, killing 22 military clerks and injuring another 68… which led some to conclude that the former Church-turned-theater was cursed. (A restored Ford’s Theater opened in 1968.)