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home : columns : dear harriette February 19, 2020

12/26/2019 10:15:00 AM
World Almanac

Today is the 360th day of 2019 and the sixth day of winter.

TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1776, after staging a surprise attack, George Washington and the Continental Army scored a major upset victory over the British in the Battle of Trenton.

In 1908, boxer Jack Johnson defeated Tommy Burns, becoming the first African American heavyweight champion.

In 1966, the pan-African holiday Kwanzaa, founded by UCLA professor Maulana Karenga, was celebrated for the first time.

In 2004, a powerful earthquake in the Indian Ocean triggered a massive tsunami that claimed the lives of at least 226,000 in Southeast Asia and east Africa.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Thomas Gray (1716-1771), poet; Charles Babbage (1791-1871), mathematician/inventor; Mao Zedong (1893-1976), Chinese leader; Richard Widmark (1914-2008), actor; Steve Allen (1921-2000), entertainer; Alan King (1927-2004), actor/comedian; John Walsh (1945- ), TV personality/activist; David Sedaris (1956- ), writer; Lars Ulrich (1963- ), musician; Jared Leto (1971- ), actor/musician; Chris Daughtry (1979- ), singer-songwriter; Kit Harington (1986- ), actor.

TODAY'S FACT: Despite its impact in the Colonies, the Battle of Trenton was fought by relatively small numbers on both sides -- an estimated 2,400 Continental Army soldiers defeated the 1,500-strong British/Hessian garrison.

TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1919, Boston Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth's contract to the New York Yankees.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "If finding an apartment is like falling in love, buying one is like proposing on your first date and agreeing not to see each other until the wedding." -- David Sedaris, "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim"

TODAY'S NUMBER: 12,000 -- length (in miles) of China's high-speed rail system, the longest in the world. The 175-mile section connecting Beijing to Shijiazhuang opened on this day in 2012.

TODAY'S MOON: Between new moon (Dec. 25) and first quarter moon (Jan. 2).

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