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APRIL 1 - Today in Food History

• April Fools’ Day (All Fools’ Day)
• Whole Grain Sampling Day (April 1, 2015)
  [Whole Grains Council]
• National Sourdough Bread Day

National Week of the Ocean - (March 29 - Apr 4, 2015)
• UK: Canned Food Week: March 30-April 5, 2015 [Canned Food UK]  Celebrating the versatility of canned food.

On this day in:

1582 France adopted the new Gregorian calendar.  Prior to that, the new year was celebrated on April 1.  (The new year actually started on March 25, which fell during Holy Week - so the celebrations were delayed until the first day of April).  One explanation of the origin of ‘April Fools Day’ is that those who failed to accept the new start of the year on January 1 became the object of practical jokes.  (Pope Gregory XIII introduced the new Gregorian Calendar in 1582.  It is possible that Charles IX of France may have changed the start of the New Year to January in 1564).

1755 Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin was born.  A French politician and author of the 8 volume Physiologie du goût, ou Méditation de gastronomie transcendante, ouvrage théorique, historique et à l'ordre du jour ("The Physiology of Taste, or Meditation on Transcendent Gastronomy, a Work Theoretical, Historical, and Programmed") published in 1825.  It treats dining as an art form and contains many delightful and witty observations on the pleasures of the table.

1864 Travelers Life & Accident Insurance Company was founded.

1891 Wrigley Co. is founded in Chicago, Illinois by William Wrigley, Jr., selling soap and giving away baking powder as a premium. The baking powder was more popular, so he switched to selling baking powder, giving chewing gum as a premium with each can. The gum became more popular than the baking powder so he went into the chewing gum business.

1893 The first dishwashing machine became an award winning success at the 1893 Columbian Exposition, which used Josephine Garis Cochran’s hand operated, mechanical dishwashers in its kitchens.  (She patented her original version on December 28, 1886.)  Her company eventually evolved into KitchenAid.

1911 Seaman Asahel Knapp died.  An American agriculturist, he began the system which evolved into the U.S. Cooperative Extension Service.

1918 In Canada, Alberta and Saskatchewan declare total prohibition of alcoholic beverages.

1932 Actor Gordon Jump was born.  The 'Maytag Repairman' in commercials, also Arthur Carlson on 'WKRP in Cincinnati'

1950 “If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked a Cake" by Eileen Barton was number one on the music charts.

1957 The BBC aired a spoof TV documentary about spaghetti crops in Switzerland, showing women carefully plucking strands of spaghetti from a tree and laying them in the sun to dry. Many viewers called in asking where they could purchase their own spaghetti trees.

1960 Tiros I, the first weather observation satellite was launched from Cape Kennedy.

1976 Jimmy Buffet's 'Margaritaville' was released.

1976 Carl Peter Henrik Dam died. Dam was a Danish biochemist who discovered vitamin K in 1939.

1994 Ray Geiger died (born Sept 18, 1910).  Editor of the Farmers' Almanac from 1934-1993, and editor of American Farm & Home Almanac from 1964-1990.

1996 The Taco Bell fast food chain played an April Food joke on the American public by claiming to have bought the Liberty Bell to help pay down the national debt.

1999 The first minimum wage goes into effect in Britain, £3.60 an hour for adults and £3.00 an hour for those under 22 years old.

1999 In April 1999, Restaurant Nora in Washington DC became America's first certified organic restaurant.  This means that 95% or more of everything that you eat at the restaurant has been produced by certified organic growers and farmers.


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