APRIL 10 - Today in Food History
• National Cinnamon Crescent Roll Day
• The First Arbor Day (see 1872 below)
• National Farm Animals Day
• National Public Health Week: April 6-12, 2020
[American Public Health Assoc.]
On this day in:
1633 Bananas were supposedly displayed in the shop window of merchant Thomas Johnson. This was the first time the banana had ever been seen in Great Britain. It would be more than 200 years before they were regularly imported. In 1999 remains of a banana were found at a Tudor archaeological site on the banks of the Thames River. This would seem to date it 150 years earlier than Thomas Johnson's banana. A classic food mystery! (Banana Trivia and facts)
1752 William Cheselden died. An English surgeon and teacher, he was one of the first to describe the role of saliva in digestion.
1766 Sir John Leslie was born. A Scottish physicist and mathematician, he was the first to freeze water artificially (create ice artificially). He used an air pump apparatus.
1845 Erastus B. Bigelow patented a new loom to manufacture gingham cloth. Until then all gingham was hand made. The classic red and white checked restaurant tablecloth is and example of gingham cloth.
1849 Walter Hunt of New York patented the safety pin. However, safety pins existed prior to this patent.
1872 The first Arbor Day was observed in Nebraska. It was proposed by J. Sterling Morton and publicized by the State Board of Agriculture as a tree-planting holiday. Nebraska at that time was a treeless plain, with nothing to break the wind other than the normal digestive functions of mammals. Trees were also needed for fuel, shade, building houses, etc. Estimates are that more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska on that first Arbor Day.
It was proclaimed an official state day in 1874. Other states have since adopted the idea, and several U.S. presidents have declared national Arbor Days, usually the last Friday in April. The idea has also spread to other countries. [The National Arbor Day Foundation]
1894 African American inventor G. W. Murray received 2 patents for a Furrow Opener & Stalk Knocker and a Cultivator & Marker.
1944 Synthetic quinine was made for the first time at Harvard University. (see Cinchona Bark)
1982 Saturday Night Live had viewers vote whether to boil 'Larry the Lobster' or not. The audience voted to free him. (Lobster Trivia and Facts)
1991 The last remaining Horn & Hardart Automat closed its doors. It was located at Third Avenue and 42nd Street in New York City. Frank Hardart and Joe Horn opened the first Automat on June 9, 1902 at 818 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. The birth date of modern fast food. (Automat Trivia and Facts)
1995 A smoking ban in New York for restaurants with more than 35 seats began today.
2020 Coronavirus: Washington D.C. and New Jersey grocery store employees and customers must wear face masks; Most of San Francisco's public transit system shutting down; Many states struggle to process surge in unemployment claims; Data shows many have not paid April rents.