DECEMBER 19 - Today in Food History
• Oatmeal Muffin Day
• National Hard Candy Day
• Dec 17-23: Saturnalia - Ancient Roman festival honoring Saturn, the god of agriculture and harvest.
On this day in:
1686 Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe leaves his island after 28 years and arrives back in England on June 11, 1687.
1732 The first issue of ‘Poor Richard's Almanac’ was published by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia.
1809 Pierre Joseph van Beneden was born. A Belgian parasitologist, he discovered the life cycle of tapeworms.
1815 Benjamin Smith Barton died (born Feb 10, 1766). American physician and naturalist, he worte the first American botanical textbook, 'Elements of Botany' (1803).
1843 Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' was published (various sources list both Dec 17 and Dec 19).
1863 Frederick Walton of London, England applied for a patent for Linoleum (patent 3,210 granted May 31, 1864), the first widely used smooth surface floor covering. He received 88 patents, including for a varnish, plastics, artificial leather, distillation, etc.
1871 Albert L. Jones of New York received patent No. 122,023 for corrugated paper, an "improvement in paper for packing" which could be used to make boxes.
1899 Jerome Bonapart Rhodes of Shreveport, Louisiana was granted patent No. 639,290 for "an improvment in waterclosets."
1903 The Williamsburg Bridge between Brooklyn and Manhattan opened in New York. Originally open to horse-drawn carriages, bicycles, and pedestrians, the Williamsburg Bridge soon became a vital transportation route for trolleys and elevated subway trains, spurring the growth of Brooklyn's working-class neighborhoods.
1909 The 'New' Palace Hotel opened in San Francisco. It replaced the original Palace Hotel that was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire. (see also Oct 2, 1875)
1960 'Calendar Girl' by Neil Sedaka is released by RCA Victor Records.
1973 In his 'Tonight Show' monologue Johnny Carson joked, "You know what's disappearing from the supermarket shelves? Toilet paper. There's an acute shortage of toilet paper in the United States." Many viewers took this at face value and there was a run on toilet paper over the next few days!
1997 'Titanic' opened in U.S. theatres.
(Authentic Recipes served on the RMS Titanic in 1912).