DECEMBER 26 - Today in Food History

• National Candy Cane Day

• Boxing Day (UK, Canada, Australia & New Zealand) Traditionally celebrated the day after Christmas Day, when servants and tradespeople were given gifts, a 'Christmas box', from their employers,

• St. Stephen the Martyr, patron of horses.

Kwanzaa begins (Dec 26 to Jan 1) A celebration of African American family, community and culture. (see 1966 below)

On this day in:

1791 Charles Babbage was born.  He invented the adding machine, and among his other inventions is the cowcatcher, the V shaped front end on locomotives.

1850 Territorial Governor Alexander Ramsey declares Minnesota's first Thanksgiving Day.

1865 James H. Nason (or Mason) of Franklin, Massachusetts received the first U.S. patent (No. 51741) for a coffee percolator.

1878 John Wanamaker installed the first electric lighting in an American store. He illuminated his Grand Depot department store in Philadelphia with 28 Brush arc lamps. (see also July 11, 1838).

1903 Elisha Cook Jr. was born.  A well known character actor in films and TV.  He played Wilmer, in the 'Maltese Falcon'.

1913 Elizabeth David was born (died May 22, 1992). "Britain's first lady of food."  Food writer who strongly influenced home cookery in Britain after the austerity of WW II, writing about European cuisines and traditional British cookery.

1917 World War I: The U.S. government takes over control of the country's railroads.

1931 Melvil Dewey died. He created the Dewey Decimal Classification system for cataloging library books.

1946 Mobster Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel opens The Pink Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

1947 New York City is buried under 25.8 inches of snow in 16 hours.

1966 The first day of the first Kwanzaa is celebrated in Los Angeles under the direction of Maulana Karenga, the chair of Black Studies at California State University at Long Beach. Designed as a celebration of African American family, community, and culture.

1967 Wham-O Mfg company received patent No. 3,359,678 for improvements to the Frissbee, reducing aerodynamic drag.  (See also Sept 30, 1958)

1982 The 'Time' magazine Man of the Year was the personal computer.

2004 A massive earthquake near Sumatra caused a tsunami that swept across the Indian Ocean from Indonesia to Africa.  It was one of the worst natural disasters in modern history.  Over 220,000 died, and millions were left homeless.


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