FEBRUARY 15 - Today in Food History
• National Gumdrop Day
On this day in:
1758 Benjamin Jackson advertised mustard for sale for the first time in America. The advertisement was in the Philadelphia Chronicle, and claimed Jackson was the first and only manufacturer of mustard in America.
1764 St. Louis, Missouri was founded as a fur post by Pierre Laclède.
1809 Cyrus Hall McCormick was born. McCormick is credited with the development of the first mechanical reaper.
1882 The first shipment of frozen meat left Port Chalmers, New Zealand for Britain, aboard the SS Dunedin of the Albion Line.
1889 Norman Jay Coleman became the first U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for 18 days at the end of President Grover Cleveland's 1st term . He previously held the title of Commissioner of Agriculture.
1903 The first Teddy Bear was introduced by Morris and Rose Michtom, Russian immigrants and owners of a toy novelty store in Brooklyn, New York. Inspired by a cartoon in the Washington Post, in which President Theodore ('Teddy') Roosevelt decided to spare the life of a bear cub orphaned during a 1902 bear hunt in Mississippi. Mrs. Michtom made a toy bear and displayed it as 'Teddy's Bear' in their shop window, and the bear quickly proved enormously popular with public.
1945 Molson's Brewery Limited shares become available to the public for the first time as Molson's becomes a public joint-stock company.
1952 The Museum of History & Industry opened in Seattle, Washington. (website: www.mohai.org)
1957 ‘The Banana Boat Song’ (Day-O) by Harry Belafonte is number one on the charts.
1965 Canada adopted its new red & white flag with a red maple leaf in the center.
1971 Britain switches from the 12-shilling currency system to the decimal system.
1982 The world's largest oil rig 'The Ocean Ranger' sank in the storm-tossed north Atlantic with the loss of 84 crew members.
1996 A supertanker, the Sea Empress, runs aground near Wales, spilling 70,000 tons of crude oil. The oil spill severely damaged several bird sanctuaries.
2005 In San Francisco, fire destroyed Fior d' Italia, America's oldest Italian restaurant. It reopened at 2237 Mason Street (see also May 1, 1886). [Restaurant website: www.fior.com]
2006 Robert Rich died (born July 7, 1913). Founder of Rich Products Corp. and creator of the first frozen non-dairy whipped topping from soybean oil.
2010 Canada closes its ports to fishing boats from Greenland and the Faroe Islands, when they refused to accept international shrimp quotas.