FOOD HISTORY TIMELINE
1986 to 1990
1986 Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn is introduced by General Mills
1986 Kellogg's ended tours of its breakfast cereal plant for fear that industrial spies would obtain company secrets.
1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant in the Ukraine explodes. The worst nuclear disaster in history. In addition to the human toll, agriculture and livestock was contaminated by radiation in large areas of Europe for years to come.
1986 Chicken Song by Spitting Image hit #1 in UK.
1986 Six million Americans participate in Hand Across America by holding hands and singing across 4,150 miles of road in support of the hungry and homeless.
1986 Low salt/sodium SPAM was introduced.
1986 Raymond Loewy died. An American design engineer, he designed the Coca Cola bottle, the 1934 Sears Coldspot refrigerator, toothbrushes, etc.
1986 A bronze statue of a pig was dedicated at Seattle's Pike Place Market.
1986 The largest northern pike weighed over 55 pounds and was caught in Germany.
1987 Red M&Ms return. There were none since 1976.
1987 Snapple Iced Tea drinks are introduced.
1987 Clara Peller died Aug 11 (born Aug 4, 1902). She is the actress who is famous for her Wendy's TV commercial, "Where's the beef?"
1987 The alligator was designated the official state reptile of Florida in 1987
1987 North Carolina adopted milk as the official state beverage.
1987 U.S. Microwave oven sales reach a record 12.6 million.
1987 The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) bans most uses of sulfites in fresh foods.
1987 Andy Warhol died. American painter of the pop art movement. In the 1960s he made paintings of Campbell's Soup cans, Coca-Cola cans and other American products.
1987 First 100-percent soybean ink developed in four colors
1987 The first cattle was sold via satellite 'video auction'
1987 'Sunflowers' by Vincent Van Gogh is sold to a Japanese buyer for $39.9 million. There has been some controversy on whether it is possibly a fake. During the 1990s more than 2 dozen Van Gogh's have been labeled as fakes or copies. Vincent Van Gogh was also born on this day in 1853.
1987 Shelly Long, who played Diane Chambers, makes her final appearance as a regular on 'Cheers.'
1987 Archie Fairley Carr died. An American biologist and authority on turtles. His extensive studies and conservation efforts helped to increase turtle populations around the world.
1987 Ben & Jerry Ice Cream & Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia announce a new Ice Cream flavor, Cherry Garcia.
1987 Dairy Queen acquires Orange Julius.
1987 Howard Schultz buys Starbucks, a Seattle coffee bean business, and begins building an empire of coffee bars.
1987 Charlie Trotter opens his restaurant in Chicago, 'Charlie Trotter's'
1987 Campbell's introduces Campbell's Cup dry soups.
1987 Brazilian landowners create new ranch land by burning 80,000 square miles of Amazon rain forest in 79 days.
1987 According to the U.N., world population hit 5 billion.
1987 The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed. The international treaty was designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of most substances responsible for ozone depletion, such as CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons).
1987 The U.S. Postal Service issued its first 'special occasion' stamps, including 'Happy Birthday' and 'Get Well' stamps.
1988 Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania created a new record setting 4.55 mile long banana split: 33,000 bananas, 2,500 gallons of ice cream, 600 pounds of chopped nuts and 450 gallons of topping.
1988 The term 'molecular gastronomy' was coined by Nicholas Kurti and Hervé This. Molecular gastronomy refers to the application of scientific principles to the understanding and improvement of small-scale food preparation (cooking at home and in restaurants).
1988 Baron Philippe de Rothschild died (born April 13, 1902). Innovative member of legendary Bordeaux wine growing family.
1988 Pillsbury Co. is acquired by the British company Grand Metropolitan PLC, a food & spirits conglomerate.
1988 The famous Paris restaurant 'La Coupole' was sold and eventually replaced by an office building. It was famous for its Welsh rarebit, and had been frequented by James Joyce, Henry Miller and many other notable Americans.
1988 Lower fat dairy products gain widespread acceptance. Lowfat and skim milk sales combined exceed whole milk sales for first time.
1988 It was announced that Russian goldminers had found the remains of a prehistoric mammoth with flesh so well preserved that it looked edible. ("Where's Mikey, he'll eat anything").
1988 Schiphol airport in Amsterdam opened a special departure lounge for cows, serving pre-flight food and drink to traveling cattle.
1988 Charles Glen King died. King was a biochemist who discovered vitamin C in 1932. He extracted and isolated it from lemon juice.
1988 McDonald's opened its 10,000 restaurant in Dale City, Virginia.
1988 Charles Dawson ('Daws') Butler died (born Nov 16, 1916). Voice actor. He was the original voice of Cap'n Crunch, mascot of the Quaker Oats cereal of the same name. Also the voice of Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear and dozens of other cartoon characters.
1988 The first U.S. patent on an animal life form was issued to Harvard scientists for a genetically engineered mouse.
1988 McDonald's announced it will be opening 20 Moscow restaurants. They will serve Bolshoi Mak instead of Big Macs.
1988 Three 50 pound snapping turtles were found in a Bronx, New York sewage treatment plant. They had probably been pets that were flushed down the toilet when very small.
1988 Unusual uses for peanut butter sandwiches. In New Jersey, students in a school were kept in an extra 45 minutes by a six-foot black bear that had wandered into the playground. They kept it at bay by tossing out peanut butter sandwiches until the game warden arrived to take him away.
1988 The poisoned olive oil trial. The longest trial in Spanish history ended after 15 months. 1,500 witnesses were questioned to help decide who was responsible for poisoning 25,000 Spaniards in the toxic olive oil case. More than 600 died from the cheap olive oil, and thousands more were left partially paralysed or suffering from other ailments in one of the worst public health disasters in modern history.
1988 An Indian Airlines Boeing 737 was charged by a bull while landing at Baroda Airport in western India. The bull lost.
1988 'Kid Chocolate' (Elgio Saldana) died. He became Cuba's first world boxing champion in 1931 after defeating Benny Bass for the Jr. Lightweight Championship.
1988 Pubs are now allowed to stay open 12 hours each day (except Sunday) in the U.K.
1988 'Red Red Wine' by UB40 hits number 1 on the charts.
1988 Wal-Mart opened its first Super Center at Wheeler, Oklahoma. It carries fresh meat, produce, dairy products, and baked goods, in addition to other standard supermarket products and discount store merchandise.
1989 Average commercial fertilizer use on U.S. farms during the 1980s was about 47.4 million tons per year.
1989 Georgia state representative Billy Randall introduced a bill to make Little Richards 'Tutti Frutti', the state's official rock song.
1989 U.S. agricultural exports were about $35.6 billion a year during the 1980s (15% of total exports).
1989 The movie 'Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death' was released.
1989 It was reported that a rain of sardines fell in Ipswich, Australia on February 7.
1989 The USDA approved 'Simplesse,' a low calorie fat substitute.
1989 A fossil egg was found in Utah that was 150 million years old. And I thought Chinese eggs were old!
1989 The musical drama 'Grand Hotel' opened on Broadway. It ran for 1,017 performances.
1989 Jack Dietz holds the world's record for watermelon seed spitting, 66 feet 11 inches. There are contests in many locations throughout the U.S. in the spring and summer.
1989 A 75 year-long ban on beer was lifted this day in Iceland.
1989 A phone call to the U.S. Embassy in Santiago, Chile begins a chain of events that results in an 11 day embargo of Chilian fruit. The anonymous phone call, and another one on March 9, warns that Red Flame grapes on the way to the U.S. have been injected with cyanide. Over 2 million crates of Chilean fruit is impounded, 20.000 Chilean food workers lose their jobs. Consumers in the U.S. and several other countries stop eating grapes of any kind for a month. No real evidence of contamination was found.
1989 The worst oil spill in U.S. history occurred as the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska's Prince William Sound, and eventually leaked 11 million gallons of crude oil. The effects on wildlife and fish was devasting.
1989 Chefs from Japanese restaurants in New York have finally persuaded the FDA to allow them to import and serve fogu. The first shipment of Japanese blowfish (tora fugu) arrived today. The chefs had to attend special classes to protect their customers from poisoning.
1989 The USSR issued ration cards for sugar due to a shortage.
1989 'She Drives Me Crazy' by Fine Young Cannibals hit #1 on the charts
1989 Lucille Ball died. Two of the funniest food related comedy routines ever done were the chocolate factory and the grape stomping episodes from her TV show, 'I Love Lucy.'
1989 Donald Deskey died. An industrial designer, he designed the packaging for Tide laundry detergent and Crest toothpaste among others.
1989 Hershey's reduces the size of the Hershey bar to 1.55 ounces. The price remains 40 cents.
1989 'Good Thing' by Fine Young Cannibals hit #1 on the charts
1989 Mel Blanc (Melvin Jerome Blanc) died. Blanc was a voice actor for Warner Bros. (and other) cartoon characters. Some of the characters he 'voiced' include Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck and Sylvester the Cat.
1989 Leslie Merry was hit with a turnip thrown from a passing vehicle in London. He was knocked down and suffered a broken rib and a ruptured spleen. He died of respiratory failure, due to the accident.
1989 The largest halibut (Atlantic) caught with rod and reel weighed over 255 pounds. It was caught in Gloucester, Massachusetts by Sonny Manley.
1989 Leona Helmsley of Helmsley Hotels, was fined $7 million and sentenced to 4 years in jail for mail fraud and tax evasion. Frequently known as 'The Queen of Mean' and 'The Queen of Greed.' Quote: "Only little people pay taxes."
1989 The pilot episode of the TV sitcom 'Chicken Soup' aired on ABC. Starring Jackie Mason and Lynn Redgrave as a Jewish man and an Irish-Catholic woman. It was canceled after 8 episodes.
1989 August A. Busch Jr. ('Gussie') died. Grandson of Anheuser-Busch brewery founder Adolphus Busch. 'Gussie' was company chairman from 1946-1975, and he built the company into the largest brewery in world.
1990 Microsoft releases Windows 3.0
1990 Alain Chapel died. French Master Chef and restaurateur. His restaurant, Alain Chapel, was awarded its 3rd Michelin star in 1973 and maintained it throughout his life. Chapel is considered one of the originators of 'Nouvelle Cuisine.'
1990 The comedy, 'Lettice and Lovage' opened on Broadway.
1990 The population of the U.S. is now 248,709,873. Farmers are 2.6% of the labor force. There are about 2,143,000 farms, averaging about 461 acres.
1990 Raymond Oliver died on Nov 5 (born 1909). One of the great chefs of postwar France. Chef and owner of the famous Le Grand Véfour restaurant in Paris.
1990 Cook's Magazine folds.
1990 Eating Well magazine begins publication.
1990 Campbell's Soup introduces Cream of Broccoli soup. It becomes their most successful new soup in 55 years.
1990 The Vidalia Onion was named Georgia's official state vegetable.
1990 Campbell's Soup produces its 20 billionth can of tomato soup.
1990 The first McDonald's restaurant in Moscow, Russia opens.
1990 The British Royal Navy began issuing rum rations to sailors as early as 1655. The Royal New Zealand Navy was the last navy in the world to end daily rum rations for sailors in 1990.
1990 Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act and Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act increased farmers’ flexibility in planting under government programs.
1990 Third Michelin star awarded to Restaurant Louis XV in the Hotel de Paris.Chef Alain Ducasse, 33, is the youngest chef ever to have his restaurant receive 3 stars.
1990 Cookery book author Jane Grigson died at age 61.
1990 Burger King began using Newman's Own Salad Dressings
1990 Nathaniel Wyeth Died. Wyeth, an American chemist and inventor, received a patent for PET (polyethylene terephthalate) beverage bottles. These were the first plastic bottles strong enough to hold carbonated beverages.
1990 B. (Barnard) Kliban died. A satirical cartoonist, best known for his cat cartoons. A few of his cartoon book titles: 'Never Eat Anything Larger Than Your Head', 'The Biggest Tongue in Tunisia'.
1990 A 500 pound, 6 foot high Hershey Chocolate Kiss was displayed at Times Square in New York City.
1990 Africanized honeybees entered the U.S. The ‘Killer bees’ reach the U.S. in the city of Hidalgo in southern Texas.
1990 Tom Carvel died. Inventor of the soft-serve ice cream machine, and founder of ice cream chain.
1990 'Ice Ice Baby' by Vanilla Ice hit #1 on the charts
1990 Roald Dahl died. British author, one of his most popular books was 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,' the film version was titled 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.' Some of his other books are 'A Piece of Cake,' 'Pig,' 'Royal Jelly,' 'Smell' and 'Lamb to the Slaughter.'
1990 British and French workers digging the Channel Tunnel from their respective countries drilled through a final piece of rock and shook hands, 22.3 km from the UK, 15.6 km from France.