FOOD HISTORY TIMELINE
1996 to 2000
1996 The U.S. FDA approved the fat substitute Olestra (brand name 'Olean'). Olestra is unapproved for sale in many countries, including the European Union and Canada. Side effects include abdominal cramps, and inhibition of vitamin absorption.
1996 Benjamin Eisenstadt died. He invented the artificial sweetener, 'Sweet 'n Low (granulated saccharin and dextrose).
1996 James McLamore died. Co-founder, with David Edgerton, of Burger King.
1996 The Las Vegas Sands Hotel was 'imploded' to make way for the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino.
1996 Cleanup of a 1.8 million gallon oil spill began after a barge ran aground near Block Island National Wildlife Refuge on January 19, 1996.
1996 The last Polenesian tree snail Partula turgida, died at the London Zoo. They lived on the South Pacific island of Raiatea, where the residents imported predatory snails from Florida to eat a pest snail, originally imported from Africa. Instead they ate the native Tree Snail to extinction. We never seem to learn about the consequences of introducing non-native species.
1996 Ray McIntire died. A chemical engineer who worked for Dow Chemical Company, he invented Styrofoam.
1996 The Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. voted to remove their voluntary ban of hard liquor ads on television and radio that had been in affect since 1936.
1996 David Packard died. Founder with William Hewlett of Hewlett Packard Company. Before they became famous for computers and printers etc., some of their early inventions were an automatic urinal flusher and a weight loss shock machine!
1996 John Leonard submitted an order form along with 'Pepsi Points' and a check for to Pepsi for a Harrier Jump Jet. The Harrier had been featured in a Pepsi commercial as one of the items that could be redeemed for 'points,' or a combination of cash and points. (the Harrier was listed for 7 million points). Pepsi subsequently refused to send Leonard the Harrier Jump Jet (actual cost: $23 million). Leonard then sued, and finally a judge ruled that the Harrier Jump Jet had obviously been mentioned in the promotion as a joke.
1996 The Taco Bell fast food chain played an April Food joke on the American public by claiming to have bought the Liberty Bell to help pay down the national debt.
1996 Arnold Neustadter died. Inventor of the Rolodex rotating card file.
1996 Erma Bombeck died. Writer, humorist, you will find some of her quotes about family and food on the FoodReference.com
1996 Dr. Edward Anton Asselbergs died. In 1960 Dr. Asselbergs developed the process for making instant mashed potato flakes, the patent that is still used world-wide today.
1996 The record Pacific halibut weighed 459 pounds and was caught in Dutch Harbor, Alaska.
1996 Dolly the sheep was born at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland. Dolly was the first animal cloned from an adult animal.
1996 The record catfish caught with rod and reel weighed 111 pounds and was caught in Tennesee.
1996 Mervyn Hugh Cowie died. Cowie was a British wildlife conservationist, founder and director of Kenya's Royal National Parks.
1996 Miss Universe was told to lose 27 pounds or lose her crown.
1996 World's largest grilled cheese sandwich made, 3,000 pounds.
1996 Pierre Franey died. A French chef who became famous as the chef of 'Le Pavillon' restaurant in New York City from 1945 to 1960. He published several cookbooks and collaborated with Craig Claiborne on the New York Times food column, 'The 60 Minute Gourmet'.
1996 The World Food Summit concluded. Delegates promised full efforts to ease world hunger.
1996 In 1996, the worldwide cranberry harvest produced 40 cranberries for every person on the planet.
1996 'Wannabe,' the first #1 hit by the Spice Girls, was released.
1996 Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act revised farm programs to increase reliance on market signals.
1997 Jerome Namias died Feb 10 (born March 19, 1910). An American meteorologist and first head of the Extended Forecast Division of the U.S. Weather Bureau. He pioneered 5 day, 30 day and 90 day extended forcasts and long range seasonal forecasts.
1997 Kingsley Davis died Feb 27 (born Aug 20, 1908). World renowned American sociologist and demographer. An expert on population trends, he coined the terms 'population explosion' and 'zero population growth.'
1997 Richard Berry, composer of 'Louie Louie' died on Jan 23(born April 11, 1935).
1997 Clyde W. Tombaugh died. An American astronomer who discovered the planet Pluto in 1930. Born on a farm near Streator, Illinois, he made his first telescope from old farm equipment parts.
1997 Lottie Williams, 48, of Tulas, Oklahoma became the only person known to have been hit by man made debris from space. She was struck on the shoulder while walking in the park, by a small piece of a used Delta II rocket that had been used to launch a military satellite in April, 1996.
1997 Scientists in Scotland announced the first successful cloning of an adult mammal, Dolly, a sheep, from an udder cell of an adult sheep. We have now entered the Twilight Zone; or maybe the Outer Limits.
1997 'Wannabe' by the Spice Girls hit #1 on the charts
1997 Jacques-Yves Cousteau died. Ocean explorer, marine biologist. Co-inventor of the aqualung.
1997 QUICK SNACKS AT WORK: Boxer Mike Tyson bites a big chunk off Evander Holyfield's ear in the 3rd round of a boxing match. He was disqualified.
1997 'Say You'll Be There' by Spice Girls hit #1 on the charts
1997 The largest food recall in U.S. history. Hudson Foods close its Nebraska plant and recalled 25 million pounds of ground beef that were potentially contaminated with E. coli 01557:H7
1997 'Honey' by Mariah Carey hit #1 on the charts
1997 Victor Mills died. He was a chemical engineer who worked for Proctor & Gamble. Among his many accomplishments, he improved Duncan Hines cake mix, and Jif peanut butter, and invented Pampers disposable diapers.
1997 Plastic bags are a serious danger to marine mammals. A 65 foot, 70 ton finback whale died off the coast of Spain. Its digestive tract had been blocked by 30 plastic bags, and several hard plastic objects.
1997 Reports from Chile about giant rats, that had been feeding on the droppings of hormone fattened poultry, were attacking farm animals near Santiago.
1997 Karl August Folkers died. He was the first to isolate vitamin B12.
1997 Fear of the 'bird flu' led Hong Kong to order its entire population of chickens, over 1 million birds, to be killed.
1998 HACCP is implemented to target and reduce the presence of pathogens in meat and poultry.
1998 Adelaide Hawley Cumming died. She was television's original Betty Crocker on the Betty Crocker Show premiering in 1949.
1998 In West Virginia if you run over a animal, you can legally take it home and cook it for dinner. A law passed in 1998 lets drivers keep their road kill, as long as they report it within 12 hours. According to supporters of the new law, the state will the save money that had been used to have Highway Division employees remove dead animals from the road.
1998 Smoking is banned in California restaurants and bars.
1998 Nicholas Kurti died. Hungarian born British physicist whose hobby was cooking. He advocated applying scientific knowledge to the kitchen and coined the term 'molecular gastronomy'
1998 The movies 'Home Fries' and 'A Bug's LIfe' opened in the U.S.
1998 Walter E. Diemer died. While working for the Fleer Chewing Gum Company, he experimented with recipes for chewing gum as a hobby. (He really liked his gum!). He invented bubble gum in 1928.
1998 American researchers announced they had cloned calves that could be used in the production of medicinal milk.
1998 Bill Gates was hit with a cream pie in Brussels.
1998 A locust plague in Ethiopia was reported that covered almost 4,000 acres.
1998 The Spice Girls first U.K. concert in Glasgow.
1998 Richard McDonald died. One of the brothers who founded McDonald's restaurant. He also designed the golden arches logo.
1998 Massena 'Andy' Gump died. Inventor and portable toilet king of Southern California.
1999 The 'euro' was introduced as an accounting currency, the new monetary unit of the European Union.
1999 David Geske and Len C. Kretchman of Menusaver, Inc. were granted patent No. 6,004,596 for making a “Sealed Crustless Sandwich” of peanut butter and jelly. Purchased by Smucker's, the patent was controversial from the start. After several lawsuits, appeals, and reexaminations the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office issued a certificate canceling all claims on September 25, 2007,
1999 U.S. agricultural exports were about $48.2 billion a year during the 1990s (9.5% of total exports).
1999 This was declared 'The Year of the Restaurant' by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce.
1999 Drop in many commodities prices, combined with disastrous weather in many parts of the country, caused increased demand for USDA farm programs.
1999 The "Roadless Initiative" is implemented to preserve roadless tracts in National Forests, securing fish and wildlife habitat & protecting natural resources.
1999 Swiss Winegrower's Fete (Fête des Vignerons). Held periodically (about every 20 years or so) since 1797 in Vivey, Switzerland. The next festival will be in 2019.
1999 Eighty-three year old bee-keeper Virgil Foster died after being stung more than 50 times by Africanized 'killer bees' on August 31, 1999. He was the first 'killer bee' fatality in California. The bees original source was Brazil, where African bees were imported for experimental cross breeding.
1999 'Have You Ever?' by Brandy hit #1 on the charts
1999 The world's largest strawberry shortcake was created. Plant City, Florida, the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World, holds the Guinness record for the world's largest strawberry shortcake. The 6,000 pound cake was made on Feb. 19, 1999 in McCall Park.
1999 Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones landed in the Egyptian desert, having completed the 1st 'Around the World' hot air balloon flight. According to the BBC, they carried fresh food, including bread, cheese and pre-cooked steaks to last for 6 or 7 days, after which they made due with dried foods such as cereals and powdered milk. The flight began in the Swiss Alps, took 19 days, 21 hours and 55 minutes, and covered 29,056 non-stop miles.
1999 In April 1999, Restaurant Nora in Washington DC became America's first certified organic restaurant. This means that 95% or more of everything that you eat at the restaurant has been produced by certified organic growers and farmers.
1999 The first minimum wage goes into effect in Britain, £3.60 an hour for adults and £3.00 an hour for those under 22 years old.
1999 The Disney film 'A Bug's Life' was released. It was the first 100% digital DVD. It was transferred directly form the digital source to DVD. (Bugs = bacteria = food spoilage)
1999 Waldo Lonsbury Semon died. Semon was an American Inventor who is credited with the invention of Vinyl. Vinyl is the 2nd most used plastic in the world. Semon held over 100 patents.
1999 After 22 years of controversial restoration, Leonardo de Vinci's masterpiece 'The Last Supper' is returned to public display.
1999 Nicholas Vitalich is arrested for assaulting his girlfriend with a large tuna, outside a San Diego supermarket. He was charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
1999 Forrest Edward Mars died. Son of Frank C. Mars, he helped him develop the Milky Way. He founded his own company in Europe and developed the Mars Bar, and also created M&Ms. He merged his company with his father's in 1964, creating the world's largest candy manufacturer.
1999 Aaron 'Bunny' Lapin died. Lapin was the inventor of whipped cream in an aerosol can (Reddi-Wip) in 1948.
1999 'Weird Al' Yankovic recorded a song called 'Grapefruit Diet' on his album 'Running with Scissors'
1999 'Catfish' Hunter, baseball pitcher, died.
1999 The Russian Duma passed an animal rights bill that prohibits people from eating their pets.
2000 The population of the U.S. is now 281,421,906.
2000 Smucker's introduced Uncrustables, frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with the crusts already cut off.
(see also Dec 21, 1999).
2000 The world's first cloned pigs (5 of them) were born in Virginia. They were produced by a Virginia subsidiary of the same Scotland company, PPL Therapeutics, that cloned Dolly the sheep.
2000 A truck carrying evaporated milk is driven into the state capitol building in Sacramento, California, killing the driver.
2000 Craig Claiborne died. Influential American food writer, cookbook author. Food editor and restaurant critic for the NY Times.
2000 'Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water' Limp Bizkit's 3rd studio album was released. and debuted at number 1 on the charts.
2000 Konrad (Emil) Bloch died. Nobel prize winner for his work on cholesterol and fatty acids. He discovered that high levels of cholesterol may lead ultimately to increased risk of heart attacks.
2000 Charles M. Schulz died. American cartoonist, best known for the 'Peanuts' comic strip.
2000 The last original 'Peanuts' comic strip is published.
2000 David Ross Brower died. Brower was the founder of many environmental organizations including the Friends of the Earth and Earth Island Institute.
2000 The music group 'The Smashing Pumpkins' play their final concert in Chicago before breaking up.