JANUARY 1 - Today in Food History
• New Year's Day
• National Bloody Mary Day
• UK: National Hangover Day
• St. Basil's Day (Eastern Orthodox). St. Basil's cake with a coin inside is traditionally served. Whoever gets the coin will have good luck for the New Year.
• Diet Resolution Week (Jan 1-7, 2014)
• Kwanzaa (December 26 to January 1) A celebration of family, community and culture.
On this day in:
45 BC New Year's Day was celebrated for the first time on January 1 when the Julian calendar took effect.
1449 Lorenzo de Medici (The Magnificent) of Florence was born. Many in this Italian noble family were patrons of learning and the arts. Lorenzo’s great granddaughter, Catherine, is known as the ‘mother of French haute cuisine’ because when she married the French king Henry II, she brought the finest Italian chefs, and her passion for fine food, with her to France. (With apologies to my French readers. Reasonable rebuttals accepted for future publication).
1735 Paul Revere was born. A silversmith and American Revolutionary folk hero, he also made surgical instruments and false teeth.
1772 The London Credit Exchange Company issued the first traveler’s checks.
1800 Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton died. A French naturalist, he was a pioneer in several fields including plant physiology. He conducted many agricultural experiments and introduced Merino sheep to France. First director of the Museum of Natural History in Paris.
1849 Benjamin Leroy Holt was born (died Dec 5, 1920) Invented first practical track-type or crawler tractor (caterpillar tractor) in 1904.
1859 Michael Joseph Owens was born (died Dec 27, 1923). Invented a revolutionary automatic glass bottle making machine. Founded Owens Bottle Machine Co. (see also: Feb 26, 1895).
1863 Daniel Freeman is the first to submit a claim under the new Homestead Act, for 160 acres near Beatrice, Nebraska.
1876 The first world's oldest trademark is the red triangle registered for Bass Pale Ale. (Some sources say 1883 or 1890)
1876 The first agricultural experiment station was established at Middleton, Connecticut.
1895 C.W. Post of Battle Creek, Michigan introduced Postum Food Coffee, a coffee substitute made from wheat, bran and molasses.
1896 Alfred Ely Beach died. American inventor and publisher of Scientific American magazine.
1898 Post Grape Nuts are introduced by C. W. Post of Battle Creek, Michigan. (There are no grapes or nuts in Grape Nuts).
1909 Marcel Proust had a flashback. On January 1, 1909, he ate a piece of tea-soaked toast whose taste caused a flood of childhood memories. In his 7 volume allegorical novel 'Remembrance of Things Past,' the character named Swann has a similar experience when he bites into a lemon cookie (a 'Madeleine') which brings on a similar flood of memories.
1919 J.D. (Jerome David) Salinger was born (died Jan 27, 2010). Author of 'The Catcher in the Rye' (1951).
1935 In Miami, the first Orange Bowl was played on this day in 1935. Bucknell University wins over the University of Miami, 26-0.
1935 The first Sugar Bowl football game was played on this day in 1935 in New Orleans.
1935 B. (Barnard) Kliban was born. 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'.
1942 Country Joe McDonald of 'Country Joe and the Fish' was born.
1958 The agreements establishing the European Economic Community (EEC or Common Market) went into effect.
1968 Cat (Catherine Ann) Cora was born. American celebrity chef, restaurateur, cookbook author. Only female 'Iron Chef' on Food Network's 'Iron Chef America' (Website: www.catcora.com)
1994 The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
1996 The last Polynesian tree snail, species 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 nonnative species.
1998 Smoking is banned in California restaurants and bars.
1999 The 'euro' was introduced as an accounting currency, the new monetary unit of the European Union.
2002 'Euro' coins and banknotes went into circulation, the new monetary unit of the European Union.
2008 The year 2008 was declared the International Year of the Potato by the United Nations.
2014 The United Nations has declared 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming. It is an initiative promoted by the World Rural Forum and supported by over 360 civil society and farmers’ organizations. This worldwide celebration aims to become a tool to stimulate active policies for sustainable development of agricultural systems based farmer families, communal units, indigenous groups, cooperatives and fishing families.