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Today in Food History, Timeline & Food Holidays: National Food Days, Weeks & Months



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Today in Food History

Arbor Day in Florida (Jan 15, 2016)
• 41st Annual Bean Day 2016
   [Northarvest Bean Growers Association]
• National Strawberry Ice Cream Day
• UK: National Soup Day

Folic Acid Awareness Week (Jan 10-16, 2016)

On this day in:

1785 William Prout was born. An English chemist, he was the first to classify food components into 3 main divisions - carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

1797 James (or John?) Hetheringoton, a London haberdasher, supposedly created the top hat. A large crowd gathered to see this new hat, and he was charged with disturbing the peace (charges were later dropped). The hat was an immediate success. (Similar hats had been created as early as 1793, so the Hetherington story is questionable).

1889 U.S. patent No. 396,089 was issued to Daniel Johnson of Kansas City, Kansas, for a Rotary Dining Table for use on ships. "My invention has for its object, primarily, a combined rotary table and adjustable chair adapted for saloons of sea-going vessels and of other descriptions, in which the occupants of the chairs may be served in rotation from one stationary base of supply without the danger and inconvenience incident to the person making the circuit of the table when the vessel is upon the seas, and also enabling the persons seated at the table to be served with dispatch."

1895 Lever Brothers registered the 'Lifebuoy' trademark (soap).

1915 John Van Wormer was granted a patent for his 'Pure-Pak' - a "paper bottle" to be used for holding milk.  It would be 10 years before a machine was perfected to make the containers.

1915 Fannie Merritt Farmer died (born March 23, 1857). American culinary authority, and author of the 1896 edition of 'The Boston Cooking School Cook Book' later known as the 'Fannie Farmer Cook Book.'  Director of the Boston Cooking School, and founder of Miss Farmer's School of Cookery. Often cited as the first cookbook author to introduce standard measurements.

1919 The Great Molasses Flood. On January 15, 1919, a large 50 foot high storage tank in Boston burst and sent a tidal wave of over 2 million gallons of molasses traveling at over 30 miles per hour. Houses, buildings and parts of the elevated rail system were crushed in its path. Twenty-one people died, and over 150 were injured. It took over 6 months to clean up the mess. The damage was in the millions of dollars. 
(See also London Beer Flood, Oct 17, 1814)

1945 'House Party' starring Art Linkletter debuted on CBS radio.

1945 Joan Johnson of the vocal group the 'Dixie Cups' was born.

1958 The song 'Tequila' by the Champs was released.

1964 Jack Teagarden, jazz trombonist died.

1967 The 1st 'Super Bowl' was played. The Green Bay Packers of the National Football League beat the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League, 35-10. ("AFL-NFL World Championship Game" - renamed beginning with "Super Bowl III" in 1969)

1986 Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn was introduced by General Mills.

1990 Campbell's Soup produces its 20 billionth can of tomato soup.

2013 The Food Safety Authority of Ireland announced that horse DNA had been bound in frozen beef hamburgers sold in several Irish and British stores. Pig DNA was also present in some samples of beef products.  The beginning of a major horsemeat adulteration scandal that would involve many other companies and products (beef lasagne, beef Bolognese sauce, beef meatballs, etc.)  The scandal soon spread to at least 13 other European countries. Supposed 'Beef' products were found to contain 29% up to 100% horsemeat.(For more info see European Commission overview)


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