MARCH 31 - Today in Food History
• Cesar Chavez Day: Official state holiday in California, Colorado and Texas. Not a federal holiday but is declared annually by Presidential proclamation. (see 1927 below).
• National Clams on the Half Shell Day (Clam Recipes)
• Tater Day (Potato Recipes)
• Oranges and Lemons Day (“‘Oranges and Lemons’ say the bells of St. Clements.....” see the complete version)
On this day in:
1814 John Lineback of Salem, North Carolina received the first patent for a cottonseed hulling machine.
1848 William Waldorf Astor was born. William Waldorf Astor was a cousin of John Jacob Astor IV, the great grandson of John Jacob Astor. He built the Waldorf section (1893) of what would become the Waldorf Astoria (1897). The Empire State Building (1929) now stands on the site of the former hotel.
1882 During March and April an estimated 1.5 billion dead tilefish were discovered north of Delaware Bay. It is believed that the destruction was caused a storm which brought abnormally cold water to its Gulf stream habitat. (Tilefish History & Facts)
1918 Daylight Savings Time went into effect in the U.S. for the first time. (Time & Time Zone Trivia)
1927 Cesar Chavez was born (died April 23, 1993). American farm worker and labor leader, co-founder with Dolores Huerta of the National Farm Workers Association (now the United Farm Workers).
1946 G. Allan Nichol of the music group 'The Turtles' was born.
1978 Charles Best died (born Feb 27, 1899). Co-discoverer in 1921 (with Dr. F. Banting) of the hormone insulin, used to treat diabetes.
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.
1992 Bob Wian died (born June 15, 1914). Founder of the Big Boy restaurant chain in 1936 in Glendale, California. In 1967 he sold the chain to Marriott Corp. for $7 million.
2005 Frank Perdue president of Perdue Farms died (born May 9, 1920). He was the son of the company's founder Arthur Perdue. Perdue is the 3rd largest poultry company in the U.S.
2014 The International Court of Justice rules that the Japanese government must halt its whaling program in the Antarctic. Japan said it would abide by the decision.