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

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Today in Food HistoryMAY >  May 1



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MAY 1 - Today in Food History

• May Day (an ancient spring festival day)

• [Mother Goose Day] (since 1987)

• National Chocolate Parfait Day

• Stewardship Week - April 30-May 7, 2023 (last Sun in April to 1st Sun in May) [Nat’l Assoc. of Conservation Districts] To encourage conserving natural resources for our future.

• UK: National Gardening Week: (May 1-7, 2023)
  [Royal Horticultural Society]  Encouraging gardners to share their love of gardening.


On this day in:

1683 Supposedly, a patent for a system of extracting salt from sea water was granted in England.
(Salt Trivia and Facts)

1759 Josiah Wedgwood founded the Wedgwood Pottery that transformed the rough pottery of the time into the smooth, durable crockery we know today.

1792 Rufus Porter was born (died Aug 13, 1884).  American editor and inventor. On August 28, 1845 he put out the first issue of Scientific American, but sold the magazine after 10 months. He held over 100 patents, including a fire alarm, signal telegraph, fog whistle, and a washing machine.

1841 John Bartleson and John Bidwell led the first wagon train to California, leaving from Independence, Missouri with 69 adults and several children, They arrived in California on November 4, 1841.
 (History of the Chuck Wagon)

1851 London's Great Exhibition opened in Hyde Park.  It was the first international exhibition ever to be held.  The Exhibition was housed in the Crystal Palace.

1859 John Walker died (born May 29, 1781).  English chemist who invented the friction match (strike anywhere) in 1826.

1864 Anna Jarvis was born (died Nov 24, 1948).  Successfully campaigned from 1908 to 1914 to have Mother's Day recognized as national holiday.

1886 Angelo Del Monte and 'Papa' Marianetti opened Ristorante Fior d' Italia, America's oldest Italian restaurant in the heart of San Francisco's North Beach.  The restaurant is now located at 2237 Mason Street in San Francisco. (Restaurant website:

1893 The World's Columbian Exposition (Chicago World's Fair) opened in Chicago, Illinois. It was held to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus' arrival in the New World in 1492 (the Fair was dedicated on October 21, 1892 but did not open to the public until May 1, 1893).

1899 In Germany, Bayer introduced aspirin in powder form. (see also Feb 27, 1900)

1924 The first Iodized table salt in the U.S. went on sale in at grocers in Michigan. Adequate intake of iodine helps prevent goiter (swelling of the thyroid gland).
(Salt History)

1927 Imperial Airways became the first British airline to serve hot meals.

1931 Empire State Building opens.  It was built on the site of the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. (see also Oct 1, 1931)

1941 General Mills introduced 'Cheerioats.' The name was changed to 'Cheerios' in 1945. [Some sources list June 19, 1941]  (Breakfast Cereal Trivia)

1971 'Brown Sugar' by the Rolling Stones is released.

1982 A record setting 8,000 foot long banana split was created in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. (See also April 30, 1988)

1991 Charles Elton died. Elton was an English biologist who first developed the idea of a 'food chain.'

2001 Hindus in Seattle filled suit against McDonald's restaurant chain for not disclosing the use of beef flavoring in its French Fries.

2005 A 9 foot, 640 pound freshwater catfish was caught by fishermen in northern Thailand on the Mekong River.  According to many, this is the largest freshwater fish ever caught. (Catfish Trivia and Facts)

2020 Coronavirus: The university city of Lund in Sweden spread chicken manure in its central park to discourage residents from gathering in the park for traditional April 30 celebrations;  Little League baseball cancels its World Series.


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