NOVEMBER 30 - Today in Food History
• National Mousse Day
• The Great Pastry War Begins
• St. Andrew's Day, patron of fishermen
• UK: National Tree Week (Nov 29-Dec 7, 2014)
On this day in:
1835 Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) was born. American author, pen name Mark Twain, who wrote ‘Tom Sawyer’, ‘Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’, etc. There are many quotes and descriptions about food and dining in his works. An example is: "A man accustomed to American food and American domestic cookery would not starve to death suddenly in Europe, but I think he would gradually waste away, and eventually die." (From 'A Tramp Abroad').
1838 The Great Pastry War. A brief conflict began today between Mexico and France caused by a French pastry cook who claimed that some Mexican Army soldiers had damaged his restaurant. The Mexican government refused to pay for damages. Several other countries had pressed the Mexican government for similar claims in the past due to civil unrest in Mexico. France decided to do something about it, and sent a fleet to Veracruz and fired on the fortress outside the harbor. They occupied the city on April 16, 1838, and through the mediation of Great Britain were promised payment of 600,000 pesos for the damages. They withdrew on March 9, 1839.
1858 John L. Mason of New York was issued U.S. patent No. 22,186 for a Glass Jar (known as the Mason Jar) "Improvement in Screw-Neck Bottles"
1875 African American inventor Alexander P. Ashbourne was issued U.S. patent No. 170,460 for a biscuit cutter (Improvement in Biscuit-Cutters).
1875 Asmus J. Ehrrichson was issued the first U.S. patent (No. 170,536) for an oat-crushing (oat-meal) machine.
1936 London's famed Crystal Palace, built for the 1851 International Exhibition, was destroyed by a fire, despite efforts of 500 fireman and 90 engines.
1944 Rob Grill of the music group 'Grassroots' was born.
1954 In Sylacauga, Alabama, Ann Hodges was struck on the arm and hip by a meteorite the size of a grapefruit, when it smashed through the roof of her house as she was resting on her sofa. It was the only reported case of a human being being hit by a meteorite. The meteorite is in the Alabama Museum of Natural History, and is known as the Hodges Meteorite.
1965 Dale Cummings finished his record setting 14,118 consecutive sit-ups (see Nov 29, 1965).
1983 Alfred Heineken, the president of Heinken (the beer) was released after being kidnapped on November 9. He was freed after a ransom was paid (over $20 million). The kidnappers were eventually caught.
1999 At least 40,000 demonstrators in Seattle, Washington forced the World Trade Organization to cancel the opening session of its 3-day 135-nation trade summit.