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

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Today in Food HistoryFOOD TIMELINE: >  2001 to 2005




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1961 to 1965   ·   1966 to 1970
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1981 to 1985   ·   1986 to 1990
1991 to 1995   ·   1996 to 2000
2001 to 2005   ·   2006   ·   2007
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* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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2001 to 2005

2001 William Hewlett died. Founder with David Packard of Hewlett Packard Company. Before they became famous for computers and printers etc., some of their early inventions were an automatic urinal flusher and a weight loss shock machine!

2001 General Mills acquires Pillsbury Co.

2001 A Nestle subsidiary acquires Ralston Purina, The new company will be called 'Nestle Purina PetCare Company'.

2001 U.S. 1st class postage rates raised to 34 cents.

2001 The first suspected case of foot-and-mouth disease is detected in Essex. The disease ravages livestock in Britain in the worst epidemic since 1967.  By March it has spread to mainland Europe. Millions of animals are destroyed.

2001 The European Commission bans all British milk, meat and livestock exports following an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the U.K.

2001 Twenty-five new cases of foot-and-mouth disease were confirmed in the Britain, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 163.

2001 The Eden Project officially opens in Cornwall, England.  Its numerous Biomes are the biggest conservatories in the world.

2001 The movie 'Swordfish' opened in U.S. theatres.

2001 The movie 'American Pie 2' opened in U.S. theatres.

2001 Italy's famous Leaning Tower of Pisa was reopened to the public after almost 12 years of corrective reconstruction and stabilization efforts.  It was declared stable for at least another 200 years.

2001 The National Guard was called up out help Buffalo, New York dig out from a five-day storm that dropped almost 7 feet of snow.

2001 Norway lifted a ban on exports of whale meat.

2001 The movies 'Sugar and Spice' and 'The Wedding Planner' debuted in U.S. theaters.

2001 Germany announced plans to destroy 400,000 cattle due to the mad cow crises. The European Union estimates that up to 2 million cattle will be destroyed in EU countries by the end of June.

2001 Polyphenolic compounds found in blueberries and cranberries shown to guard against vascular diseases and age-related memory losses.

2001 The first case of mad-cow disease in Asian animals was reported in a dairy cow in Japan.

2001 The American submarine USS Greenville accidentally strikes and sinks a Japanese fishing & high school training ship, the Ehime-Maru. Nine crew members of the Ehime Maru and 4 high school students were drowned. The submarine was practicing an emergency rapid surfacing maneuver at the time.

2001 Coca Cola signs a sponsorship deal with Christina Aguilera.

2001 A 440 pound bluefin tuna sold for $173,600 in the Japanese Tsukiji fish market - that’s about $394 per pound!

2001 First piglet cloned, by ARS scientists and colleagues at the Roslin Institute in Scotland.

2001 China reported that its population is now 1.26 Billion.

2001 Maryland banned the farming of genetically modified fish in any waters linked to other bodies of water.

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

2001 Hong Kong ordered more than 1 million chickens and other poultry killed to halt the spread of another bird flu epidemic.

2001 'Lady Marmalade' by Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya & Pink (from the movie Moulin Rouge) hit #1 on the charts.

2001 Actor Jack Lemmon died. A couple of his film titles: 'The Fortune Cookie,' 'Days of Wine and Roses.'

2001 In Oslo, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway married  former waitress Mette-Marit.

2001 Flat Iron Steak introduced after research on undervalued cuts of beef finds new ways to cut the steaks from the chuck.

2001 Justin Wilson, Cajun chef and humorist died. He wrote five cookbooks, hosted several cooking shows on TV, including 'Louisiana Cookin' and 'Cookin' Cajun.'

2001 The first case of mad-cow disease in Asian animals was reported in a dairy cow in Japan.

2001 World Trade Center and Pentagon Terrorist Attack. Among those who perished in this heinous crime were many food workers who worked in the restaurants of the 2 Towers.

2001 It was reported that the remains of a crocodile that lived 110 million years ago was found in Niger. It could grow up to 40 feet long and weigh more than 8 tons! (Too bad today's poachers couldn't run into that!)

2001 In April, 2001, Italian astronaut Umberto Guidoni and Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield brought some luxury food items with them to the International Space Station, Regiano Parmesan cheese and Canadian salmon.

2001 Facing an electricity crisis, California Governor Davis declared a state of emergency. Hundreds of thousands of California residents experienced rolling power blackouts. The energy crisis was caused by market manipulations, drought and new power plant delays.

2001 The World Trade Organization approved China's membership.

2002 With no outbreaks for more than 3 months, the UK is declared free of foot-and-mouth disease.  Since the disease was first discovered on February 19, 2001, six-and-a-half million animals have been slaughtered, most of them sheep.

2002 U.S. first class postage rates were raised to 37 cents and post cards to 23 cents.

2002 The Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington DC put the kitchen of legendary cook Julia Child on display.  Child had donated the kitchen from her Cambridge home of 32 years, and it had been disassembled and moved to the Smithsonian.

2002 Elizabeth Coblentz died (born July 18, 1936). Syndicated Amish cooking columnist and cookbook author (‘The Amish Cook’, ‘The Amish Cook Cookbook’, ‘An Amish Christmas’, etc.).

2002 Cuban officials announced that the country had struck deals to buy more than $66 million in American food at a historic agribusiness show.

2002 The animated 'Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie' opened in U.S. theatres.

2002 'The Ketchup Song' by Spanish girl group Las Ketchup was number 1 in the UK and many other countries.

2002 Alfred Heineken died. Grandson of Gerard Adriaan Heineken, the founder of Heineken Brewery. Alfred was president of the company from 1964 to 1989.

2002 'Euro' coins and banknotes went into circulation, the new monetary unit of the European Union.

2002 The world's oldest man died at at the age of 112. An Italian shepherd, his secret to long life was "Just love your brother and drink a good glass of red wine every day."

2002 A new record for largest peanut butter and jelly sandwich was set in Oklahoma. 350 pounds of peanut butter and 144 pounds of jelly. (see Peanut Butter and Jelly Trivia for details)

2002 Dave Thomas founder of Wendy's Hamburger chain died.

2002 U.S. President George W. Bush fainted after choking on a pretzel while watching a football game on TV in the White House.

2002 New regulations to go into effect this year require German pig farmers to spend at least 20 seconds every day with each pig, 10 seconds in the morning and 10 seconds in the afternoon. I do not know about what regulations there might be for spending time with German cows, sheep, chickens and other farm animals.

2002 McDonald's announced in a press release that it has agreed to pay 10 million dollars to Hindu and vegetarian groups to settle lawsuits over its use of beef flavoring in its French Fries.

2002 Joseph Bonanno, a former Mafia boss known as 'Joe Bananas,' died in Tucson, Arizona at age 97.

2002 ARS Genetically engineered a tomato to boost its levels of good-for-the-body lycopene. This is the first food to be nutritionally improved with the help of biotechnology.

2002 Esther Pauline Friedman Lederer died. She wrote the 'Ann Landers' advice column. Her twin sister Pauline Esther, under the pen name Abigail Van Buren, wrote the 'Dear Abby' advice column.

2002 A jury awarded $120 million to 17 bakery workers who sued Interstate Brands for racial discrimination.

2002 Spaniards threw 120 tons of tomatoes at each other at the annual Tomatina festival in Bunol, Spain. The annual tomato fight is the biggest food fight in the world. It has been a tradition since 1945 when a group of youngsters engaged in a spontaneous tomato fight in the town square.

2002 William Rosenberg founder of Dunkin' Donuts died (born June 10, 1916).  (The Dunkin' Donuts website lists his date of death as Sept 22, but numerous newspapers and others list Sept 20).

2002 Verne H. Winchell died. Founder of Winchell's Donuts in 1948; known as 'The Donut King.'

2002 Ruth Handler died. Creator of the Barbie Doll (1959) and co-founder of the Mattel company in 1942.

2003 Dolly the sheep died.  Dolly was the first animal cloned from an adult animal. (born 1996)

2003 The last commercial flight of the British Airways supersonic Concorde airliner left New York at 7:30 am local time for Heathrow airport in London.  A special champagne breakfast was served which included Smoked Scottish Salmon with Caviar and Lobster Cakes with Bloody Mary Relish and Wilted Spinach.

2003 U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona called obesity the fastest growing cause of illness and death in America today.

2003 The first cloned mule was born at the University of Idaho. It was named 'Idaho Gem'

2003 The Concorde supersonic airliner made its final scheduled flight from Paris to New York as Air France took the Concords out of service. On May 31 the Concorde made its last return trip to France.

2003 The Concorde supersonic airliner made its final scheduled return trip from New York to Paris as Air France took the Concords out of service.

2003 Martha Stewart stepped down as head of her media empire hours after being charged with conspiracy, securities fraud etc.

2003 A major outage knocked out power across the eastern United States and parts of Canada. 50 million people lost power.

2003 After a 14 year moratorium, Iceland resumed whale hunting for Minke whales, in the name of ‘scientific research.'

2003 The world's largest battery was connected to provide emergency power in Fairbanks, Alaska. The $35 million rechargable battery weighs 1,300 tonnes and in the event of a blackout, it can provide 40 megawatts of power for up to 7 minutes, while backup generators are being started.  Total city blackouts occur every 2 or 3 years due to the extreme weather conditions.
2003Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger was sworn in as governor of California.

2003 Canada institutes a partial ban on imported beef from the US, due to a case of mad cow disease (BSE) in a Canadian-born Holstein cow, slaughtered in Washington state.

2003 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the dietary supplement ephedra after more than 150 deaths and thousands of adverse reaction had been reported.

2003 The USDA announced the first suspected case of 'mad cow' disease (Bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE) in the U.S.

2003 Canada announced the closure of what remained of the cod fishery in Newfoundland, the Maritime provinces and Quebec due to depleted stocks of cod.

2003 The first cloned horse was born in a natural delivery. Cloned horses are currently banned from racing

2003 The USDA declared that frozen, batter coated french fries are fresh vegetables.  A federal judge upheld the rule in June, 2004, declaring that the term "fresh vegetables" was ambiguous. In 1981 the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) had unsuccessfully tried to classify ketchup and pickle relish as vegetables. Public protest caused them to drop the idea.

2003 Richard Pough died. An American ecologist he was the founding president of the Nature Conservancy and helped found the World Wildlife Fund. In 1945, he was one of the first to warn about the dangers of DDT to fish and birds.

2003 Sunbutter, a sunflower seed spread and peanut butter alternative is made available to the public.

2003 Actor Gordon Jump died. The 'Matag Repairman' in commercials, also Arthur Carlson on 'WKRP in Cincinnati'

2003 The FDA banned the use of 'downer' cattle from the human food supply.`

2003 Kemmons Wilson died.  Founder of Holiday Inn hotel chain, the first standardized hotel chain.

2003 Brazil passed the U.S. as the world's largest exporter of beef.

2003 Brazil has 175 million cattle, the U.S. 105 million.

2003 A peanut variety discovered lacking a major allergen. Peanut allergies, which can be fatal, affect over 1.5 million Americans.

2003 Found that barley is as effective as oats in reducing serum cholesterol, which resulted in an FDA-approved health claim.

2003 Tests confirm the first case of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy - mad cow disease) in the U.S.

2003 The hottest day ever in Britain. Faversham, Kent recorded the highest temperature to date of 101.3°F (38.5°C).

2003 Bernard Loiseau died.  French chef, owner of La Cote d'Or in Saulier, a Michelin three-star recipient.  He committed suicide, supposedly in response to reports that his restaurant might lose one of its 3 stars.

2004 The Salvation Army announced it will be receiving a $1.5 billion donation from the estate of Joan B. Kroc, widow of Ray Kroc the founder of McDonald's restaurants.

2004 Martha Stewart resigned from the board of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia 10 days after her conviction in a stock scandal.

2004 The Republic of Ireland becomes the first country to ban smoking in all enclosed workplaces, including bars and restaurants.

2004 British Columbia, Canada orders the slaughter of 19 million poultry due to avian influenza (bird flu).

2004 Robert Davies caught a 9 foot, 264 pound sturgeon in Swansea Bay off the Welsh coast. Sturgeon are rarely seen in UK waters. The fish was eventually donated to the Natural History Museum in London.

2004 Bacardi agrees to acquire Grey Goose Vodka.
2004The last elevated train in Boston made its final run

2004 An Estonian couple won the world wife-carrying championships in the remote village of Sonkajarvi in Finland. The prize includes the wife's weight in beer and a portable sauna.

2004 Weighing in at 416 pounds, Giovanna Guidoni became Italy’s 16th Miss Cicciona (Miss Chubby) in Forcoli, Italy. Contestants must weigh more than 220 pounds to enter the contest.

2004 'The Cookout,' a movie about an out of control backyard barbecue opened in U.S. theatres.

2004 Belgian brewer Interbrew merged with Brazilian brewer Ambev to form InBev, the world's largest brewer by volume. (See also July 13, 2008)

2004 A farmer in Ontario, Canada shows a record 1,446 pound pumpkin. (new records have since been grown).

2004 Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reported to prison to begin serving a sentence for lying about a well timed stock sale.

2004 Martha Stewart, business magnate, cookbook author and TV personality, was convicted of obstructing justice and lying about a well timed stock sale just before the priced plummeted.

2004 The movie 'Christmas with the Kranks' opened in U.S. theatres.

2004 The first Starbucks coffee shop in France opened on Jan 16.

2004 Harrison McCain died.  'King of the French Fry,'  co-founder (with 3 brothers) of McCain Foods in 1957 in New Brunswick, Canada.  The company produces 1/3 of the world's french fries.

2004 Al Lapin Jr. died.  Entrepreneur and restaurateur, co-founder with his brother Jerry of International House of Pancakes in 1958 in Toluca Lake, California.

2004 Jeff Smith died.  TV's 'Frugal Gourmet' and cookbook author.

2004 A 60 ton, 56 foot long sperm whale exploded on a busy street in Tainan, Taiwan. A buildup of gas from internal decay caused the explosion. Researchers were taking the whale by truck to the National Cheng Kung University for a necropsy. The whale had beached itself and died on January 17. No one was injured in the explosion, but blood and entrails showered cars and shops, and traffic was held up for several hours while the mess was cleaned up.

2004 British actress Dana Broccoli died. Widow of Albert Broccoli, producer of the 'James Bond' movies.

2004 The world's largest Ocean Liner, RMS Queen Mary 2, was christened.

2004 Tens of millions of pounds of almonds were recalled by one of the world's largest almond producers, located in California due to a salmonella outbreak. At least 25 people were sickened in states from Alaska to Michigan.

2004 This week a federal judge upheld a rule issued by the USDA on June 2, 2003 which declared that frozen, batter coated french fries are fresh vegetables. The judge stated that the term 'fresh vegetables' was ambiguous. In 1981 the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) had unsuccessfully tried to classify ketchup and pickle relish as vegetables. Public protest caused them to drop the idea.

2004 The City Manager of Key West, Florida fired its Official Chicken Catcher. Armando Parra was hired in January to catch and relocate some of the more than 2,000 'wild' chickens that roam this small island city. They did not feel he would meet his contract quota to relocate 1,000 chickens by September.

2004 Julia Child died 2 days before her 92 birthday.  American cooking authority, cookbook author, TV Cooking show host, etc. During World War II, she also worked for the OSS from 1941-1945 (The OSS is the forerunner of the CIA).

2004 William A. MItchell died (born Oct 21, 1911). American food chemist. While working for General Foods Corp. he invented Tang, Pop Rocks, Cool Whip, quick-set Jell-O, powdered egg whites, etc.

2004 It was reported that it rained fish in August at Shropshire, western England.

2004 Sonya Thomas won $500 and a trophy belt at the World Lobster Eating Contest in Kennebunkport, Maine. She ate 9.76 pounds of lobster meat (38 lobsters) in 12 minutes.  She also holds the record for hard boiled eggs, and pork & beans (8.4 pounds in 2 minutes 47 seconds).  She weighs only 105 pounds.

2004 The French Parliament passed a bill to combat obesity among French youth. The bill bans junk food and soft drink vending machines in French schools, and requires health warnings or an alternate tax on snack food and soft drink commercials. The provisions become effective in September, 2005.

2004 American scientists Richard Axel and Linda Buck were awarded this year's Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine. They received the award for their work on our sense of smell. Axel and Buck discovered genes that are responsible for our ability to recognize thousands of complex odors, and remember them throughout life.

2004 Country Music singer Willie Nelson opened his own restaurant, the Texas Roadhouse Grill, in Austin, Texas.

2004 Parliament voted to ban Fox hunting with dogs in the U.K. effective February 18, 2005.

2004 Ancel Keys died (born Jan 26, 1904).  An American nutritionist, he developed the lightweight, nutritious K ration used during WW II.  He also identified saturated fats role in causing heart disease.

2004 A massive earthquake near Sumatra caused a tsunami that swept across the Indian Ocean from Indonesia to Africa. It was one of the worst natural disasters in modern history. Over 220,000 died, and millions were left homeless.

2004 California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill that bans the production and sale of foie gras beginning in 2012. (The sales ban was overturned Jan 7, 2015, but not the production ban).

2005 Canada confirms a second case of mad cow disease, just days after the US planned to reopen its border to Canadian beef.

2005 A third case of mad cow disease is discovered in Canada, probably infected from use of banned contaminated feed.

2005 Procter & Gamble announced it agreed to buy Gillette for $57 billion, combining some of the world's best known household brands.

2005 In San Francisco, fire destroyed Fior d' Italia, America's oldest Italian restaurant. It reopened at 2237 Mason Street. 

2005 A ban on Fox Hunting with dogs became effective in England and Wales.

2005 Winn-Dixie supermarket chain filed for bankruptcy reorganization.

2005 Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney declared an economic disaster in Massachusetts, and requested federal aid.  A large and rapidly expanding toxic Red Tide algae bloom was crippling the states shellfish industry.

2005 Gaylord Nelson died (born June 4, 1916)  Former senator and governor of Wisconsin. He was the founder of Earth Day in 1970, and helped spawn modern environmental activism. (see Earth Day: April 22).

2005 The movie 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' opened in U.S. theatres.

2005 A Coalition of conservation and animal welfare organizations sued the U.S. Navy, alleging harm to whales and dolphins from the use mid-frequency sonar.

2005 Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa declared a national disaster and appealed to the international community for food aid after government estimates showed that 1.2-million people face famine due to drought.

2005 A group of 40 people dressed in Santa Claus costumes rampaged through Auckland, New Zealand, robbing stores and assaulting security guards.

2005 The first Airbus A380, the world's largest commercial jet, was unveiled in Toulouse, France. The A380 passenger amenities can include lounge bars, restaurants, duty free shops, self serve snack bars, beds, and shower spas. Seating capacity averages about 490 with a maximum of 853 seats.

2005 New licensing laws became effective at midnight in England and Wales and more than 1,000 pubs, clubs and supermarkets have been granted 24-hour licenses to sell alcohol.

2005 The M&M's balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade hit a light pole, knocking the light to the street and injuring 2 spectators.

2005 Minnesota has about 79,600 farms, a total of 27.5 million acres.

2005 H. David Dalquist, the creator of the aluminum Bundt Pan in 1950, died in Minnesota at the age of 86.

2005 Thurl Ravenscroft died. Voice actor best known as the voice of 'Tony the Tiger' in Kellogg's Frosted Flakes commercials - "They're grrrreeat!"

2005 Elmer 'Len' Dresslar Jr. died. Voice actor, best known as the booming voice of the Jolly Green Giant in commercials.

2005 On October 25 the European Court of Justice ruled that feta cheese is a traditional Greek product that deserves protection throughout the European Union's 25-nation block. Non-Greek European feta producers will not be allowed to call their product "feta."

2005 Michael Vale died. Actor who portrayed 'Fred the Baker' in Dunkin' Donuts commercials and 'Sam Breakstone' in Kraft Foods' dairy commercials.

2005 Reminiscent of Hitchcock’s movie 'The Birds,' on May 18 large black grackles attacked pedestrians in downtown Houston, Texas after a young bird had fallen from its nest.

2005 A herd of buffalo escaped from a farm and wandered around a Baltimore, Maryland suburb disrupting traffic, and shutting down several major highways. Police eventually herded them onto a nearby tennis court.

2005 Loaded Burrito Scare: Clovis, New Mexicao police were called to a middle school when someone saw what appeared to be a weapon being carried in by a student. Police did not find any weapon, but finally an 8th grader realized that what someone had seen was his extra credit commercial advertising project - a 30 inch long steak burrito wrapped in tin foil and a T-Shirt.

2005 Frank Perdue president of Perdue Farms died March 31 (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.

2005 There are about 2.1 million farms in the U.S.

2005 Patience Gray, British cookery writer, died  Plats Du Jour (1957), Honey From A Weed (1986)

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.

2005 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Michigan and New York could not prohibit people from buying wine online from out of state wineries. Some 23 other states have similar laws that presumably would also be affected by the ruling.

2005 Governor Jeb Bush signed a bill making the orange the official State Fruit of Florida. The orange blossom and orange juice have been previously declared the official state flower and official state beverage.

2005 The Lucky Pierrot restaurant chain in northern Japan began serving deep fried Whale Burgers, made with minke whale meat.  The meat is from whales that Japan kills for "research purposes" and then sells the meat. The International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986. Japan has said it will double its annual "research cull" of minke whales to 935 for 2005.

2005 The USDA confirmed today the first domestic case of mad cow disease. The 12 year old cow was born in Texas and spent its whole life on the same ranch.

2005 The animated movie 'Chicken Little' premiered.

2005 Antoine's Restaurant in New Orleans reopens exactly 4 months after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

2005 USDA ARS developed an edible coating to keep sliced apples fresh. Being used by restaurants, stores, and the School Lunch Program.

2005 The U.S. produced 9.9 billion pounds of apples, more than 1/2 were grown in Washington state.

2005 Cristeta Comeford became the first female White House Executive Chef.

2005 The U.S. produced 9.9 billion pounds of apples, more than 1/2 were grown in Washington state.

2005 Cristeta Comeford became the first female White House Executive Chef.


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