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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: >  1951 to '55




50,000 BC to 1 BC
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1911 to 1915   ·   1916 to 1920
1921 to 1925   ·   1926 to 1930
1931 to 1935   ·   1936 to 1940
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1951 to 1955   ·   1956 to 1960
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1951 to 1955

1951 The first Jack-in-the-Box opens in San Diego.

1951 The first S&H Green Stamps given out at Denver store chain King Sooper.

1951 Vilhelm Bjerknes died (born March 1862).  A Norwegian meteorologist, one of the founders of the modern science of weather forecasting.

1951 The 'Dial' trademark was registered for bar soap.

1951 Bernard Loiseau was born on Jan 13 (died 2003).  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.

1951 Gerber Products starts using MSG (monosodium glutamate) in its baby foods to make them taste better.

1951 Swanson introduces beef, chicken, turkey pot pies.

1951 In a survey conducted of the U.S. armed services, banana cream pie was the favorite dessert.

1951 Ferdinand Porsche died. He was an Austrian engineer who designed the VW Beetle in 1935.

1951 Household hints columnist, Heloise, was born in Waco, Texas.

1951 The musical comedy 'Top Banana' opened on Broadway.

1951 The International Cheese treaty was signed. International Convention on the Use of Designations of Origin and Names for Cheeses.

1951 On the CBS network Pabst aired the 1st color beer commercial on the first commercial color TV program.

1951 The controversial novel 'Catcher in the Rye' by J.D. Salinger was published.

1951 The Premier, the first supermarket in Britain, opened it's doors. Other sources claim that the first supermarket in Britain was opened at Manor Park on January 12, 1948, and run by the London Co-op.

1951 Will Keith Kellogg died. He founded Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Co. (W.K. Kellogg Company) to manufacture cereals (cornflakes were the first) developed by his brother John Harvey Kellogg.

1951 As of this day in history, you could call from New York and make a reservation for dinner at a California restaurant without operator assistance. Coast to coast, direct dialing began.

1951 Jim and Rose Totino open an Italian restaurant in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Pillsbury acquired the 'Totino's' name in 1975.

1952 Charles M. Schulz's comic strip 'Peanuts' ran in its first Sunday comic strip. (Daily strips began Oct 2, 1950).

1952 The [Museum of History & Industry] opened in Seattle, Washington.

1952 Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada: more than 1,300 cattle are killed to halt a food-and-mouth disease epidemic.

1952 Frank L. Zybach of Strasburg, Colorado received U.S. patent No. 2,604,359 for a  "Self-Propelled Sprinkling Irrigating Apparatus."  This is the now familiar center-pivoting system that waters large circles of crops.

1952 Puerto Rico becomes a self-governing commonwealth of the United States.

1952 The original version of the song 'Hound Dog' was recorded by Willie Mae (Big Mama) Thornton. (Elvis Presley recorded it in 1956).

1952 The British Minister of Food announced the end of rationing and price controls on Tea.

1952 Borden Company registered "Elmer's" (glue) trademark. (Elmer the Bull is spouse of Elsie the Cow, the corporate symbol of Borden's).

1952 'The Mousetrap' opened in London. Agatha Christie's  murder mystery play is the longest running play in history. It hit 25,000 performances on Nov 18, 2012, and is still running today.

1952 Britain's Queen Elizabeth makes the first Christmas broadcast of her reign.

1952 'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus' by Jimmy Boyd was number 1 on the music charts.

1952 Jambalaya (On the Bayou) by Hank Williams was #1 on the Country Charts.

1952 Jerry Shirley of the rock group 'Humble Pie' was born.

1952 Mr. Potato Head is introduced to the world. Mr Potato Head is the also the first toy to be advertised on television.

1952 Mylar was registered as a DuPont trademark. Mylar is a very strong polyester film that has gradually replaced cellophane. It is used as a food wrap in addition to many other non-food uses.

1952 'The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette' was published.

1952 Frozen peas are added to the list of frozen vegetables produced by Birdseye.

1952 The first sugar free no calorie soft drinks are introduced.

1952 Lipton's dry Onion Soup Mix is introduced.

1952 Sugar Frosted Flakes, 29 percent sugar, are introduced by Kelloggs.

1952 Clarence Birdseye introduces the first frozen peas.

1952 Mrs. Paul's introduces frozen fish sticks.

1952 USDA Studied effect of chilling temperatures on tomatoes; led to use of moderate temperatures in transportation of tomatoes and resulted in better ripening and less decay.

1952 Howard Johnson's becomes the world’s largest food chain when it opens its 351st restaurant.

1952 Pream, a powdered nondairy coffee lightener is introduced.

1952 Colonel Harland Sanders begins to franchise KFC restaurants. Pete Harman of Salt Lake City gets the first franchise, and agrees to pay 5 cents for each chicken sold.

1952 Sir William Cecil Dampier died.  British scientist, he developed a method to extract lactose (milk sugar) from whey.

1953 Rationing of sweets ends in Great Britain.

1953 The play 'Picnic' opened at the Music Box Theatre in New York City.

1953 The U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare was created, the first new Cabinet level department since the creation of the Department of Labor in 1913.

1953 T.W.A. made the fist nonstop transcontinental flight from Los Angeles to New York City in DC-7.

1953 At 11:30 am, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay become the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

1953 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that segregated eating places in Washington, D.C. were unconstitutional

1953 Dorothy Feiner Rodgers, of New York, NY, received patent for a "Cleaning Swab for Toilet Bowls and the Like"; an improved 'Jonny Mop' with a disposable cleaning pad.

1953 Clarence Saunders died (born 1881). Founder of Piggly Wiggly grocery store chain in Memphis, Tennessee in 1916, the first true self-service grocery store chain.

1953 Rick Bayless was born.  American Chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and host of television series 'Mexico: One Plate at a Time' on PBS.  Chicago restaurants: Frontera Grill, Toplobampo, Xoco.

1953 James Lewis Kraft died. Founder of Kraft Co. a wholesale cheese distributer and producer. In 1916 he patented pasteurized process cheese, a low cost cheese that would not spoil. Not a great hit with the public, but the U.S. army purchased over 6 million tins of it during WW I. During the depression, it became popular because of its low cost.

1953 USDA Agricultural Research Service created.

1953 Howard C. Rossin was issued a patent for an overcoat built for two (or Siamese Twins).

1953 The world record swordfish was caught in Chile: 1,182 pounds.

1953 John H. Kraft received a patent for the manufacture of soft surface cured cheese.

1953 First calves born as a result of embryo transfer from donor to recipient cows.

1953 Rick Downey of the rock group 'Blue Oyster Cult' was born.

1953 Sugar rationing ended in Great Britain.

1953 Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet, died at the Chelsea Hotel in New York. He had consumed 18 straight martinis.

1953 Red LaSoda released; most popular red-skin potato in the South.

1953 Dow Chemical creates Saran Wrap

1953 The French Sardine Co. (since 1917) becomes Star-Kist Foods. Charlie the Tuna comes on board in 1961.

1953 Kraft Cheez Whiz is introduced. Originally created as an easy way to make Welsh rarebit, this stable cheese sauce comes in a jar with Worcestershire sauce, mustard flour and orange coloring added. A survey of American housewives reveals more than 1,300 possible uses for the product.

1953 White Rose Redi-tea is the world's first instant iced tea.

1953 Irish Coffee is supposedly created by bartender Joe Sheridan at Shannon Airport.

1953 Kellogg’s Sugar Smacks are introduced - they contained 56% sugar.

1953 Simplot introduced frozen french-fried potatoes on a commercial basis.

1953 There were more than 15,000 pizzerias in the U.S.

1953 The first Danny's Donuts opened in Lakewood California. The name will change to Danny's Coffee Shops, and finally in 1959 to Denny's Restaurants.

1953 On August 18, four cows in Stearns county Minnesota are picked up by a tornado and set down unharmed.

1953 Otto Schnering died (born Oct 9, 1891). Founder of the Curtiss Candy Company in 1916. The company's first candy product was named Kandy Kake, renamed Baby Ruth in 1921. The Butterfinger candy bar was introduced in 1926.

1953 'The Teahouse of the August Moon' opened on Broadway (it ran for 1,027 performances).

1954 Columbia, Pennsylvania: The first newspaper vending machines were used.

1954 The American Chicle Company, registered 'Rolaids' trademark for antacid mints.

1954 Ellis Island in New York Harbor closed after processing more than 12 million immigrants since its opening in 1892.

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.

1954 The Disney movie '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' premiered in the U.S.

1954 Garnet Carter died July 21 (born Feb 9, 1883).  He opened the first miniature golf course on Lookout Mountain in Tennessee in 1926. He patented it under the name 'Tom Thumb Golf. Within 5 years there were more than 25,000 miniature golf courses in the U.S.

1954 About 93% of U.S. farms have electricity, 49% have telephones and 71% have automobiles.

1954 Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act (P.L. 480) facilitates agricultural exports and foreign aid.

1954 On May 13, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the legislation authorizing construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which would connect the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. (see also April 25, 1959)

1954 For the first time there are more tractors on U.S. farms than horses and mules.

1954 Alladin Industries introduced a metal lunchbox featuring television cowboy star Hopalong Cassidy.

1954 General Electric introduces colored kitchen appliances. Bye, bye white!

1954 TV dinners are introduced. C.A. Swanson & Sons introduced the first TV dinner: roast turkey with stuffing and gravy, sweet potatoes and peas. It sold for 98 cents and came in an aluminum tray, so you could just open the box and heat the dinner in the oven. (No microwave ovens back then).  Supposedly executive Gerald Thomas came up with the idea when the company had tons of leftover turkey from Thanksgiving (Didn't we all?). The idea for the aluminum trays came from the trays used for airline food.. They were an immediate success, and Turkey dinners are still the most popular Swanson frozen dinner. Swanson stopped calling them TV dinners in 1962.

1954 Rationing finally ended in Britain, almost nine years after the end of World War II.

1954 Duncan Hines made his first trip to Europe and on his return to the U.S. he said he liked American food better than European food.

1954 Carnation introduced instant nonfat dry milk.

1954 Colette, (Sidonie Gabrielle) died. A French novelist, her novels contain many exact and detailed descriptions of food and the pleasures of the table, and quite a few recipes.

1954 David Grandison Fairchild died. An American botanist and agriculturalist, he was responsible for introducing many useful plants to the U.S. Author of 'The World Was My Garden,' and 'Exploring for Plants'.

1954 George Harrison Shull died. An American botanist, he developed the first hybrid corn. He is frequently called the 'father of hybrid corn.'  As a result of his researches, corn yields per acre were increased by 25 to 50 percent.

1954 Liberty Hyde Bailey died. He was an American botanist who studied cultivated plants and developed horticulture into an applied science.

1954 Kraft introduced Cracker Barrel brand natural cheese.

1954 Process for making instant potato flakes developed.

1954 The Butterball brand and the self-basting turkey are introduced. Through genetics, Swift develops a broad-breasted bird without the tough tendons and uses a hot-water bath to remove feathers.

1954 M&M's Peanut Chocolate Candies were introduced. Also, the the famous slogan, 'The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand,' slogan is introduced.

1954 'Let's Eat Right to Keep Fit' by Adele Davis is published, one of the earliest health food books.

1954 Trix cereal is introduced by General Mills. It is more than 46% sugar.

1954 Schlitz, The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous! introduced the 16 oz beer can.

1954 Burger King was founded by James McLamore and David Edgerton.

1954 The first Wimpy's hamburger bar opened in London.

1954 'Teahouse of the August Moon' won the Tony Award for Best Play.

1955 Nathan's of Coney Island in New York sold its 1 millionth hot dog.

1955 'Autumn Leaves' by Roger Williams was number 1 on the music charts.

1955 Phyllis Diller made her debut as a stand-up comic at the Purple Onion in San Francisco, California.

1955 Alexander Fleming died. Scottish bacteriologist who discovered penicillin in 1928 while working at St. Mary's Hospital in London.

1955 The first seagoing oil drilling rig went into service (for drilling in water over 100 feet deep).

1955 Daniel Boulud was born. Award winning French chef and restaurateur.  His best known restaurant is the Michelin three star 'Daniel' in New York City, named one of the top 10 restaurants in the world. Best Chef in NY City, Outstanding Chef of the Year, Outstanding Restaurateur, Culinary Humanitarian Award, Culinary Hall of Fame.

1955 Fernand Point died on March 5 (born 1897). Well known French Chef and restaurateur. His restaurant La Pyramide was considered by many to be the greatest in the world.  Paul Bocuse, Louis Outhier, Alain Chapel and Jean and Pierre Troisgros all trained under Point, and he is considered to be the father of modern French Cuisine.

1955 On August 23, hail falls to a depth of 1 foot in Rushmore, Minnesota.

1955 Steven Jobs was born, co-founder of Apple computer company.  According to the company, he "grew up in the apricot orchards which later became known as Silicon Valley."

1955 Roma tomato released for cultivation; still the main variety used for tomato paste.

1955 First franchised McDonald's was opened in Des Plaines, Illinois, by Ray Kroc, who bought the hamburger restaurant owned by the  McDonald brothers. On opening day a 2 patty hamburger was 15 cents and French Fries were 10 cents.

1955 The children's television show 'Captain Kangaroo' debuted on CBS TV and 'The Mickey Mouse Club' debuted on ABC TV.

1955 Thomas Keller was born. Award winning American chef, restaurateur and cookbook author. His 'French Laundry' restaurant in California has been awarded 3 Michelin stars since 2006. He has been awarded several Best Chef awards from the James Beard Foundation, and a long list of accolades and awards as a Chef and for his several restaurants.

1955 'The Banana Boat Song (Day-O)' by Harry Belafonte was recorded.

1955 'Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom White' by Perez Prado hits number one on the charts.

1955 Joe Rogers and Tom Forkner open the first Waffle House restaurant in an Atlanta suburb, Avondale Estates.

1955 Chow Yun-Fat was born. Internationally famous Hong Kong actor.

1955 Morimoto Masaharu was born in Hiroshima, Japan.  Masaharu is a well known Japanese Chef, and was the last Japanese Iron Chef on the TV show, Iron Chef. He now has his own restaurant, Morimoto in Philadelphia.

1955 Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California.

1955 Carmen Miranda died. Brazilian singer and actress. Miranda appeared in many Hollywood movies, and was known as "the Brazilian bombshell' and also "the lady in the tutti-frutti hat."

1955 The U.S. minimum wage was raised from 75 cents to $1.00

1955 'The Popcorn Song' by Cliffie Stone hit number 14 on the charts.

1955 Little Richard recorded 'Tutti Frutti'

1955 The first British commercial TV station began broadcasting. The first advertisement was for Gibbs SR toothpaste.

1955 Aaron 'Bunny' Lapin received U.S. patent No. 2,704,172 for pressurized containers designed to dispense his 'Reddi-Wip' whipped cream topping (which he developed in 1948).

1955 The first microwave oven for home use was introduced by the Tappan Stove Company. It cost about $1,200.

1955 Campbell home economists develop the recipe for the Green Bean Bake, which continues today as one of the company's most popular recipes. Some estimates go as high as 20,000,000 servings a year!

1955 Frozen, fully stuffed turkeys, ready to cook, were introduced.

1955 Kellogg introduced Special K breakfast cereal, with only 4.5% sugar.


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Today in Food HistoryFOOD TIMELINE: >  1951 to '55


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