Thursday, August 07, 2008

Old School Thursday: Laying the Groundwork Edition

National Raspberries & Cream Day. Who knew that raspberries and cream had a powerful enough lobby to get their own day?

Today breaks us out of the midsummer slump of not-that-much-going-on-in-history. Several interesting things did happen today, even if they’re all the types of things that we learn about then just shelve away. Things that set the foundation for later, more interesting happenings.

For example, today marks the anniversary of the death of German chemist Andreas Sigismund Marggraf (1782), who discovered beet sugar, leading to the development of today’s sugar industry.

Just a few years later, in 1794, August 7th was the date of The Whiskey Rebellion, the short-lived Pennsylvania protest against liquor taxes…and favorite of all AP US History students.

Then, nearly two centuries later, in 1991, Burger King opened its largest location, in Budapest. With more time, I could probably write some sort of analysis explaining how that relates to the dissolution of communism, etc, etc.

Finally, today would be the 105th birthday of Louis Leakey who, along with his wife Mary, was a really important anthropologist. While not directly related to food, anthro has influenced the way I think about how and what I cook and eat.

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