Food is an important part of our lives, and it has also been an important part of American history. To celebrate that fact, we’ve compiled a list of significant food-related events throughout American history or foods that were involved or eaten during other memorable times. Here are 20 foods and drinks from significant historical events in United States history.
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The first Thanksgiving spread in 1621 was very different from modern Thanksgiving meals, which often include turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and a casserole of green beans. Instead, Pilgrims and Native Americans feasted on venison, wild birds (like duck or geese), fish and, of course, corn.
2 out of 20
Bread – 1710-1713
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Boston had to import most of its grain in the early 18th century, which often led to food shortages and high bread prices. Bostonians revolted several times in response between 1710 and 1713, looting and sabotaging grain shipments. The bread riots eventually led to legislation limiting exports during shortages and capping grain and bread prices.
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Tea played a central role in one of the most famous protests in American history, the Boston Tea Party. On December 16, 1773, a small group of frustrated American colonists dumped 342 crates of tea imported by the British East India Company into Boston Harbor to protest England’s policy of “taxation without representation”. It was just one of many incidents that ultimately led to the Revolutionary War and the independence of the country that would soon be known as the United States.
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Inflation and several years of bad wheat crops led to a doubling of the price of flour from 1836 to 1837. A demonstration in New York in February 1837 turned into a riot that lasted a day and resulted in the looting of several businesses in a later incident. nicknamed “The Flour Riot of 1837”.
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The so-called “Honey War” was not a real war, but a territorial dispute that occurred along the Iowa-Missouri border in 1839. The dispute involved exactly where that border was. and which belonged to the State a hive crop -containing trees which were felled by a group of Missourians in order to harvest honey. Although the dispute was quickly settled without a shot being fired, the border was not officially determined until 1851.
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This confrontation did not end peacefully. In 1854, in present-day Wyoming, a Sioux tribesman shot, killed, and ate a cow belonging to a Mormon traveling along the Oregon Trail. Local authorities demanded that the offender be handed over by the tribe, but the latter party refused. During talks between the two groups, a nervous soldier shot a Sioux, and the tribe attacked the soldiers with arrows. Chief Matȟó Wayúhi (Conquering Bear) was killed, along with all 29 soldiers in an incident later dubbed the “Grattan Fight” or “Grattan Massacre” because Second Lieutenant John Lawrence Grattan was the regiment’s leader.
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The Wright Brothers rarely went a day without coffee and even invented their own way of making it with eggs when other supplies were scarce. Coffee also played a role in the brothers’ invention of the first powered airplane. One night after drinking too many cups, Orville couldn’t sleep and tried to fix the problem of their early flying machines sometimes going into a spin. A highly caffeinated Orville determined the cause of the spins and created a vertical tail or rudder, which would help control the aircraft – a design that is still used in modern aircraft today!
8 out of 20
Chocolate & vanilla eclairs – 1912
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The RMS Titanic sank in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912, while on a transatlantic voyage from Southampton, UK to New York. The April 14 menus still exist, so we know for sure that the first-class passengers’ last meal – dessert – consisted of Waldorf pudding (likely a dessert exclusive to the cruise line), Chartreuse jelly peaches, French ice cream and chocolate. and vanilla eclairs.
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During an extended research trip to Labrador, Canada, a young scientist from New Jersey learned to fish from the local Inuit and discovered that at temperatures of -40°C, fish would freeze almost instantly due to looks cold, but would still taste fresh when thawed and cooked. After returning to America to continue his research, he eventually perfected the process now known as “rapid freezing”, which is widely used today to preserve fish, meat, fruits, vegetables and other foods. This man’s name was Clarence Birdseye, the future founder of Birds Eye frozen foods.
10 out of 20
White Castle – 1921
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America is the country most associated with fast food, so it’s worth noting that White Castle – not McDonald’s, as one might suspect – was the first fast food chain to open in the United States. They opened their first store in 1921, 19 years before McDonald’s existed.
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Both goiters and mental development problems in children are attributed to low levels of iodine. Of course, there is no problem with salt consumption in America, so the United States adopted a policy of adding iodine to salt nearly a century ago, and the first iodized salt available commercially arrived on the shelves in 1924.
12 out of 20
Sandwich bread – 1928
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If you think the invention of sliced bread isn’t a significant historical event, explain the popular phrase “The best thing since sliced bread.” The first bread slicing machine was invented by Otto Frederick Rodwedder of Davenport, Iowa, in 1928, and was soon sold to Chillicothe Baking Company in Missouri. The second Rodwedder prototype still exists and belongs to the Smithsonian Institute!
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Milk is often cited as a good source of calcium and vitamin D, but did you know that the latter is not found naturally in cow’s milk? However, commercial milk has been fortified with vitamin D in the United States since the 1930s in an effort to reduce cases of rickets in children. The strategy worked, as the disease went from common to incredibly rare in the century that followed.
14 out of 20
Chocolate chip cookies – 1938
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Much of American cuisine is borrowed from other countries, but the chocolate chip cookie was made in the USA! Sue Brides and Ruth Graves Wakefield invented the dessert using a chopped Nestlé semi-sweet chocolate bar while the latter woman owned the Toll House Inn in Wakefield, Massachusetts in 1938. This is the origin of the name Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies. , although Brides & Wakefield originally called them “Toll House Chocolate Bite Cookies.”
15 out of 20
Pancake Mix – WWII
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During World War II, the United States needed a way to secretly give weapons to the Chinese to help them in their fight against Japan. The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) has therefore created a powder explosive that can be mixed and transported with regular bakery flour. It could even be cooked and eaten without harming anyone, although the latter is generally discouraged. They named the explosive mix “Aunt Jemima” after one of the most popular pancake mix brands of all time, which recently rebranded in 2021 as the Pearl Milling Company.
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The USS O’Bannon served the United States Navy for 28 years, but it’s best known for a story. According to the story, the ship spotted a Japanese submarine which came so close to the destroyer that its powerful weapons were rendered useless. The American sailors improvised and began bombarding the submarine with potatoes, which the Japanese allegedly mistook for hand grenades, resulting in some distance between the two ships – a sufficient distance for the destroyer uses his real weapons and sinks the submarine.
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You’ve probably heard stories of British and American planes dropping food to the people of West Berlin during World War II, but did you know the nicknames of these planes? German children called them Rosinen Bombers, or “raisin bombers”, because pilots often threw boxes of raisins and candies attached to handkerchiefs (like makeshift parachutes) out of windows. Similarly, in English, airplanes were called “candy bombers”.
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The Apollo 11 lunar module landed on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969 and spent a day there before its rendezvous with the command module Colombia. The first meal planned for astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong when they landed on the moon consisted of bacon bits, peaches, sugar cookie cubes, a pineapple-grapefruit drink and, like their colleagues aviation pioneers, the Wright brothers before them, coffee.
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Programmers Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak tried to think of a technical name for their new computer company, but ended up going the other way and choosing the simple name “Apple”. According to Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs, the name originated after Jobs returned from an apple orchard. The duo liked it because, as Jobs said, it was “fun, peppy, and not intimidating…plus, it would put us ahead of Atari in the phone book.”
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President George HW Bush hated broccoli, but his son’s mortal enemy was the pretzel. In fact, President George W. Bush loved pretzels, but he choked on one in 2002 while watching an NFL game, passed out, and hit his head, leaving bruises on his face and his lips. Fortunately, this potentially serious incident involving a sitting president turned out to be minor.
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