Food & History: January 4
National Spaghetti Day
1493 Columbus returns from his first voyage to the New World (the Americas), bringing with him tomatoes.
1846 Edward H. Johnson was born (died Sept 9, 1917). Johnson, vice-president of Thomas Edison’s electric company, created the first electric Christmas tree lights which he displayed on a Christmas tree at his New York home on December 22, 1882.
1909 J.R. Simplot born. In 1929 in Idaho he founded a company specializing in potato products. By 2005 it supplied more than 50% of McDonald’s french fries.
1932 ‘The Carnation Contented Hour’ went national on NBC radio.
2002 The world’s oldest man at the time, an Italian shepherd died at the age of 112. His famous quote “Love your brother and drink a good glass of red wine every day.”
2011 US President Barack Obama signed a bill overhauling the nation’s food safety system, emphasizing prevention of food-borne illness.