Category: This Day In History

What happened today in history. Also includes famous births, deaths and other notables.

  • BLOOMSDAY – June 16


    June 16th recognizes the life of the Irish writer James Joyce through the celebration of Bloomsday and readings, walks, and reenactments.


    Born in 1882, Joyce is best known for his novel Ulysses narrated using the stream-of-consciousness method for which he’s noted. The protagonist, Leopold Bloom, inspired the name for the day. The celebrated author and poet also published short stories and was a respected teacher and literary critic. His contributions to modernist avant-garde literature make him one of the most influential authors of the 20th century.

    “I care not if I live but a day and a night, so long as my deeds live after me.”
    ―James Joyce

    Life is too short to read a bad book.
    ―James Joyce

    I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day.
    ―James Joyce


    The James Joyce Centre in Dublin, Ireland hosts many events on Bloomsday, including readings, walks, and reenactments. In Ireland, the day involves a range of cultural activities, including Ulysses readings and dramatizations, pub crawls, and other events. Enthusiasts often dress in Edwardian costumes to celebrate Bloomsday and retrace Bloom’s route around Dublin via landmarks such as Davy Byrne’s pub. Hard-core devotees have even been known to hold marathon readings of the entire novel, some lasting up to 36 hours.

    In the United States various activities mark the day, usually reading all or significant portions of the book Ulysses and accompanying activities in Kansas City, Missouri; Syracuse, New York; Detroit, Michigan; Cleveland, Ohio; Wichita, Kansas; Portland Maine; Portland, Oregon; Tulsa, Oklahoma.

    Use #Bloomsday or #BloomsdayFest to share and follow on social media.


    June 16 is the annual observance of Bloomsday because Joyce’s novel Ulysses takes place on that date 1904. It is also the date of his first outing with his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle,

    The Oxford English Dictionary added an entry for Bloomsday in 2005 and cites the word’s first appearance — in a letter Joyce wrote in June of 1924. It was in a letter by Joyce to Miss Weaver, June 27, 1924, which refers to “a group of people who observe what they call Bloom’s day – 16 June.

    The practice of gathering together on Bloomsday to celebrate started in 1929.



    In an announcement made today on the steps of a prestigious university, scientists unveiled a new breed of chicken they’ve been working hard to develop for the last decade. The team of researchers included chemists, biologists, and breeders from around the world. Their breakthrough comes on the cusp of a study released in March by researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine that suggests that those who eat more than three eggs per week are at increased risk for heart disease and early death.

    What’s so special about this new breed of chicken? It lays yolkless eggs. Yes, the San Vitellus lays one egg per day on average, the same as an ordinary chicken. The lead researcher on the project, Dr. Douglas Frederick Philp III from the National University of Lacazer, says the project was created as a spinoff from another study that began on this day in 1962. Under a grant from the university, a broad study of the breeding habits of domesticated birds from around the world led to one control group interbreeding with another species. Their offspring produced yolkless eggs.

    To raise money to pursue their research regarding the yolkless laying offspring, the university produced a calendar of cute chicks annually for several years. The money raised went directly into the research program and sustained it for quite some time until sponsors were obtained.

    When asked which two species were bred to produce the offspring, the team remained silent. Until they provide this part of the data, scientific journals and researchers will not qualify the team’s success. The team explains the data will be forthcoming in the months ahead. However, until they do provide the data on the breeding, they have yolk on their face.



    On August 30th, National Toasted Marshmallow Day celebrates one of America’s favorite fire-roasted treats. Be sure to stock up on marshmallows so you can celebrate!


    Get your friends together and gather up some firewood. Grab a few long sticks and a bag of marshmallows. Then, make plans for a great night! Toasted marshmallows are a special part of summer evenings around a bonfire. Also, what better way to kick off a long weekend than to enjoy a delicious, warm, gooey, toasted marshmallow? Add a pair of graham crackers and a chocolate bar – and ask for s’more!
    Depending upon personal preference, heat marshmallows to various degrees. Some like them gently toasted. Others look for a charred outer layer. Charring a marshmallow is simple. Hold it in the flame until the sugar catches fire. Then, carefully blow it out. It’s important not to wave it around as you’ll only fan the flames. Marshmallows also come in a variety of flavors and sizes for maximum toasting opportunities. For a fun alternative, try roasting Marshmallow Peeps. Watch them closely as the granular sugar coating will burn more quickly.
    Believe it or not, marshmallows date back to Ancient Egypt. The mallow plant provided a sap the Egyptians used to create a candy with nuts and honey.

    Ligonier, Indiana holds an annual Marshmallow Festival. It is also the marshmallow capital of the world. How sweet is that?

    Homemade marshmallows use sugar, unflavored gelatin, corn syrup, and flavoring.


    Toast up some marshmallows and enjoy. Have a marshmallow toasting competition. Who makes the best-toasted marshmallows in your circle of friends? Share recipes for homemade marshmallows or s’mores combinations, too. 

    Share your best marshmallow toasting techniques and use #ToastedMarshmallowDay to post on social media.

    While you’re enjoying a freshly toasted marshmallow, download this camp fire-themed coloring page perfect for the day! When you are finished, show us your masterpiece!



    The National Confectioners Association sponsors National Toasted Marshmallow Day.
    Toasted Marshmallow FAQ

    Q. How do you make homemade marshmallows?
    A. As with commercial marshmallows, homemade ones contain lots of sugar, corn syrup (more sugar) and confectioners sugar (even more sugar). They also contain vanilla and gelatin.

    Q. Are homemade marshmallows hard to make?
    A. Homemade marshmallows are not too difficult to make and the end results are satisfyingly delicious. Try this recipe from Foodie With Family.

    Q. How many different flavors of marshmallows are there?
    A. Lots. More and more, candy and marshmallow makers are creating different flavors of marshmallows. Chocolate-filled marshmallows make building your s’more easier. Birthday cake, strawberry, caramel and Swedish Fish flavored marshmallows allow you to be creative. Decorate a cake and use a kitchen torch to toast them before serving.

    Q. When is National S’mores Day?
    A. National S’mores Day is August 10 every year. 

    August 30th Celebrated History


    The Andromedid meteor shower offered up a spectacular thrill for stargazers. Its resulting meteor storm displayed more than 1300 meteors per hour.


    Ty Cobb debuts with the Detroit Tigers. Known for his speed, fans anticipated his start, too. Following the Tigers win over the New York Highlanders, Cobb would stay in professional baseball for 23 years.


    Bob Dylan releases his sixth album, Highway 61 Revisited. The album featured Like A rolling stone and Ballad of Thin Man.


    Thurgood Marshall became the first African American Supreme Court Justice. Leading up to his nomination, Marshall prevailed in Brown v. Board of Education, resulting in the end of school segregation. President John F. Kennedy appointed Marshall to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit followed by a 1965 appointment by President Lyndon Johnson to the office of U.S. Solicitor General.


    The astronaut, Guion S. Bluford, Jr., makes history when he became the African American to fly in space.


    The Space Shuttle Discovery launches from the Kennedy Space Center on its maiden voyage.


    The rock band Nirvana releases the DVD Live at Reading.


    Portraying a story read headlines, Inherit the Wind opens in theaters. The film starred Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, and Gene Kelly.


    Weighing in at 22 pounds, 14 ounces, the world’s largest honeycomb broke the world record. The honeycomb came from a beehive owned by Argirios Koskos of Greece.


    August 30th Celebrated  Birthday

    Mary Shelley – 1797

    Author of the gothic tale Frankenstein, Shelley first published the novel anonymously.

    Barry Appleby – 1909

    Fans of this British cartoonist know he’s the creator of the comic strip named The Gambols.

    Kitty Wells – 1919

    Inspiring future generations, the country singer was known for her folk and honky-tonk style.

    Maurice Hilleman – 1919

    Helping to eradicate childhood diseases such as the mumps, Hilleman developed more than 40 vaccines during his career.

    Geoffrey Beene – 1927

    In a fashion career spanning over 40 years, Geoffrey Beene created affordable styles for evening and business.

    Warren Buffett – 1930

    After starting his first business in high school, the investor and businessman made his first million in the early 1960s. Thirty years later, he became one of the world’s richest men when he made his first billion.

    Ernie Ball – 1930

    As an entrepreneur, Ball created components of musical instruments, especially guitar strings, frets, and guitars. Today, the business that bears his name continues bringing these components to the public.

    Carrie Saxon Perry – 1931

    Not only was Perry an advocate, in 1987, but she also ran for election as Hartford, Connecticut’s mayor. Upon her election, she became the first African American woman elected as mayor a major New England city.

    John Phillips – 1935

    The singer and songwriter led the musical group The Mamas & the Papas.

    Sylvia Alice Earle – 1935

    The oceanographer is known for her contributions to ocean research. She also founded Mission Blue, SEAlliance, and Deep Ocean Exploration and Research.

    Molly Ivins – 1944

    The journalist and columnist was known for getting to the root of a political story.

    Amy Sherald – 1973

    The Baltimore portrait artist is known for painting the First Lady Michelle Obama.

    Lisa Ling – 1973

    The one-time The View co-host continued her journalism career by launching the documentary series This is Life with Lisa Ling.



    We celebrate May 20 as National Quiche Lorraine Day. This versatile French delight makes it an excellent dish for any time of the day.


    Quiche Lorraine has origins beginning in the rural Lorraine region of France. While it’s considered a French dish, it developed during a time when the Lorraine Region was under German rule. Even the word Quiche comes from the German word kuchen, meaning cake. The Lorraine region of France is also known for many other delicious dishes such as madeleines, Jordon almonds, macarons, and Lorraine hotpot. Of course, the area is also known for its viticulture.

    The original Quiche Lorraine was made with an open pie using a bottom crust with a filling of custard and smoked bacon. A cast-iron skillet was used to cook the original Quiche. Cheese was added to the recipe at a much later time. 

    Classic Quiche Lorraine must include eggs, heavy cream, bacon, Swiss cheese and a flaky crust. Whether you eat it hot or cold, Quiche Lorraine must stay true to the original recipe. Of course there are many different types of quiche recipes, but a recipe that contains ham, sausage, veggies or fruit is not Quiche Lorraine.

    Quiche Lorraine pairs well with just about anything. Deciding what sides to serve with your quiche depends on what you. Consider serving:

    • Green salads
    • Roasted vegetables
    • Potatoes
    • French bread
    • Steamed veggies
    • Soup
    • Fruit salad
    • Rolls

    Making Quiche Lorraine is extremely simple. However, the secret to a really delicious quiche is:

    • 1 egg = 1 half cup of heavy cream.
    • Pre-bake your crust.
    • Layer your crust with cheese before pouring in your egg mixture.
    • Do not overbake.


    • Invite family over for a French-themed meal, using Quiche Lorraine as the main course.
    • Learn the history of Quiche Lorraine.
    • Share your Quiche Lorraine recipe with a family member.
    • Host a Quiche Lorraine bake-off.
    • Eat at a restaurant that serves Quiche Lorraine.
    • Use #QuicheLorraineDay to share your celebratory ideas.


    National Day Calendar discovered some interesting facts about the history of Quiche Lorraine. For instance, although the dish is known as a French dish, some records indicate it could have origins in Germany during the Middle Ages.

    During the Second World War, Quiche Lorraine became popular in England. The dish was easily made because the primary ingredients were easy to come by. Even though there are several new ways to make quiche, there will always be the original Quiche Lorraine.

    At one time, Quiche Lorraine was considered an ‘unmanly’ dish. Apparently, it was highly believed that quiche was a dish for women only. Today, you can find that contain meat and hearty veggies making it more acceptable for men to have this delicious dish.

    May 20th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History


    President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act.


    Charles Lindberg departs from Roosevelt Field in New York en route to Paris. Less than 34 hours later, Lindberg becomes the first pilot to cross the Atlantic Ocean solo and non-stop.


    Amelia Earhart departs from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland, Canada in a Lockheed Vega. After landing 15 hours later in Londonderry, Northern Ireland she became the first woman to complete a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean.


    In a 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Colorado amendment banning laws protecting homosexuals from discrimination.

    May 20th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays

    Dolley Madison – 1768

    The 4th First Lady of the United States became one of the country’s most loved first ladies. She also molded the first lady’s role, setting examples many generations of first ladies would follow.

    Tom Smith – 1878

    The American horse trainer is best known for training the 1938 horse of the year, Seabiscuit.

    James Stewart – 1908

    The American actor continues to be a perennial favorite thanks to the holiday film It’s a Wonderful Life. However, the versatile actor’s career spanned 56 years is known for his roles in other classic films such as Rear Window, Vertigo, Harvey, A Philadelphia Story and many more.

    Cher – 1946

    The award-winning American singer and actress debuted in 1965 as a folk-pop singer. She swiftly rose to stardom alongside Sonny Bono. They released the chart hit “I Got You Babe” in 1965. Cher also earned critical acclaim in films such as Moonstruck, Mamma Mia!, Burlesque and Mask.

    Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – 1959

    The Hawaiian singer-songwriter is best known for his version of the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

    Phil Hansen – 1968

    Phil Hansen played defensive end for the Buffalo Bills for nine seasons and three Super Bowl visits.