May 27, 2020
Day 148 of 366
May 27th is the 148th day of the year. It is Slavery Abolition Day in Guadeloupe, Saint Barthélemy, and Saint Martin.
In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Cellophane Tape Day, National Grape Popsicle Day, and National Senior Health & Fitness Day (which is typically observed on the last Wednesday in May).
Historical items of note:
- In 1837, folk hero Wild Bill Hickok was born.
- In 1911, actor Vincent Price was born.
- In 1922, actor Christopher Lee was born.
- In 1930, the 1,046 foot-tall Chrysler Building opened to the public in New York City. It was the tallest man-made structure at the time.
- In 1933, the United States Federal Securities Act was signed into law, requiring the registration of securities with the Federal Trade Commission.
- In 1934, author and screenwriter Harlan Ellison was born.
- In 1935, actress and model Lee Meriwether was born. Coincidentally, today was the day that I learned that Catwoman was also Miss American in 1955.
- In 1936, actor and producer Louis Gossett, Jr. was born.
- In 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge opened to pedestrian traffic, creating a vital link between San Francisco and Marin County, California.
- In 1955, actor, director, and producer Richard Schiff was born.
- In 1958, the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II took its first flight.
- In 1961, actress Peri Gilpin was born.
- In 1967, the United States Navy aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) was launched by Jacqueline Kennedy and her daughter Caroline. It was the last conventionally powered aircraft carrier built for the fleet.
- Also in 1967, actor Eddie McClintock was born.
- In 1969, construction began at Walt Disney World near Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
- In 1970, actor Joseph Fiennes was born.
- In 1971, actor Paul Bettany was born.
- In 2016, Barack Obama became the first president of the United States to visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and meet Hibakusha.
So, about that National Grape Popsicle Day.
The story goes that, in 1905, eleven-year-old Frank Epperson was trying to make soda and accidentally left a mix of water and powdered flavoring out overnight. The temperatures hit a record low overnight, and when young Frank found his drink the next morning, it was frozen solid to the mixing stick.
In 1922, he introduced his frozen treat, which he called an Epsicle, at a fireman’s ball. That success led to a patent and history after he renamed it as the famous Popsicle. Epperson sold the rights to the invention and the Popsicle brand to the Joe Lowe Company in New York City.
More generically known as ice pops, the confection has been around in one form or another since 1872, but the Popsicle was so popular that the name has stuck for genericized trademark.
The reason for the emphasis on grape popsicles? Apparently, it is one of the most popular flavors, though I tend to pass since it reminds me of the grape-flavored Children’s Dimetapp cough and cold medicine.
The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.
For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.