The Thing About Today – October 8

October 8, 2020
Day 282 of 366

October 8th is the 282nd day of the year. It is Arbor Day in Namibia.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Fluffernutter Day, National Pierogi Day, and American Touch Tag Day.

Historical items of note:

  • In 1645, Jeanne Mance opened the first lay hospital in North America.
  • In 1871, Slash-and-burn land management, months of drought, and the passage of a strong cold front caused the Peshtigo Fire, the Great Chicago Fire, and the Great Michigan Fires to break out.
  • In 1940, Australian actor, producer, and screenwriter Paul Hogan was born.
  • In 1941, minister and activist Jesse Jackson was born.
  • In 1942, comedy duo Abbott and Costello launched their weekly radio show.
  • In 1943, comedian, actor, and screenwriter Chevy Chase was born.
  • Also in 1943, author, screenwriter, and producer R. L. Stine was born.
  • In 1949, actress and producer Sigourney Weaver was born.
  • In 1956, the New York Yankees’s Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in a World Series.
  • Also in 1956, actress Stephanie Zimbalist was born.
  • In 1970, actor Matt Damon was born.
  • In 1979, actress Kristanna Loken was born.
  • In 1982, after its London premiere, Cats opened on Broadway and ran for nearly 18 years before closing on September 10, 2000.

October 8th is National Fluffernutter Day.

In 1917, Archibald Query of Somerville, Massachusetts invented one of the components in the sandwich, a sweet marshmallow-like spread called Marshmallow Creme that he sold door-to-door. After he sold the recipe, it was marketed as Toot Sweet Marshmallow Fluff.

A year later, the fluffernutter was born. The classic New England comfort food consists of marshmallow creme (fluff) mixed with peanut butter between two slices of white bread.

Marshmallow creme is also a traditional confection in Arabic cuisine, where it is commonly referred to as soapwort meringue (natef). The original recipe is based on either soapwort or roots of the marshmallow plant, but modern varieties are nearly identical to the commercial product. It was first mentioned in a tenth-century Arabic cookbook, Kitab al-Ṭabīḫ (‘The Book of Dishes’) by Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq.

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.


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