National TV Dinner Day
The first official “TV Dinner” was created by Omaha-based C.A. Swanson & Sons and hit the market in 1954. The meal consisted of turkey, gravy, cornbread stuffing, sweet potatoes, and buttered peas, and sold for 98 cents. The food itself was packaged in a foil-covered, segmented aluminum tray to be heated in the oven. And the cardboard box it all came in was designed to look like a television set, complete with “dials” and a “volume control knob.” Approximately 10 million of the meals were sold that first year. In 1960, dessert was added, and that little compartment of cobbler that would come to scorch the roofs of countless mouths made its debut. In 1973, Swanson introduced Hungry Man meals that targeted the hungry man (or woman) who wanted a second helping. When Swanson decided to roll out TV dinners, they estimated the first year’s production to be at around 5,000 units. In reality, more than 10 million were sold in that year alone!
National Alpaca Day
The alpaca and the llama were both apparently domesticated several thousand years ago by the Indians of the Andes Mountains of South America. The average lifespan of an alpaca is between 15 and 20 years, and the longest-lived alpaca on record is 27 years. Alpacas are readily distinguished from llamas by their smaller size, about 35 inches high at the shoulder and weigh 121 to 143 pounds. Alpaca fiber is used for making knitted and woven items, similar to sheep’s wool. These items include blankets, sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves, a wide variety of textiles and ponchos in South America, and sweaters, socks, coats, and bedding in other parts of the world. Some free-range turkey farms use alpacas to guard their flocks against foxes, since alpacas are extremely territorial and will accept the turkeys as part of their herd, defending them by chasing off predators.
Today’s Birthdays of Note….
Bill O’Reilly – TV & Radio Political Commentator – born in New York City, New York
Arnold Palmer – Hall of Fame Golfer – born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania