Washington Peace Convention to preserve Union; Congress of Montgomery Confederate States of America formed; Fort Sumpter attacked; Start of the American Civil War (April 12th); First American pretzel bakery opened; Income tax law adopted by Congress; First machine-chilled cold storage unit invented; Germ theory announced (Louis Pasteur); Pony Express.


Emancipation Proclamation announced (President Lincoln); Department of Agriculture established; Speed of light measured; First international relief organization developed (Red Cross).


National Academy of Sciences founded (Washington, D.C.); First breakfast cereal developed in America; French capture Mexico City; Roller skating introduced to America; Gettysberg Address (President Lincoln).

Did You Know?

Noncommissioned Officers MessBacon was called sow-bosom by soldiers during the American Civil War? Biscuits were called "sinkers," "weevil fodder," or "death bells" by soldiers during the American Civil War. The term pork cartridge was soldiers? slang for pork sausage, and Sherman's pies were soldiers' slang for hard-tack. [5: 10]

Insects were commonly eaten by Civil War soldiers? It was common to eat hardtack in the dark, so the men could not tell the difference between the "food ration" and the insects that infested the biscuits. [5: 14]

Pig on SpitNative Americans in Virginia fattened pigs on peanuts, and smoked the rear legs of pigs (hams) over hickory fires? This led to the development of Smithfield hams. It is said that the best Smithfield hams are made from hogs that are partially peanut-fed. [5: 8]

Return of Foraging PartiesTo live high on the hog means that one is wealthy enough to eat the best meat on the pig, while others must subsist on pig's feet or "trotters"? Throughout the 1830s the streets of American cities were covered with hog tracks since pigs were roamed freely and fed on urban garbage. [5: 11]

Kidds PickingForeign visitors to America often referred to frying as the typical American method of preparing food? The frying pan became popular through association with frying pork, which provided fat for cooking other foods. [5: 12]

Colonists thought that the flavor of ham was related to the number of snakes eaten by pigs: more snakes, better the flavor? [5: 9]

pigsThe word ned was 19th century English slang for pork? Neddies were U.S. cavalry soldiers in the western territories whose diet consisted primarily of pork. It was a common practice for soldiers of both sides to steal food and raid farmyards and orchards. Such stealing was called cabbaging. [5: 13]

Hoppin' john is a good luck food? This Southern dish is made of cowpeas and rice, and traditionally is served on New Year's Day. [5: 15]


Grant appointed Commander-in-Chief of Union troops; Sherman's March to the Sea; Sand Creek massacre; Montana recognized as a U.S. Territory; Death of popular songwriter, Stephen Foster; First salmon cannery opened (California); Neutrality of battlefield medical facilities established (Geneva Convention).


Can opener invented; First railroad train robbery; Atlantic cable completed; Union stockyards opened in Chicago; Ice-making machine invented; Queensberry Rules regulating boxing announced; Adoption of 13th Amendment (slavery prohibited); Confederate States of America surrender at Appomattox (April 9th); President Lincoln assassinated (April 14th); End of American Civil War (May 26th).

Great Grandmother Remembers A MEMORY OF HUNGER:

Your great grandmother probably knew this song.....

While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay,
There are frail forms fainting at the door;
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say
Oh, hard times come again no more.

Stephen C. Foster [5: 7]

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