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Jul 05 2011

On This Day In History July 5

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

Click on images to enlarge.

July 5 is the 186th day of the year (187th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 179 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1937, Spam, the luncheon meat, is introduced into the market by the Hormel Foods Corporation.

Spam (officially trademarked as SPAM) is a canned precooked meat product made by the Hormel Foods Corporation. The labeled ingredients in the classic variety of Spam are chopped pork shoulder meat, with ham meat added, salt, water, modified potato starch as a binder, and sodium nitrite as a preservative. Spam’s gelatinous glaze, or aspic, forms from the cooling of meat stock. The product has become part of many jokes and urban legends about mystery meat, which has made it part of pop culture and folklore.

Varieties of Spam include Spam Classic, Spam Hot & Spicy, Spam Less Sodium, Spam Lite, Spam Oven Roasted Turkey, Hickory Smoked, Spam with real Hormel Bacon, Spam with Cheese, and Spam Spread. Availability of these varieties varies regionally.

Spam that is sold in North America, South America, and Australia is produced in Austin, Minnesota, (also known as Spam Town USA) and in Fremont, Nebraska. Spam for the UK market is produced in Denmark by Tulip under license from Hormel. Spam is also made in the Philippines and in South Korea. In 2007, the seven billionth can of Spam was sold. On average, 3.8 cans are consumed every second in the United States.

Name origin

Introduced on July 5, 1937, the name “Spam” was chosen when the product, whose original name was far less memorable (Hormel Spiced Ham), began to lose market share. The name was chosen from multiple entries in a naming contest. A Hormel official once stated that the original meaning of the name “Spam” was “Shoulder of Pork and Ham”. According to writer Marguerite Patten in Spam – The Cookbook, the name was suggested by Kenneth Daigneau, an actor and the brother of a Hormel vice president, who was given a $100 prize for creating the name. At one time and persisting to this day in certain books, the theory behind the nomenclature of Spam was that the name was a portmanteau of “Spiced Meat and Ham”. According to the British documentary-reality show “1940s House”, when Spam was offered by the United States to those affected by World War II in the UK, Spam stood for “Specially Processed American Meats”. Yesterday’s Britain, a popular history published by Reader’s Digest in 1998 (p. 140), unpacks Spam as “Supply Pressed American Meat” and describes it as an imported “wartime food” of the 1940s.

Many jocular backronyms have been devised, such as “Something Posing As Meat”, “Specially Processed Artificial Meat”, “Stuff, Pork and Ham”, “Spare Parts Animal Meat” and “Special Product of Austin Minnesota”.

According to Hormel’s trademark guidelines, Spam should be spelled with all capital letters and treated as an adjective, as in the phrase “SPAM luncheon meat”.

 1295 – Scotland and France form an alliance, the so-called “Auld Alliance”, against England.

1316 – Battle of Manolada between the Burgundian and Majorcan claimants of the Principality of Achaea.

1610 – John Guy sets sail from Bristol with 39 other colonists for Newfoundland.

1687 – Isaac Newton publishes Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, ushering in a tidal wave of changes in thought that would significantly accelerate the already ongoing scientific revolution by giving it tools that produced technologically valuable results, which had theretofore been otherwise unobtainable.

1770 – The Battle of Chesma between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire begins.

1775 – The Second Continental Congress adopts the Olive Branch Petition.

1803 – The Convention of Artlenburg leads to the French occupation of Hanover (which had been ruled by the British king).

1809 – The Battle of Wagram, the largest of the Napoleonic Wars.

1811 – Venezuela declares independence from Spain.

1813 – War of 1812: three weeks of British raids on Fort Schlosser, Black Rock and Plattsburgh, New York begin.

1814 – War of 1812: Battle of Chippawa – American Major General Jacob Brown defeats British General Phineas Riall at Chippawa, Ontario.

1830 – France invades Algeria.

1833 – Admiral Charles Napier defeats the navy of the Portuguese usurper Dom Miguel at the third Battle of Cape St. Vincent.

1865 – The Salvation Army is founded in the East End of London, England.

1878 – The coat of arms of the Baku governorate is established.

1884 – Germany takes possession of Cameroon.

1934 – “Bloody Thursday” – Police open fire on striking longshoremen in San Francisco.

1935 – The National Labor Relations Act, which governs labor relations in the United States, is signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1937 – Spam, the luncheon meat, is introduced into the market by the Hormel Foods Corporation.

1940 – World War II: the United Kingdom and the Vichy France government break off diplomatic relations.

1941 – World War II: German troops reach the Dnieper River.

1943 – World War II: An Allied invasion fleet sails for Sicily (Operation Husky, July 10, 1943).

1945 – World War II: Liberation of the Philippines declared.

1947 – Larry Doby signs a contract with the Cleveland Indians baseball team, becoming the first black player in the American League. (Jackie Robinson had broken the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers in the National League 11 weeks earlier.)

1948 – National Health Service Acts created the national public health systems in the United Kingdom

1950 – Korean War: Task Force Smith – First clash between American and North Korean forces in the Battle of Osan.

1950 – Zionism: the Knesset passes the Law of Return which grants all Jews the right to immigrate to Israel.

1951 – William Shockley invents the junction transistor.

1954 – The BBC broadcasts its first television news bulletin.

1962 – Algeria becomes independent from France.

1962 – The Late Late Show, the world’s longest-running chat show by the same broadcaster, airs on RTE One for the first time.

1970 – Air Canada Flight 621 crashes near Toronto International Airport killing 109 people.

1971 – Right to vote: the Twenty-sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 years, is formally certified by President Richard Nixon.

1973 – Catastrophic BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion) in Kingman, Arizona, following a fire that broke out as propane is being transferred from a railroad car to a storage tank, kills 11 firefighters.

1975 – Arthur Ashe becomes the first black man to win the Wimbledon singles title.

1975 – Cape Verde gains its independence from Portugal.

1977 – Military coup in Pakistan: Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the first elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, is overthrown.

1987 – First instance of the LTTE using suicide attacks on Sri Lankan Army. The Black Tigers are born and in the following years continue to use it to deadly effect.

1989 – Iran-Contra Affair: Oliver North is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gerhard A. Gesell to a three-year suspended prison term, two years probation, $150,000 in fines and 1,200 hours community service.

1995 – Armenia adopts its constitution, four years after their independence from the Soviet Union.

1996 – Dolly the sheep becomes the first mammal cloned from an adult cell.

1998 – Japan launches a probe to Mars, and thus joins the United States and Russia as a space exploring nation.

1999 – Wolverhampton, England is hit by storms which include a tornado. The area is hit again with severe storms on August 1.

1999 – U.S. President Bill Clinton imposes trade and economic sanctions against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

2003 – SARS is declared to be contained by the WHO.

2004 – The first Indonesian presidential election is held.

2006 – North Korea launches at least two short-range Nodong-2 missiles, one SCUD missile and one long-range Taepodong-2 missile.

2009 – A series of violent riots break out in Urumqi, the capital city of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China.

2009 – Roger Federer wins a record 15th Grand Slam title in tennis, winning a five set match against Andy Roddick at Wimbledon.

2009 – The largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever discovered, consisting of more than 1,500 items, is found near the village of Hammerwich, near Lichfield, in Staffordshire, England.

Holidays and observances

   * Bloody Thursday (International Longshore and Warehouse Union)

   *Christian Feast Day:

       * Anthony Maria Zaccaria, priest (d. 1539)

       * Zoe of Rome (Roman Catholic Church)

       * July 5 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)

   * Constitution Day (Armenia)

   * Independence Day, celebrate the independence of Algeria from France in 1962.

   * Independence Day, celebrate the independence of Cape Verde from Portugal in 1975.

   * Independence Day, celebrate the independence of Venezuela from Spain in 1811.

   * Saints Cyril and Methodius Day (Czech Republic, Slovakia)

   * Tynwald Day, if July 5 is on a weekend, the holiday is the following Monday. (Isle of Man)

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