Prizes inserted into Cracker Jack boxes.

A prize is inserted into a Cracker Jack box for the first time this date in 1913. It is well-known for being packaged with a prize of trivial value inside. Cracker Jack is an American brand of snack consisting of molasses-flavored caramel-coated popcorn and peanuts, first produced in 1896. Some historians consider it the first junk food. It was named by an enthusiastic sampler who remarked: “That’s a crackerjack!” (a colloquialism meaning “of excellent quality”).

A German immigrant named Frederick William Rueckheim sold popcorn in Chicago beginning in 1871 using steam equipment. He eventually developed the present popular popcorn confection. The Cracker Jack mascots Sailor Jack and his dog Bingo were introduced in 1916. Jack was modeled after his grandson, who died at age eight shortly after his image appeared. Bingo was based on a real-life dog, a stray adopted in 1917, who died of old age in 1930.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game, a song released in 1908 with the line: “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack!” brought a lot of free publicity to the product. In 1922, the name of the Chicago company was changed to The Cracker Jack Company. The brand was bought by Borden in 1964, then Frito-Lay since 1997. (from Wikipedia and Cute Calendar.com)

Huckleberry Finn gets his own story

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Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published this date in 1885. He originally appeared in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in 1876.

The character of Huck Finn is based on Tom Blankenship, the real-life son of a sawmill laborer and some time drunkard named Woodson Blankenship, who lived in a “ramshackle” house near the Mississippi River behind the house where the author grew up in Hannibal, Missouri. The father of Huck, called “Pap” Finn, may be based on Jimmy Finn, a full-blown alcoholic who lived on the streets, and it is only through Twain’s remembrances that Woodson is characterized as a drunkard. Twain left Hannibal and his boyhood at an early age and his memories of these people are colored by what he could have known and understood at the time, as a boy of less than 14 years old. Twain’s friend Tom Blankenship didn’t attend school because there were no public schools at the time, and his family was too poor to send him to a private school. Left at loose ends in a busy household with six sisters and lacking a mother who seems to have died when he was young, this Tom was indeed “at liberty” most of the time.

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Twain mentions his childhood friend Tom Blankenship as the inspiration for creating Huckleberry Finn in his autobiography: “In Huckleberry Finn I have drawn Tom Blankenship exactly as he was. He was ignorant, unwashed, insufficiently fed; but he had as good a heart as ever any boy had. His liberties were totally unrestricted. He was the only really independent person—boy or man—in the community, and by consequence he was tranquil and continuously happy and envied by the rest of us. And as his society was forbidden us by our parents the prohibition trebled and quadrupled its value, and therefore we sought and got more of his society than any other boy’s.” – (from Mark Twain’s Autobiography, Wikipedia)

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–Mark Twain is the pseudonym of Samuel Clemons.

Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is an annual celebration. It originated as a Western Christian liturgical feast day honoring one or more of early saints named Valentine, and is recognized as a significant cultural and commercial celebration in many regions worldwide, although it is not a public holiday in any country.

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The day first became associated with romantic love within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th Century, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery and sending greeting cards (known as valentines). Valentine’s Day symbols used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards. (from Wikipedia)

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First ever gold record ….

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Born in 1904 in Iowa, bandleader and musician Glenn Miller inspired the World War II generation. He was one of the most popular bandleaders in the late 1930s and early 1940s with such songs as Moonlight Serenade and Tuxedo Junction. He received the first ever gold record this date in 1942 for selling a million copies of the song The Chattanooga Choo Choo.

In 1942, Miller enlisted in the U.S. Army and was assigned to lead the Army Air Force Band. He boosted the morale of the troops with his many popular songs before mysteriously disappearing on December 15, 1944 on a flight from England to Paris, France. Miller’s original recordings continue to sell millions of copies. (from cutecalendar.com and  bio.com)

Oscars tonight!

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Oscar Night 2020, commonly known as The Oscars, is an annual American awards ceremony honoring achievements in the film industry. Winners are awarded the statuette, officially the Academy Award of Merit, much better known by its nickname Oscar. The awards, first presented in 1929 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, are overseen by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The awards ceremony was first televised in 1953 and is now seen live in more than 200 countries. The Oscars is also the oldest entertainment awards ceremony; its equivalents, the Emmy Awards for television, the Tony Awards for theatre, and the Grammy Awards for music and recording, are modeled after the Academy Awards. (from Wikipedia and cute-calendar.com)