Pizza - Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The American Treasure Tour blog strives to inspire thought-provoking conversations about the important, shall we say "hot," topics.  Today, we want to address one of the hottest: pizza.  There are people in the world who actually admit to not liking pizza.  We've met them; otherwise, we might not believe it.  In the Toy Box here at the tour, we have many old advertisements.  There can be no surprise we have some honoring this delectable dish.

Pizza is, unsurprisingly, an Italian invention.  The first use of the word has been traced all the way to 997 A.D., but people have been putting flavorings on flatbreads since the beginning of bread, really.  That said, we can safely assume the first Italian pizzas did not have that wonderful tomato sauce on them, since the first tomatoes were not brought to Europe until after Columbus discovered the Americas.  Pizza came to the United States around the turn of the 19th century, thanks to immigrants from the Italian city of Naples.  Manhattan's Lombardi's Pizzeria takes credit for being the first, having opened in 1905.  Of course, the impact of pizza on the way people eat is difficult to measure, since it is one of the most popular foods in the world.  In fact, it is so popular that October is officially Pizza Month in the United States!  You're already three weeks into it, so you had better catch up if you haven't had it daily!
QUESTION:  In what city was the largest pizza ever made, clocking in at over 122 feet in 1990?
A)  New York City, USA
B)  Johannesburg, South Africa
C)  London, England
D)  Dubrovnik, Croatia

OLD IRONSIDES.  In March of 1794, President George Washington signed into law a Naval Act to commission six vessels that would essentially comprise the first official United States Navy. These ships were built in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.  Construction of the one built in Massachusetts was officially launched on this day in 1797 and, amazingly, it not only still exists, but remains an official part of the Navy.  The U.S.S. Constitution is officially a museum ship today, and not to be missed by anyone visiting the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston.  

PLAY THAT HORN!  Born today in 1917 was John Birks Gillespie, known affectionately by the nickname "Dizzy."  He is regarded as one of, if not the, best trumpet player to ever grace the jazz stage.  His skill with the horn was such that he has no real imitators, since no one can effectively mimic his style and what he did.  So you truly were one of a kind, Dizzy! 

QUOTE:  I don't care much about music.  What I like is sounds. - Dizzy Gillespie

ANSWER:  B)  Johannesburg, South Africa