Today in History, September 10: 1953 – Swanson is the first to successfully sell “TV Dinners”, their first being a turkey dinner, in an aluminum foil tray. Soon beef and chicken offerings followed.
This seems simple if not quaint now. But at the time a prepared meal which could just be popped in the oven (no microwaves, kids) was a huge cultural change. Much like fast food restaurants, TV dinners helped free time for wives, mothers and bachelors. Not a sexist statement…those were the times. Not having to spend hours in the kitchen preparing every meal changed lives.
Have you ever eaten from an aluminum tray dinner? I personally preferred them to microwave safe trays.
Today in History, May 29: 1953 – Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay are the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the tallest peak in the world. Hillary began as a poor son of a New Zealand farmer, and ended as a hero of the English realm. He also took part in expeditions to the South Pole among other expeditions.
Today in History, April 24, 1953:
British Prime Minister Winston Spencer Churchill is Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, making him a Knight of the Garter.
The Queen had wanted to make Churchill a Knight as Duke of London, a new and dynamic position, but he declined since this would require his son and other descendants to live at a certain financial level that they may not be able to sustain.
Born in 1874, Churchill had served with distinction in the Boer War as a young man, been a major player in the First World War as Lord of the Admiralty, and then been banished to the political “wilderness” for ten years leading into WWII. During those years, he constantly preached a message of military preparedness to his contemporaries…acts that made him a laughing stock…the Nazis only wanted peace and he was a militant nut. Once the realities set in with Hitler’s invasion of several European neighbors, Britons turned to Churchill for their salvation, and he proved himself up to the task.
What an amazing amount of History Sir Winston and Queen Elizabeth have been a part of!