History Schmistory, July 14: Hooray for Bastille Day!

1789 – Today is Bastille Day. The French Revolution began with the fall of Bastille. Aujourd’hui, nous célébrons notre liberté!

Magnifique CC0 Public Domain

CC0 Public Domain

History Schmistory July 13: Cookin’ Up The Resolution

1772 – Captain James Cook began his 2nd voyage, this time to the South Seas. He commanded a ship called the Resolution & although was able to retire after this voyage, couldn’t resolve his need for adventure.

This cook is not burnt out yet!

Countdown to Bastille Day!

You say you want a revolution?  OK–you got it.  2 days to Bastille Day!

History Schmistory, July 11: Pons Comet Pun

1801 – French astronomer Jean-Louis Pons discovered his 1st comet. He then went on to discover 36 more. Jeez louise!

Hey guys, I think I might see one...!

I see one…two….three…four….

History Schmistory, July 10: A New’d Way To Do Things.

1040 – Lady Godiva rode naked on horseback to force her husband, the Earl of Mercia, to lower taxes. I am sure her husband wished they could have kept their disagreement covered up.

Some women really know how to prove a point!


Bastille Day coming up!

Don’t forget to check out Team Marco Polo for the upcoming Bastille Day video!

History Schmistory, July 8: Bonjour, Paris!

951 – Paris was founded. At the time, it was occupied by the Germanic Franks. Thankfully they came up with an awesome name for the city — it could have been a bratwurst.

Paris sure used to occur a lot of Germs!

Paris sure used to occur a lot of Germs!

History Schmistory, July 9: Hear Yee, Hear Yee! Yo, LISTEN UP!

1776 – Declaration of Independence was read to George Washington’s troops in New York. I am sure some must have wondered why they were still following the leader after they were told they were free.  After all, they now had the unalienable right to life which war could take away.

Washington and Lafayette look over the troops at Valley Forge. [public domain]

Washington and Lafayette look over the troops at Valley Forge. [public domain]

Where Did Pizza Come From?

Who doesn’t love pizza? The combination of cheese, bread, sauce and toppings is magnifico! You can eat it with pepperoni, vegetables or with little fishies on them! But that’s just getting weird…
However, that’s not how pizza was originally eaten. It all started with the early Greeks who made flat breads and spread them with oil, herbs and spices. These early pizzas reached Rome, Egypt and Babylon. Eventually flat bread found its way to Italy where it was sold in markets during the 18th century. They were served plain since they were cheap, and sold to the poor throughout Naples. In 1830 the “first true pizzeria”, Antica Pizzeria Port’ Alba, opened in Naples and still exists today!

Queen Margherita

But here comes the good part. In 1889, baker Raffaele Esposito of Napoli (Naples) baked a pizza for Queen Marghertia and her husband Umberto I. The pizza resembled the Italian flagwith red tomato, mozzarella cheese and fresh green basil. The Queen automatically fell in love with the meal, despite it being peasant food. Pizza spread throughout Italy and several variations were made in different parts of the country. But it didn’t stop at Italy. The invention spread throughout France, England, Spain and eventually to America.

Pizza made its way to America with the Italian immigrants. However, it wasn’t popular in America until American soldiers had a taste of it in Italy. When the soldiers returned home after World War II they craved the delectable meal and made the pizza industry boom. It was in the US that ground beef, bacon sausage, peppers and the like were added on pizza.

Margherita Pizza

There is now a World Pizza Day in its home, Naples. There are guidelines for this festival but they are laid down by the city’s Real Neapolitan Pizza Association(Yes, it even has its own association!) In addition, Esposito’s Brandi Pizzeria is still run by his descendants. Talk about a successful family business! Now that you are hungry and craving pizza…next time you’re in Italy remember to stop by Naples and pay homage to the creator of the world famous meal!


History Schmistory, July 7: J’aime le chocolat!

1550 – Chocolate was introduced. In my opinion, this should be an international holiday. Seriously though, who isn’t loco for some cocoa?


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