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National Fig Newton Day!

Today is National Fig Newton Day.  This day is observed annually on January 16th.

What comfort food is perfect for the cold weather with a hot cup of tea but Fig Newton cookies?  They are my favorite.  One of Nabisco’s famous snack is Fig Newton, a pastry filled with figs jelly or paste.  Fig Newtons have a distinctive shape and characteristic which has been adopted by competitors, including generic fig bars in the market.

In the 19th century, many physicians believed that most illnesses were related to digestion problems, and recommended daily intake of biscuits and fruit.  Fig rolls were an ideal solution to this advice.  They were locally produced and handmade until a Philadelphia fig lover, Charles Roser, invented and patented the machine that made the cookies in 1891 which inserted fig paste into a thick pastry dough.

The first Fig Newtons were baked at the F.A. Kennedy Steam Bakery in 1891.  The product was named after the city of Newton, Massachusetts, and contrary to popular belief has nothing to do with Sir Isaac Newton.  The Kennedy Biscuit Company had recently become associated with the New York Biscuit Company, and the two merged to form Nabisco after which, the fig rolls were trademarked as Fig Newtons.

In 2012, Nabisco makes several varieties of the Newton, which is an addition to the original fig filling, including a version filled with apple cinnamon, strawberry, raspberry, and mixed berry.

Today, you will not find any Fig Newtons in the classic yellow box anymore, the old Fig Newtons you grew up eating, no longer exist.  They are just “Newtons” now.  Nabisco decided to drop the “Fig” in 2012.  Dropping the “Fig” was big news when it happened, but sometimes people choose to see what they want.  No matter how they call it now, they are still the favorite chewy cookie I love and will always eat for a quick snack.

So, today, celebrate this day by going to your local store and buy some Fig Newtons to share with friends and family.  Share on social media using #FigNewtonDay.

1942 Actress Carol Lombard killed on the plane crash

On January 16, 1942, the actress Carole Lombard, famous for her roles in such screwball comedies as My Man Godfrey and To Be or Not to Be, and for her marriage to the actor Clark Gable, is killed when the TWA DC-3 plane she is traveling in crashes en route from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. She was 33.

Gable and Lombard met in 1932 during the filming of No Man of Her Own. He was just starting out on his trajectory as one of Hollywood’s top leading men and she was a talented comedic actress trying to prove herself in more serious roles. Both were married at the time–Gable to a wealthy Texas widow 10 years his senior and Lombard to the actor William Powell–and neither showed much interest in the other. When they met again, three years later, Lombard had divorced Powell and Gable was separated from his wife, and things proceeded quite differently. Much to the media’s delight, the new couple was open with their affection, calling each other Ma and Pa and exchanging quirky, expensive gifts. In early 1939, Gable’s wife finally granted him a divorce, and he married Lombard that April.

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