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National Hot Chocolate Day!

Today we celebrate one of winter favorite drink, the hot chocolate.  This day is observed annually on January 31st.

Winter is still here and it is freezing out there, and it is just fitting to have a cup of Hot Chocolate.  Hot chocolate is consumed throughout the world and comes in multiple variations, including the spiced chocolate para mesa of Latin America, the very thick cioccolata calda served in Italy and chocolate a la Taza served in Spain, and the thinner hot cocoa consumed in the United States.

The first chocolate drink was believed to have been created by the Mayans around 3,000 years ago.  In the 19th century, hot chocolate was even used medicinally to treat ailments such as liver and stomach diseases.

Today, drinking hot chocolate is considered comfort food and is widely consumed in many parts of the world. European hot chocolate tends to be relatively thick and rich, while in the United States the thinner instant version is consumed more often. In Nigeria, hot chocolate is referred to as “tea” even though it is not actually a tea due to the Nigerian custom of referring to drinks consumed in the morning as “tea”. 

Many regions have distinctive toppings, ranging from marshmallows and whipped cream to cheese.  Sometimes a sprinkle of cinnamon or a dash of peppermint makes the chocolate extra special. In the United States, an instant form of hot chocolate is popular. It is made with hot water or milk and a packet containing mostly cocoa powder, sugar, and dry milk.

So, today, grab yourself a mug of hot chocolate and remember to put some of your favorite toppings to spice it up.  Share on social media your favorite toppings using #HotChocolateDay.

1988 Doug Williams leads Redskins Super Bowl victory

On January 31, 1988, in San Diego, California, Doug Williams of the Washington Redskins becomes the first African American quarterback to play in a Super Bowl, scoring four of Washington’s five touchdowns in an upset 42-10 victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXII.

Denver was favored to win the game, and they started strong, as star quarterback John Elway threw a 56-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Nattiel on the team’s first play from scrimmage. Williams injured his knee shortly thereafter and was replaced for two plays by Jay Schroeder. By the beginning of the second quarter, the Broncos were ahead 10-0. All that changed, however, when Williams and the Redskins began to obliterate the Denver defense, scoring 35 points in the quarter.

The scoring onslaught began with Williams’ 80-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Sanders, which tied a record for the longest pass in a Super Bowl game. Williams scored three more touchdowns in the period, finding Gary Clark with a 27-yard pass, hitting Sanders again for 50 yards and finishing with an eight-yard toss to Clint Didier. For the fifth score of the period, Williams handed off to the rookie running back Timmy Smith and Smith headed along the right sideline for 58 yards into the end zone. Sanders and Smith set their own Super Bowl records that day: Sanders for receiving (193 yards) and Smith for rushing (204 yards).

(excerpted from