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National Tortilla Chips Day!

Today we celebrate snack chips that had made famous by the Mexican culture, the Tortilla Chip.  This day is observed annually on February 24th.

Tortilla chips, a famous snack for game days, card games, fun nights, and normally served with salsa, cheese dips, and sometimes with guacamole.

A tortilla chip is made from corn tortillas, that are cut into wedges and then fried or baked.  Corn tortillas are made from corn, vegetable oil, salt, and water.  Usually, they are made of yellow corn, nowadays, you can find them in white, blue, or red corn, and some manufacturers include many other ingredients including wheat, sugar food coloring, and monosodium glutamate or the so-called MSG.

The triangle-shaped tortilla chip was popularized by Rebecca Webb Carranza in the 1940s as a way to make use of misshapen tortillas rejected from the automated tortilla manufacturing machine that she and her husband used at their Mexican delicatessen and tortilla factory in southwest Los Angeles. Carranza found that the discarded tortillas, cut into triangles and fried, were a popular snack, and she sold them for a dime a bag at the El Zarape Tortilla Factory. In 1994, Carranza received the Golden Tortilla award for her contribution to the Mexican food industry.

Every time you go to a Mexican restaurant, tortilla chips are quintessential and often served as a complimentary appetizer.  They are typically always served with salsa, Chile con queso, and avocado as the dip.  Nowadays, they are available worldwide, and some restaurants make an elaborate dish served with some meat, chopped tomatoes, onions, and pieces of Jalapenos then topped with oozing cheddar cheese.  In 2003, Texas made the tortilla chip the official state snack.

So, today, celebrate this by buying a bag of your favorite tortilla chip, some salsa, and Velveeta cheese, and make your own creation at home by making a big serving plate of tortilla chips with all your favorite fixings and dippings.  Share on social media how you make your Tortilla Chips platter using #TortillaChipsDay

1868 President Andrew Johnson impeached

The U.S. House of Representatives votes 11 articles of impeachment against President Andrew Johnson, nine of which cite Johnson’s removal of Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, a violation of the Tenure of Office Act. The House vote made President Johnson the first president to be impeached in U.S. history.

At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, Andrew Johnson, a senator from Tennessee, was the only U.S. senator from a seceding state who remained loyal to the Union. In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln appointed him military governor of Tennessee, and in 1864 he was elected vice president of the United States. Sworn in as president after Lincoln’s assassination in April 1865, President Johnson enacted a lenient Reconstruction policy for the defeated South, including almost total amnesty to ex-Confederates, a program of rapid restoration of U.S.-state status for the seceded states, and the approval of new, local Southern governments, which were able to legislate “Black Codes” that preserved the system of slavery in all but its name.

The Republican-dominated Congress greatly opposed Johnson’s Reconstruction program and in March 1867 passed the Tenure of Office Act over the president’s veto. The bill prohibited the president from removing officials confirmed by the Senate without senatorial approval and was designed to shield members of Johnson’s Cabinet like Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, who had been a leading Republican radical in the Lincoln administration.

(excerpted from