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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

March 6, 1912

Today’s Tuesday Timeline entry could be one of the “sweetest” entries that I have ever written.  In fact, I might have to say that the content within this blog is quite “delicious”.  But, again, it’s all a matter of personal opinion, so I won’t waste much time with writing any more cryptic clues to this entry.  Let’s get right to it.

It’s March the sixth today, and as I was doing research on various events on this date, I notice that March 6th was quite a busy day in history.  Let’s take a look back on some minor events that took place on this date.

1521 – Explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrives at Guam.

1820 – Missouri Compromise; Missouri enters Union as slave state, but the rest of the Northern part of the Louisiana Purchase is made slavery-free.

1834 – York, Upper Canada, is incorporated as Toronto.

1840 – The very first dental school, The Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, is opened.

1869 – Dmitri Mendeleev presents the first periodic table to the Russian Chemical Society.

1899 – Bayer registers aspirin as a trademark.

1951 – The trial of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg begins.

1957 – Ghana gains independence from Great Britain.

1981 – Walter Cronkite leaves the CBS Evening News after nearly two decades.

1992 – One of the first computer viruses, the Michelangelo virus, begins to affect computer systems worldwide.

So, as you can see, March 6th was a date that had a lot of history associated with it. 

March 6th also has a lot of celebrity birthdays associated with it.  Celebrating a birthday today are Mary Wilson (The Supremes), David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Kiki Dee, Rob Reiner, John Stossel, Tom Arnold, D.L. Hughley, Connie Britton, Moira Kelly, Andrea Elson (from ALF), Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Finley, Bubba Sparxxx, Eli Marienthal, and Hannah Taylor-Gordon.

We also said goodbye to a few celebrities on March 6th.  Author Louisa May Alcott passed away on this date in 1888.  Composer John Philip Sousa died eighty years ago today, in 1932.  And Dana Reeve, the widow of actor Christopher Reeve, passed away on this date in 2006. 

So, what date have I decided to feature in this entry? 

March 6, 1912.  Exactly one hundred years in the past!

This is the furthest that the Tuesday Timeline has ever gone back.  But, I really wanted to make this date the subject for today, because it happens to be the date that a staple of kitchen cupboards and school lunchboxes was born.

Today we celebrate the 100th birthday of the Oreo cookie.

I love Oreo cookies.  I always have loved Oreo cookies.  I can’t remember a time in my life that I didn’t eat Oreo cookies.  I guess in some ways, Oreo cookies are a sign of weakness for me, because if there are Oreos present in any form, I usually cannot resist them.

(Well, unless they are those special edition Strawberry Milkshake Oreos which sound sort of disgusting.)

It’s hard for me to pinpoint when exactly I tasted my very first Oreo cookie, but if I had to wager an estimated guess, I would say that it was shortly after I started getting my baby teeth.  I can remember being three years old at the home of my grandparents, sitting on the outdoor wooden staircase in the backyard which was attached to the clothesline, licking the cream filling from the Oreo cookies.  I think maybe that was one of the reasons why I continue to enjoy Oreo cookies even now.  Eating those delicious chocolate cookies takes me back to a more innocent time when everybody in my immediate family was still alive (of my four grandparents, only one survives).  It’s impossible to calculate exactly how many Oreos I’ve eaten during my entire lifetime, but I reckon that it must be in the thousands.

In most current advertising campaigns (particularly the ones that aired over the last ten years or so), the Oreo cookie is deemed ‘milk’s favourite cookie’, but honestly, I didn’t even need a glass of milk to enjoy the goodness of Oreo cookies.  It was almost a rite of passage to go around with a chocolate cookie smile all day long (or so I’d like to think, anyway).

I even have managed to take my love of Oreo one step further by occasionally treating myself to Oreo themed treats.  My favourite Dairy Queen Blizzard flavour for instance?  You guessed it.  And, you know how some supermarket bakeries have those cookies and cream cakes?  If someone has one of those cakes for a birthday celebration or a party, I cannot leave until I have a piece.  Those cakes are irresistible...especially when they are garnished with Oreo pieces!

Man...I’m getting hungry just writing this blog piece.  I really should get paid (even if it is only in Oreo cookies) for providing the company free advertising.  But, you know what they say...if you love it, you have to share it with the world.

The Oreo cookie was founded on March 6, 1912 in New York City, in the Chelsea district.  Developed by Nabisco, the cookie was manufactured specifically for the British market, and the design of the cookie was much simpler than the design that is currently used.  The modern day design was created in 1952.

As far as providing a detailed history of the Oreo cookie, I admit that the information that I have doesn’t really allow me to go into much detail about the creation of the Oreo cookie.  But, I do have a ton of trivia facts that I can share with all of you.  Some of these facts, you likely already know, but there is also some information that you might actually be surprised at knowing!

1 – The original name of the Oreo cookie was the Oreo Biscuit.

2 – Although the origin of the name ‘Oreo’ has not been officially confirmed, several theories exist behind how the cookie got its name.  One theory stems from the French word for ‘gold’, which is ‘or’, because when Oreos were first packaged, the colour of the package was gold.  Another theory was that the cookie was named after the Greek word ‘oreo’, which meant beautiful or nice.

3 – Although Nabisco has distributed Oreo cookies since they were created in 1912, Canada distributes them under the Christie label.

4 – An estimated 491 billion Oreo cookies have been sold and consumed since they were created, making it the best selling cookie of the 20th century.

5 – In the 1920s, the company began selling Oreos with a lemon filling instead of the iconic cream filling, but they were discontinued just a few years later.

6 – The first Double Stuf Oreo cookie was manufactured in 1975.

7 – Count the flowers on the face of a standard Oreo cookie half.  There are a total of twelve on each face.

8 – The Oreo cookie inspired a song parody by Weird Al Yankovic, which was released in 1990 to the tune of “The Right Stuff” by the New Kids On The Block.  Listen to it below!

9 – Oreos manufactured in China have some rather unique flavours of cream filling, including mango, blueberry, and green tea!

10 – You might notice a bit of a taste difference between American Oreos and Canadian Oreos.  The reason is because in Canada, the Oreos are made with coconut oil.

11 – When the McFlurry was introduced into McDonald’s Restaurants, Oreo was one of the flagship flavours, and is still widely popular today.

12 – Oreo cookies have had dozens of advertisements that were memorable in so many ways.  The one below happens to be one of my favourites.

13 – In 1984, a Big Stuf Oreo was introduced (it was an Oreo that was several sizes larger than an average Oreo), but was discontinued seven years later.  I guess the 13 grams of fat and 316 calories per cookie was too much.

14 – A second type of Oreo (with vanilla cookies and chocolate filling) was manufactured with the name ‘Uh Oh Oreo’.  It was rebranded as the ‘Golden Oreo’ in 2007, with the traditional cream filling.

15 – Taking advantage of the neon colour phase of the early 1990s, Oreo cookies dyed the colour of the cream filling in bright shades of hot pink, day-glo yellow and electric blue during 1991 and 1992. 

16 – Oreo cookies also put out special holiday themed cookies for holidays such as Halloween and Christmas.  I particularly loved the Winter White (Oreos dipped in white chocolate), and Oreo Mint (Oreos dipped in mint chocolate) cookies the best, but all of them were quite tasty.

17 – A breakfast cereal was manufactured based on Oreo cookies called “Oreo O’s”.  Picture Cheerios cereal in the same flavour and colour as an Oreo cookie, and that was what the cereal was like.  Unfortunately, you can’t find it in stores anymore, as it was discontinued five years ago.

18 – There was at one time a National Oreo Stacking contest.

Have I bombarded you with enough Oreo trivia yet?  That’s quite a lot to digest, I know.  But, considering that the cookie only celebrates its one hundredth birthday once, this is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the popular cookie.

And, as a special treat to selected countries, Oreo has put out a special birthday themed cookie!

Beginning in February 2012 and running for a limited time only, you can pick up a golden package (or standard blue in the United States) of Birthday Cake Oreo Cookies.  The cream filling on the inside is flavoured like vanilla cake icing with bits of rainbow coloured sprinkles mixed in (and might I add that I have sampled these special celebratory cookies and they are absolutely excellent at that).  I couldn’t think of a better way for the cookie to celebrate 100 years, and I am actually recommending that you at least try them.  But, you better hurry, because they are available for just a limited amount of time.

And, so ends our look back on March 6, 1912.  Now, if you excuse me, I have to go to the store to restock my Oreo supply.

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