15 of America's Most Historic Restaurants

15 of America's Most Historic Restaurants



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How does a restaurant become “historic”? For most American eateries, it’s a feat to survive even a few years—much less decades or centuries. In the brutally competitive industry, statistics suggest that 60 percent of eateries don’t make it past their first year; 80 percent close within five years.

But around the U.S, a select coterie of restaurants has defied the odds—enduring world wars, the 1918 flu pandemic, the Depression and more.

These historic eateries offer diners an astonishing panorama of the country’s political, social and demographic history, as well as its culinary traditions. Some feature menu items dating back to the country’s founding—tavern foods, oysters, steak, turkey. Others reflect successive waves of immigrants, offering new arrivals a taste of home. Still others catered to Black Americans migrating north in the first half of the 20th century, offering grits, fried chicken and other southern favorites that came to be known as “soul food.” As the decades passed, a core group of these institutions survived and thrived by redefining the very meaning of “American” cuisine to include their dishes.

“We are like a living museum,” says Niki Russ Federman, a member of the fourth generation to run Russ & Daughters, the iconic New York eatery that has served up bagels, lox and other Jewish dishes for 100-plus years. “What restaurants with this kind of history and heritage contribute to the country is unquantifiable. We reflect and represent our country’s mosaic of cultures.”

That doesn’t mean all historic restaurants stand on a firm footing, economically. All face increased competition, rising wage costs and razor-thin margins. In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic posed even greater challenges, causing restaurants to close their doors temporarily, drastically limit capacity and seek new ways to retain loyal customers, from expanded delivery services to online cooking lessons.

Below, a selection of enduring American eateries.

WATCH: Full episodes of The Food That Built America online now.

Saugus Café

Where: Santa Clarita, California

Opened: 1888

The History: Founder James Herbert Tolfree began dishing up coffee, steak and eggs to Saugus Eating House patrons from the north end of the city’s brand-new train depot. In 1903, Teddy Roosevelt allegedly sampled the New York steak (verdict: “splendid”). In the 1920s, as automobiles displaced trains, the eatery moved across the road and took on its current classic SoCal diner look. It became a hangout for movie stars filming Western movies nearby. Framed photos of John Wayne, Clark Gable, Marlene Dietrich and other Hollywood royalty make up the décor.

Customers Return For: Community gossip, diner staples like chicken-fried steak and corned beef hash.

READ MORE: When Did People Start Eating in Restaurants?

Jones Bar-B-Q Diner

Where: Marianna, Arkansas

Opened: c. 1910

The History: Run out of the Jones family home, the diner has only two tables. That’s a big expansion from the days when founder Joe Jones began smoking pork in a pit in the ground and selling the meat from a washtub at his back door. Today, it’s the country’s oldest Black-owned restaurant (now in the hands of the third generation) and keeps everything simple: BBQ pulled-pork sandwiches on Wonder bread, sliced meat by the pound, and sides of slaw.

Customers Return For: The family recipe, which won a James Beard Award and routinely makes BBQ “bucket lists.” They know to show up early, since owners James and Betty Jones close whenever they run out of meat—sometimes before noon.

White Horse Tavern

Where: Newport, Rhode Island

Opened: 1673

The History: This colonial-era tavern-turned-fine-dining-establishment calls one of Newport’s oldest buildings home and may well be the country’s oldest restaurant. During the 18th century, it was (variously) owned by a pirate, occupied by British and Hessian troops during the Revolutionary War and (allegedly) hosted George Washington and his staff when they planned the Battle of Yorktown. The Preservation Society of Newport County saved it from demolition in the 1950s, after which it reopened as a fine dining establishment. An original beehive oven survives in the kitchen.

Customers Return For: New England staples, ranging from lobster mac and cheese to oysters—and (possibly) a glimpse of one of the resident ghosts near the dining room fireplace.

SAVE OUR RESTAURANTS: HISTORY is partnering with the James Beard Foundation for a philanthropic initiative aimed at providing resources and aid to help preserve historic, landmark restaurants in America who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out more here.

Tadich Grill

Where: San Francisco

Opened: 1849

The History: The roots of California’s oldest continually run restaurant lie in a wharf-side coffee stand set up by three Croatian immigrants to cater to the Gold Rush—first in a tent and then under a corrugated iron roof. The restaurant that followed became known for pioneering mesquite-grilled fish. In the 1960s, Wells Fargo Bank, which owned the premises, delayed redeveloping the block Tadich stood on until the owner found new a new home; turns out, the bank’s CEO was a daily customer.

Customers Return For: The Art Deco décor, oysters and that iconic grilled fish.

Cattlemen’s Steakhouse

Where: Oklahoma City

Opened: 1910

The History: Founded to feed ravenous ranchers, cattle haulers and others doing business in the Oklahoma City’s stockyards. Some of the beef slaughtered in the area, known as “Packing Town,” ended up on the casual restaurant’s tables. Famously, a roll of the dice determined the restaurant’s fate in 1945, when local rancher Gene Wade rolled a double 3 to acquire the steakhouse from its former owner, an incorrigible gambler. Over the decades, everyone from rodeo stars to presidents (Ronald Reagan and George Bush, Sr.) has dined on its steaks.

Customers Return For: Those steaks (especially the T-Bone) and lamb fries, a.k.a. fried lamb testicles.

READ MORE: Automat: Birth of a Fast Food Nation

Nom Wah Tea Parlor

Where: New York City

Opened: 1920

The History: Entering its second century of operations, this classic dim sum eatery in Chinatown is now run by the second member of the second family to own it. (Wilson Tang walked away from a Wall Street job in 2011 to take over Nom Wah from his uncle.) In the early 20th century, the Doyers Street location was notorious for gang warfare among the various Chinese “tongs.” Decades later, ruthless business conflicts among Chinatown bakeries pushed the Tang family to give up their popular mooncakes to focus on dim sum dumplings.

Customers Return For: Soup buns, rice rolls and Nom Wah’s “The Original” (OG) egg roll.

Columbia

Where: Ybor City, Tampa, Florida

Opened: 1905

The History: Local cigar workers flocked to the original small saloon for its Cuban coffee and sandwiches. During Prohibition, the family owners expanded and upgraded, offering fine dining and live entertainment. (Today, it’s flamenco dancers, nightly.) Over the years, luminaries like Babe Ruth, Liberace, Jack Dempsey and Marilyn Monroe flocked to savor both the food and the city’s first air-conditioned restaurant—now Florida’s oldest.

Customers Return For: Latin flavors, from Cuban black bean soup to arroz con pollo. Now that Prohibition is history, they savor sangria and mojitos.

READ MORE: Why Ice Cream Soared in Popularity During Prohibition

Antoine’s

Where: New Orleans, Louisiana

Opened: 1840

The History: The iconic home of Louisiana French Creole dining, Antoine’s is now headed by the sixth generation of the Alciatore family, and named in honor of its creator, who launched his new business at the age of only 18. Antoine’s son, Jules, created Oysters Rockefeller. (The family recipe remains a secret.) The restaurant became a main character in the 1948 bestseller, Dinner at Antoine’s, by Frances Parkinson Keyes.

Customers Return For: Those oysters, and baked Alaska. Fine dining in rooms devoted to Mardi Gras themes.

Ben’s Chili Bowl

Where: Washington, D.C.

Opened: 1958

The History: Segregation, riots, gentrification: Family-owned Ben’s Chili Bowl has ridden out all manner of challenges from its perch on U Street, the heart of a social and cultural center once known as Washington’s “Black Broadway.” Habitués have included Martin Luther King Jr., Stokeley Carmichael and Jesse Jackson; Barack Obama made it one of his first restaurant outings as president-elect in early 2009.

Customers Return For: Ambiance at the long diner bar and the famous “half smoke”—voted the signature dish of Washington, D.C.—smothered in chili, of course.

El Charro

Where: Tucson, Arizona

Opened: 1922

The History: The original owner of this Sonoran-style Mexican family café, Monica Flin, is said to have invented the chimichanga when she accidentally dropped a burrito into a frying pan while surrounded by children in the kitchen. It got its name from her rapid attempt to transform a curse word beginning with “ch” into the Spanish word for “thingamajig.”

Customers Return For: The trademark carne seca, dried on the building’s roof; handmade salsas and tamales.

Katz’s Delicatessen

Where: New York City

Opened: 1888

The History: By 1910, the Katz cousins (Willy and Benny) had bought out the founders of this Lower East Side Jewish deli. It became a second home for actors and comedians performing in the Yiddish Theater, and during World War II, urged New Yorkers to “send a salami to your boy in the Army.” Katz’s gained national fame as the site of famous movie scenes, including Meg Ryan’s faux orgasm in When Harry Met Sally.

Customers Return For: In the early 20th century, families noshed Friday nights on franks and beans; these days, it’s the pastrami on rye, day in and day out.

Ralph’s

Where: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Opened: 1900

The History: Francesco Dispigno had always dreamed of running a restaurant, and seven years after moving from Naples to Philadelphia, he opened a neighborhood eatery named in honor of his son Rafael, renamed “Ralph” by Ellis Island officials. Today, it’s the oldest Italian restaurant in the country and run by fourth- and fifth-generation members of the family. Ralph’s has catered to presidents (including Teddy Roosevelt and Joe Biden) and celebs: Frank Sinatra was a frequent customer, and Taylor Swift dropped a $500 tip after a family gathering.

Customers Return For: Mussels, calamari and the meatballs. Veterans suggest saving space for tiramisu.

READ MORE: Meet a Long-Lost Father of New York Pizza

Huber’s Cafe

Where: Portland, Oregon

Opened: 1879

The History: Frank Huber, originally a bartender at the original Bureau Saloon, bought out its owner and put his own name on the business in 1895. Back then, anyone ordering a drink got a free turkey sandwich with a small dish of coleslaw. Today’s owners are descendants of Way Fung (Jim) Louie, the Chinese-born chef hired by Huber to roast all those turkeys back in the 1890s. It was Louie who oversaw the transition of Huber’s from a saloon into what is today Portland’s oldest restaurant. Turkey dinners remain a specialty.

Customers Return For: Stained glass skylight ceiling; the spectacle of Spanish coffee being created tableside; turkey and ham dinners.

Sylvia’s

Where: Harlem, New York City

Opened: 1962

The History: Sylvia Woods hadn’t even been inside a restaurant before moving from South Carolina to New York in 1946, part of the “Great Migration.” Three decades later, food critic Gael Greene dubbed her the “Queen of Soul Food” and her eponymous restaurant is second only to the Apollo Theater as a Harlem landmark. A center for the Black community, it remained undamaged during the 1968 riots. Spike Lee has filmed there; Aretha Franklin rented out the place for a private party. Other patrons range from soul music doyen James Brown to South Africa’s Nelson Mandela.

Customers Return For: Community gatherings, Sunday gospel brunches, fried chicken or catfish dishes and (on weekends) chitterlings.

Bright Star

Where: Bessemer, Alabama

Opened: 1907

The History: Family patriarchs Bill and Pete Koikos bought the 25-seat café founded by fellow Greek immigrant Tom Bonduris in 1923, when the Birmingham suburb of Bessemer was a flourishing factory town. Today, the eatery—the oldest restaurant in Alabama, and the first in the state to win the James Beard “American Classic” Award—has more than 300 seats, but retains old-time touches like its marbled walls and hand-laid tile flooring. First-time customers get a free bowl of the restaurant’s seafood gumbo.

Customers Return For: Greek-influenced seafood dishes, made from fish brought in daily from the Gulf Coast.

LISTEN: The Food That Built America Podcast, based on the hit documentary series, tells the extraordinary true stories of industry titans who revolutionized the food industry and transformed American life and culture. Try it here.


15 of America's Most Historic Restaurants - HISTORY

One of the 13 original colonies, “The Free State” is a hub for history lovers. With living-history colonial towns, national shrines, the home of The Star-Spangled Banner, and the birthplaces of some of the nation’s most important civil rights leaders, Maryland is home to a wealth of historic sites and museums.

  • 1 Salute the Flag at Fort McHenry, Baltimore
  • 2 Walk the halls of history at the Maryland State House, Annapolis
  • 3 Experience Colonial Maryland at Historic St. Mary’s City, St. Mary’s County
  • 4 Ride the rails at the B&O Railroad Museum, Baltimore
  • 5 Honor the fallen at Antietam National Battlefield, Washington County
  • 6 Meet a great African-American thinker at the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum, Baltimore County
  • 7 Witness the Birth of Courage at the Bucktown Village Store, Dorchester County
  • 8 See Maryland’s Tenuous First Foothold at St. Clement’s Island State Park, Colton’s Point
  • 9 Marvel at American ingenuity at Casselman Bridge, Garrett County
  • 10 Walk the decks of the USS Constellation, a Civil War sailing ship, Baltimore
  • 11 Man the frontier at Fort Frederick, Washington County
  • 12 Pay Homage to Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton - the First American-born Saint, Emmitsburg
  • 13 Get a taste of the Chesapeake at J.C. Lore Oyster House in the Calvert Marine Museum, Solomons
  • 14 Follow the trail of British Troops on the Star-Spangled Banner Byway
  • 15 Visit the home of an American icon at the Frederick Douglass Museum and Cultural Center, Highland Beach

This beautiful brick fortress stands sentry at the mouth of Baltimore Harbor and today, as a National Historic Shrine, it preserves our history. In 1814, its battle flag inspired Francis Scott Key to pen The Star-Spangled Banner. During the Civil War, the fort served as a Union hospital and, later, Fort McHenry bordered the second biggest point of entry for European immigrants.

Once the capital of the United States, it was here that the Continental Congress signed the Treaty of Paris ending the Revolutionary War. Later, General George Washington stepped down as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. Today, you can admire this beautiful old building on its hill in the heart of Annapolis, which remains the home of Maryland Government.

Founded in 1634, today living historians keep the streets, fields and ships of Maryland’s first capital alive. Tour the working 1600s plantation, experience the reconstructed state house, and walk the decks of the Dove, a reconstructed sailing ship that brought the first Colonists to Maryland.

Step beyond the Monopoly board and feel the power of old steam engines at the birthplace of American rail. Often called the most important railroad museum in the world, tour its beautiful roundhouse and ride genuine historic trains.

Its rolling hills, idyllic streams and bucolic forests give no sign of the soldiers' blood that once soaked the fields of Antietam, site of the single bloodiest day of fighting in American history. Learn more about the Civil War in Maryland.

This park and museum honor Benjamin Banneker–scientist, astronomer, mathematician, abolitionist, surveyor, farmer, almanac publisher–on the site of his former farmstead. This 138-acre park is the largest African-American historical site in the country.

It was here that American hero Harriet Tubman made her first act of defiance when she gave aid to another enslaved person. The blow to the head she received from an angry overseer would cause her health problems for the rest of her life, but never dimmed her courage.
Also, visit the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center to learn about Tubman’s world through informative, evocative and emotive exhibits. The center is a great place to get oriented to sites along the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway where Harriet's life unfolded.


15 Revolutionary War Sites in NYC That Bring Our Country's History to Life for Kids

As a diehard history nerd, I've taken my nine-year-old son to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia (twice!), and we've visited Philadelphia and Boston, both cities with major Colonial cred, numerous times. But some of the most important Revolutionary War battles and key events took place right here in NYC, so, really, you can bring the birth of our nation to life in a way no textbook can just by using your MetroCard.

See where George Washington slept during the war and the Bible he used for his inauguration check out where the battles of Fort Washington, Harlem Heights and Brooklyn were waged and tour Founding Father Alexander Hamilton's home all without leaving the boroughs. Plus, many of these sites host special interactive activities like living historical reenactments, battles and commemorations.

Here are 15 NYC sites where kids (and grown-ups!) can connect with the events and people who helped found our country.

St Paul's Chapel – Financial District
209 Broadway at Fulton Street
Built in 1766, Trinity Church's historic chapel is NYC's oldest church building. During the Revolutionary War, Alexander Hamilton drilled troops in its churchyard. George Washington worshiped here regularly, including on his inauguration day. His pew is easy to spot: It's beneath the painting of the Great Seal of the United States. FREE

Federal Hall National Memorial – Financial District
26 Wall Street near Nassau Street
The original Federal Hall was built in 1700 and served as our nation's first Congress, Supreme Court and Executive Branch, and was where George Washington was inaugurated. Demolished in 1812, it was replaced by a Customs House and eventually became the Federal Hall National Memorial. Visitors can check out fragments of the original building along with the bible used during Washington's oath of office. In fact, the statue of our first President outside the building marks the exact spot of his swearing in. Visiting is FREE but it's only open Monday through Friday.

Morris-Jumel Mansion – Harlem
65 Jumel Terrace near Sylvan Terrace
George Washington slept here! Manhattan's oldest house was built in 1765 by British Colonel Roger Morris. Ultimately, it served as General Washington's headquarters during the 1776 Battle of Harlem Heights and, after he became President, he held a dinner here in 1790 with his cabinet, including John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. Check out Washington's bed chamber, the swanky dining room and the kitchen where the meal was prepared. Morris-Jumel Mansion also hosts frequent hands-on family programs, many of which are FREE like the annual commemoration of the Battle of Harlem Heights, George Washington’s birthday celebration and Colonial-themed Family Days.

Fraunces Tavern Museum – Financial District
54 Pearl Street near Broad Street
While the building has been renovated and repurposed several times over the centuries, this is the tavern where George Washington bid farewell to his troops at the end of the Revolutionary War. The second floor houses a museum where visitors can see the room where it all went down. On the ground floor, there's an independent upscale restaurant decked out with maps, flags and displays celebrating early American life in NYC.

Hamilton Grange National Memorial – Harlem
414 West 141st Street inside St. Nicholas Park
Founding Father Alexander Hamilton graces the $10 bill, and is best known as the country's first Secretary of the Treasury and being murdered in an infamous duel with Aaron Burr. However, Hamilton was also a soldier who rose through the ranks of General Washington's Continental Army and fought in many Revolutionary War battles. Hamilton's home, Hamilton Grange, was recently renovated and moved back to its original lot in St. Nicholas Park. Take guided tours of the period rooms, and hit the visitor center to explore his life and legacy. FREE

Fort Tryon Park – Washington Heights
Broadway to the Hudson River between 190th and Dyckman Streets
Named after Sir William Tryon, the last British governor of Colonial New York, the park was the site of the Battle of Fort Washington in 1776. Although the U.S. lost, the skirmish made Margaret Corbin famous after she took up her fallen husband's cannon. (The park's drive and circle bear her moniker.) There's a plaque dedicated to her efforts at 190th Street and Fort Washington Avenue. Every November, Fort Tryon Park marks the anniversary of the Battle of Fort Washington with reenactments by the Brigade of the American Revolution period games, crafts, music and trade demos and a tour of the battlegrounds with Corbin herself. FREE

Bowling Green – Financial District
Broadway and Whitehall Street
It's hard to imagine that this genteel public park, the first in NYC, was the location of an angry riot back in 1776. Following the first reading of the Declaration of Independence in New York State, Continental soldiers and patriots toppled the park's statue of King George III, and parts were melted down and made into ammunition. In the New-York Historical Society 's Central Park West entryway, there's a cool interactive video wall of the painting "Pulling Down the Statue of King George III" that responds to movement. Stick around until a crowd gathers and you'll be able to help virtually bring down the statue.

New-York Historical Society – Upper West Side
170 Central Park West at 77th Street
Founded in 1804, NYC's oldest museum showcases a host of artifacts from the era. Check out George Washington's inauguration chair, portraits of George and Martha Washington, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, and the New York Rising exhibition, which includes tons of relics from the period like musket balls and British coins. Of course, the New-York Historical Society is well known for its family programming so be sure to check the calendar to find out what's going on. Its Living History Days are particularly engaging.

The Old Stone House – Park Slope
336 Third Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues
A reconstruction of the 1699 Vechte-Cortelyou House, this museum sits in Park Slope's Washington Park, where part of the 1776 Battle of Brooklyn was waged. Learn about this bloody battle through displays of period relics like clothes, uniforms and ammunition, along with an informative diorama detailing the multiday fight. Keep an eye out: every August the battle is reenacted in Brooklyn, usually at the Old Stone House, which also hosts occasional family events. Open to the public weekends only.

Green-Wood Cemetery – Sunset Park
500 25th Street at Fifth Avenue
The famed Battle of Brooklyn included a deadly fight on Battle Hill, the highest point in the borough, now part of the historic cemetery. Green-Wood commemorates the fight every August with a living history event featuring period demos, parades and sometimes even reenactments. FREE

Fort Greene Park – Fort Greene
Myrtle Avenue to DeKalb Avenue between Washington Park and St. Edwards Street
Brooklyn's first official park was once the site of Fort Putnam, a Revolutionary War-era fort that's honored in the Fort Greene Playground. Kids can romp on a fort-like double-decker play structure, check out 13 pillars that represent the original American colonies and spot the patriotic bald eagle weather vane atop the bathroom. Fort Greene Park also commemorates and houses the remains of thousands of civilians held as British prisoners on ships in its Prison Ship Martyrs Monument.

Historic Richmond Town – Staten Island
441 Clarke Avenue
The sole living history museum in NYC, this 100-acre attraction contains elements of multiple eras, not just Colonial times. Here you can visit one of the borough's oldest homes, municipal buildings, trade shops, farms and explore Staten Island's history.

Fort Wadsworth – Staten Island
210 New York Avenue
Strategically located at the entrance to New York Harbor, Fort Wadsworth was captured by the British during the Revolutionary War and remained under their control until the conflict's end. Today, visitors can take tours of the decommissioned military base's underground tunnels and bunkers, and enjoy its great views of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

The Conference House – Staten Island
298 Satterlee Street near Hylan Boulevard
In 1776, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Edward Rutledge met with Sir William Howe, the Commander-in-Chief of British forces, at the Conference House in an unsuccessful attempt to broker peace. The museum recreates this historic event every September. One of the few remaining 17th-century manor houses in NYC, the building is open year-round for guided tours.

Van Cortlandt House Museum – the Bronx
Broadway at West 246th Street inside Van Cortlandt Park
Not only is this the oldest house in the Bronx, it's also the first historic house museum created in NYC. Located in the southern portion of Van Cortlandt Park, it was built by the wealthy Dutch Van Cortlandt family in the 17th century. During the Revolutionary War, George Washington used the house as his home base at least twice. The museum is open for guided tours throughout the year.


McDonald&aposs Stock

While McDonald&aposs stock has fluctuated over the course of 2019, the year has shown a general trend of overall growth. The share price moved from $176 at the beginning of the year to a high of $221. Over several months prices have fluctuated within 20 points, but have not dipped below $200 a share since early June.

Arguably more important, this takes place in a context of strong historic growth. McDonald&aposs has shared in the stock market&aposs boom in the years since 2009, and in the past 15 years has seen a significant growth in share price.

In January 2004 the company&aposs stock traded for approximately $25 per share. The years since then have seen that grow nearly tenfold.

Much of that growth has occurred in the past five years. In late 2015 McDonald&aposs corporate stock had spent several years trending at or just below $100 per share. Starting in 2016 the price began a steady climb. Despite some dips, most noticeable in early 2018 when shares lost nearly 20 points of value, in the past four years McDonald&aposs corporate stock has doubled in value to its current prices of $200 - $220.


Cole's is the oldest restaurant in LA in its original location, but not under the same owners. It went from an old-timer rendezvous to a hipster hangout after a takeover and makeover by 213 Nightlife group that operates a dozen Downtown LA establishments. The dinner menu is true to its roots, but the two bars, including the backroom Varnish, add appeal for the younger crowd. Cole's claims to be the originator of the original French Dip sandwich, but so does LA's next historic restaurant.


Historical Events on April 15

    Pánfilo the Narváez, Spanish conquistador arrives in Florida with 350 men to a hostile reception from native indians

Appointment of Interest

1534 Thomas Cromwell is appointed Chief Secretary to King Henry VIII of England

    Cortes van Thomar accepts Philip II as king of Portugal Fleming Pieter Stevens appointed royal painter of Rudolf II (Prague) Hugo Grotius arrives in France after escaping prison in a book chest Battle of Rain Swedes under Gustavus Adolphus defeat Count Tilly of the Holy Roman Empire during the Thirty Years' War. England & Netherlands sign peace treaty

Declaration of War

1689 French King Louis XIV declares war on Spain

Event of Interest

1697 Charles XII succeeds Charles XI as King of Sweden

Music Premiere

1729 Johann Sebastian Bach's "St Matthew Passion" premieres in Leipzig

Music Premiere

1738 Premiere in London of "Serse", an Italian opera by George Frideric Handel

Historic Publication

1755 Samuel Johnson's "A Dictionary of the English Language" published in London

    Duchess of Kingston found guilty of bigamy Britain, Netherlands & Prussia sign peace treaty Bank of England issues first £5 note

Event of Interest

1802 William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy see a "long belt" of daffodils, inspiring the former to pen "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud".

    1st American school for the deaf opens (Hartford, Connecticut) The American Asylum [now American School for the Deaf (ASD)], 1st permanent US school for deaf founded by Rev. Thomas Gallaudet, Dr. Mason Cogswell, and teacher Laurent Clercn (West Hartford, Connecticut,) City of San Francisco incorporated Earl G Andressy sentenced to death in Hungary Protestant church questions king Willem III RC bishops Battle of Azimghur, Mexicans defeat Spanish loyalists

Event of Interest

1861 Federal army (75,000 volunteers) mobilized by US President Abraham Lincoln (US Civil War)

Event of Interest

1862 American poet Emily Dickinson first corresponds with author and future literary mentor Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a relationship that lasts the rest of her life

Event of Interest

1865 Otto von Bismarck elevated to rank of Count of Bismarck-Schönhausen

Abraham Lincoln's Deathbed

1865 Abraham Lincoln dies nine hours after he is shot by John Wilkes Booth while attending the play "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theatre in Washington

The bed on which Abraham Lincoln died hours after being shot by John Wilkes Booth, taken shortly after Lincoln's body was removed

Event of Interest

1874 First 'Impressionist' exhibition opens in Paris, features Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro and Berthe Morisot

    Boston-Somerville installs the world's 1st telephone in Massachusetts Harley Procter introduces Ivory Soap

Historic Publication

1880 Guy de Maupassant's short story masterpiece "Boule de Suif" (Dumpling) is first published in the collection "Les Soirées de Médan"

Event of Interest

1892 General Electric Company formed by merger of Thomas Edison's General Electric Company with Thomson-Houston Electric Company, arranged by J. P. Morgan and incorporated in NY

    Josephine Blatt (US) makes hip-and-harness lift of 3564 lb (record) 1st modern Summer Olympic Games close in Athens, Greece USA wins gold medal count, 11 Greece wins total medal count, 46 IOC has retroactively assigned gold, silver & bronze medals to 3 best placed athletes in each event Exposition Universelle (World's Fair) in Paris opens (till 12th Nov) An early 50 mile race is won by an electric car in over 2 hrs 1st British motorized burial 5th Boston Marathon won for second straight year by Canadian Jim Caffrey in race record 2:29:23.6

Event of Interest

1901 Pope Leo XIII issues an allocution deploring hostile actions against the Roman Catholic Church throughout Europe

    Pope Leo XIII encyclical "On Church in US" Rioting and arson continue in Russia with peasants plundering estates to find food. Russian minister of interior and head of secret police, Sipyengin, is assassinated by the 'Terror Brigade' of the Socialist Revolutionaries The Armenian organization AGBU is established. 11th Boston Marathon won by Canadian Tom Longboat in race record 2:24:24 William H. Taft is first US President to throw out a 1st ball at a baseball game Jack Lawrence Theater (Playhouse) opens at 137 W 48th St NYC

Baseball Record

1911 Walter Johnson pitches a record tying 4 strike outs in an inning

Iceberg Sinks 'Unsinkable' Titanic

1912 RMS Titanic sinks at 2:27 AM off Newfoundland as the band plays on, with the loss of between 1,490 and 1,635 people

    16th Boston Marathon won by Mike Ryan in race record 2:21:18.2 Manuel de Falla's ballet "El Amor Brujo" premieres in Madrid NY Giant Rube Marquard no-hits Bkln, 2-0

Historic Publication

1918 Georges Clémenceau publishes secret French/Austrian documents

    22nd Boston Marathon won by Camp Devens relay team race run as relay for 10-man military teams New Canadian small cent coin is released Sacco & Vanzetti Trial: paymaster shot and killed along with his guard Black Friday in Britain: leaders of transport and rail unions announce a decision not to call for strike action in support of the miners despite widespread feeling decision a breach of solidarity and a betrayal of the miners The legendary Poodle Dog Restaurant closes in San Francisco 1st sound on film public performance shown at Rialto Theater (NYC) Insulin becomes generally available for diabetics Flemish-Walloon riots in Louvain, Belgium, 1 dead WHO-AM in Des Moines Iowa begins radio transmissions Rand McNally publishes its first road atlas. NHL's NY Americans (formerly Hamilton Tigers) 1st game, lose 3-1

Baseball Record

1927 Yankees slugger Babe Ruth hits #1 of MLB record season 60 HRs tees off on A's Howard Ehmke in 1st inning of New York's 6-3 win over Philadelphia


African American Civil War Memorial

This beautiful museum opened in 1999 to commemorate the African-American troops who fought in the Civil War. The museum has videos, clothing displays, photographs, and weapons used during the war on display. Visitors interested in tracing their lineage back to the civil war can bring along a family tree for help with finding how they might be connected to the soldiers who fought. Once you&aposve paid your respects, go a few blocks northwest to Ben&aposs Chili Bowl [3] which has some of the best chili in the area and a history of celebrity visitors including Chris Tucker.


The Columbia Restaurant- A Florida Tradition Since 1905.

  • Named One of America&rsquos Most Historic Restaurants by USA Today.
  • Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRoNA) Award of Excellence
  • Golden Spoon: One of the Top 25 Restaurants in Florida&ndash Florida Trend
  • Best of Award of Excellence for Spectacular Wine List Selection&ndash Wine Spectator
  • "If you cherish your palate, visit the Columbia.&rdquo&ndash Southern Living
  • &ldquoThe Cuban sandwiches are melty masterpieces, the 񟫡' Salad, a citywide obsession.&rdquo&ndash &ldquoEvery Day with Rachael Ray&rdquo
  • All-American Icon and Fine Dining Hall of Fame &ndashNation&rsquos Restaurant News
  • Florida&rsquos Oldest Restaurant ℠ and Largest Spanish Restaurant in the World &ndashFlorida House Resolution 9013
  • Our Favorite Romantic Restaurant &ndashSouthern Living

About This Location

The Hernandez Gonzmart family opened this landmark Columbia Restaurant in Tampa's historic Ybor City in 1905. Today, it&rsquos Florida&rsquos Oldest Restaurant SM and the world's largest Spanish restaurant.

Fourth and fifth generation family members work hard to preserve the family legacy that Casimiro Hernandez, Sr. created more than 115 years ago when he opened the Columbia as a corner cafe frequented by local cigar workers. Join the celebrities, tourists and locals who flock to the Columbia and make your next meal an experience to remember.

Our guests enjoy many of the same century-old family recipes that have made the Columbia world famous, entrees such as Paella "a la Valenciana," Red Snapper "Alicante,"Pompano en Papillot, Roast Pork "A la Cubana" and Filet Mignon "Chacho.&rdquo

Visit our store for unique gifts such as hand-painted Spanish ceramics plus &ldquo1905&rdquo salad dressing, Cuban and American roast coffee, hot sauce and Columbia seasoning.

Click here to learn more about hosting a group or catered event at this Ybor City Historic District location.


Restaurant industry in the U.S. - statistics & facts

In 2019, McDonald's was the leading restaurant chain in the United States and the most valuable quick-service restaurant brand worldwide. With an estimated brand value of approximately 129 billion U.S. dollars and annual sales of over 40 billion U.S. dollars, the global fast-food giant surpassed all other leading burger franchises, including Burger King and Wendy's. In terms of sales, the company also outperformed the most successful fine dining chains in the country. Overall, quick-service restaurants (QSR) have experienced steady revenue growth over the past few years following the ever-increasing consumer appetite for quick and affordable meals. Today, the number of QSR establishments stands at an all-time high, and while many locations had to close their doors at least temporarily in 2020, drive-thru and delivery infrastructures have enabled restaurants to resume operations during the pandemic.


A Journey Through The History Of American Food In 100 Bites

One of America's favorite bites: the hotdog. Here, a man and women enjoy the dogs at a California fair in 1905.

A Culinary History in 100 Bites

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Apple pie isn't American in the way people often mean. Every ingredient, from apples to butter to nutmeg and cinnamon, came from somewhere else.

But then, so do most Americans.

A new book traces the roots of American tastes from pemmican to Coca-Cola to what are now called "molecularly modified" foods. Libby O'Connell, the chief historian and a senior vice president for the History Channel and A&E networks, wrote The American Plate: A Culinary History in 100 Bites.

"My goal is to tell the story of American history through food," she tells Weekend Edition's Scott Simon. "Each food has a story of its own."

Pemmican, the fancy name for jerky, can be found in gas stations across America. But "it's an authentic food that is indigenous to the New World," says O'Connell. As a snack food, it's highly nourishing and drying was a great way to preserve food.

Macaroni also has colonial roots. We often think of Thomas Jefferson as a man who brought an elevated appreciation for food and wine to a young America. But he also popularized the favorite pasta of children everywhere.

"He brought in macaroni from his travels in Europe and liked to eat it with the cheese sauce," says O'Connell. There's also the famous song "Yankee Doodle Dandee" and the line: "Stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni."

As for shoofly pie, the classic Amish dessert, the name comes from the fact that "a fly could get stuck in it," she says. Made of molasses and flour and maybe a few nuts, the pie attracted flies particularly in the days before doors and windows had screens. Growing up in Pennsylvania, O'Connell remembers it being served in her lunchroom cafeteria.

An overarching theme in her book is how foreign foods came to be embraced by Americans. Once upon a time, spaghetti was a garlic-heavy Italian food, she says. "There was a time in the late 19th century, those intense Italian flavors were scoffed at by people who had arrived in the U.S. a generation before the Italians," she explains. "The distaste toward foreign foods from immigrant groups is a tradition in this country."

While the recipe for Coca-Cola has changed, the loopy font is still the same as it was in this ad from 1939. Says O'Connell: "The original Coca-Cola script that you see . a friend of [the pharmacist who invented it] designed that script and the Coca-Cola company still uses it." Courtesy of Sourcebooks hide caption

While the recipe for Coca-Cola has changed, the loopy font is still the same as it was in this ad from 1939. Says O'Connell: "The original Coca-Cola script that you see . a friend of [the pharmacist who invented it] designed that script and the Coca-Cola company still uses it."

Within a generation, Americans started saying Italian food was great. However, the big meatballs being served in the U.S. were not actually Italian — they didn't have the same meat.

Salsa has also come a long way — it's been one of the most popular condiments in America since 1992. "It's fascinating that salsa outsells ketchup until you realize two things . the families that are buying salsa are the same families that are buying ketchup . and secondly think of how you consume ketchup." It might be a dollop on a hamburger, compared to piling salsa all over your tacos or chips.

But overall, O'Connell believes Americans are really open to new food. "Our stomachs are, I think, more open to the world, to different cultures, than almost any place," she says.

O'Connell also covers a wide range of meats in her book including scrapple, a culinary rag-bag of scraps, cornmeal, sage and pepper. "The Pennsylvania Dutch put a lot of ground pepper in it," O'Connell says, who remembers eating it once or twice with plenty of maple syrup.

One of O'Connell's most amusing stories features Sylvester Graham, an ordained Presbyterian minister who thought America was full of sin. If everyone ate whole grains and became vegetarians, they would become more peaceful and less lustful, he claimed. Therefore he created the popular Graham cracker. (The Graham cracker we have today has much more sugar than the original.)

Coca-Cola was originally intended "to be particularly healthy for you if you had an addiction problem," says O'Connell. Invented by a pharmacist who fought in the Civil War, the drink was made with cocaine and caffeine to help him get rid of his morphine addiction from his war wounds.