31 years ago today, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream announced a new ice cream flavor—Cherry Garcia. Inspired by the Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia, the taste-and-name combo was suggested by Jane Williamson, a fan in Maine who sent a postcard to the store’s Vermont headquarters. Featuring cherry ice cream with whole bing cherries with fudge flakes, it became the most famous of the company’s fan-suggested flavors. Jane was found and contacted… (1987)

She was invited to a shareholders’ meeting as the guest of honor and received a standing ovation along with a year’s supply of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Addressing shareholders, she said, “I can’t think of a better company I would like to have sponsor something I thought of.”

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Galileo Galilei, the Father of Science who invented the telescope and the thermometer, was born in Pisa, Italy–the same birth year as Shakespeare (1564)
  • A ban was lifted on female attorneys arguing cases in the U.S. Supreme Court (1879)
  • The first teddy bear was introduced in America (1903)
  • The official flag of Canada debuted as a stylized, 11-pointed, red maple leaf, designed by the Canadian historian, author, soldier, teacher and public servant, George Stanley (1965)
  • The Soviet Union announced that the last of its troops had left Afghanistan nine years after their invasion (1989)
  • Race car driver Dale Earnhardt won the Daytona 500 after 20 years of disappointment (1998)
  • Between 8-30 million people marched in 600 cities worldwide to protest the Iraq war, making it the largest peace demonstration in history (2003)

And, on this day in 1946, the U.S. government’s first all-purpose computer—ENIAC—was unveiled.

ENIAC at Univ of Penn

The Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer was digital and programmable, and therefore one thousand times faster than that of electro-mechanical machines of the day. Funded by the United States Army, newspapers called it a “Giant Brain”. Roughly 8×3×100 feet in size (2.4m×0.9m×30m) and weighing more than 27 tons, the ENIAC resides at the University of Pennsylvania. It contained 17,468 vacuum tubes, 7200 crystal diodes, 1500 relays, 70,000 resistors, 10,000 capacitors and approximately 5,000,000 hand-soldered joints. (Click to enlarge the GNU licensed image)

Jane Seymour 2015

And, Happy Birthday to Jane Seymour, the British actress who became known as TV’s Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. She was made a member of the Order of the British Empire in 2000. (1951)

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