Monday, March 26, 2012

Now THAT Was A Party...!

It's nice to find out that some of our founding fathers really knew how to enjoy themselves.

It wasn't often, but it seems that they could turn any event into a big party. Got a little wild, I'll bet! Here is a piece of how one such party got it's start!

Mar 26, 1804:
Jefferson presented with a "mammoth loaf" of bread

On this day in 1804, President Thomas Jefferson attends a public party at the Senate and leads a diverse crowd in consuming an enormous loaf of bread dubbed the mammoth loaf. The giant bread was baked to go with the remnants of an enormous block of cheese.

Two years earlier, a group of Baptist women from Massachusetts had sent Jefferson a 1,200- pound hunk of cheese in gratitude for his support of religious tolerance. The cheese, they said, illustrated Jefferson's claim that North America's superior natural resources would one day enable the U.S. to outstrip all of Europe in agricultural production.

Early Americans' use of the descriptive term mammoth arose from the discovery of a giant woolly mammoth skeleton in New York in 1801. Jefferson, fascinated with the natural sciences, was a member of the American Philosophical Society and helped the organization raise funds to complete the archaeological project. Jefferson's Federalist opponents ridiculed the president's scientific side projects as frivolous. In an attempt to embarrass the president, they dubbed the giant dairy product the mammoth cheese. To the Federalists' surprise and disappointment, the general populace embraced the term with nationalistic zeal. Almost immediately, butcher shops and markets advertised mammoth-size products from sides of veal to pumpkins and loaves of bread.

The unveiling of the mammoth loaf occurred at a Senate-sponsored March 26 party to rally support for a naval war against the Barbary States. At noon, a Navy baker wheeled in the mammoth loaf along with the remnants of the Baptist women's mammoth cheese, an equally enormous side of roast beef and copious amounts of alcohol. President Jefferson stepped up, pulled out his pocketknife and cut the first slice of bread. According to written observations, the party quickly degenerated into a noisy, drunken affair.

You know one of the coolest things about this story? How about the fact that "President Jefferson stepped up, pulled out his pocketknife and cut the first slice of bread." Imagine That! The president of the United States carrying a pocket knife! Bet that wouldn't happen in this day and age.

How about some fresh coffee on the patio this morning? Looks like planting time to me!

11 comments:

Ben in Texas said...

So, does that event go down in history as the first President to actually cut the cheese in public? :-)

Sixbears said...

You mean adult men go around in this day and age without a pocket knife? Guess there was no TSA back then.

I get a kick how it turned into a drunken affair.

Momlady said...

That's one bit of history you'll never see in any school book.

linda m said...

This is the kind of stuff they should teach in school.

edifice rex said...

That's a great story!! I love how you find these things.

JOJO said...

Now that is a party. :0
Coffee on the patio sounds great. The weather is wonderful.Pass the pot please.

HermitJim said...

Hey Ben...
Probably the first time anyone admitted it!

Guess they just wanted to keep it a secret by not talking about it!

Thanks, buddy, for coming by today!



Hey Sixbears...
Hard to believe, isn't it?

They were fortunate enough NOT to have the TSA folks back then. First time one of those jokers would try and grope a man like they do today, there would have been one less agent, I'm thinking!

Thanks for dropping by today!



Hey Momlady...
Reckon they don't deem it important enough to tell us that, back then, politicians were almost on the same par as the working folks!

Hey, thanks for coming over today!



Hey Linda...
You're right! They should teach it and make history just a little more interesting...but we all know it wouldn't be considered in line with the P.C. rules of today!

Thanks so much for coming over today!



Hey Anne...
I'll keep on finding this stuff as long as folks enjoy reading it. Glad you enjoyed it, my friend!

Thanks for the visit today!



Hey JoJo...
Guess those good ol' boys back then had more of a sense of humor than these guys today!

Glad you are still having good weather there!

Thanks, sweetie, for dropping in today!

BBC said...

I always pack a pocket knife, but I show up at knife fights with a gun.

For a good party invite Andrew Jackson.

HermitJim said...

Hey BBC...
Often the best defense is a good office, so showing up with a gun might just be a good idea!

Thanks for taking the time to come by today!

Gorges Smythe said...

Ya reckon TSA would let King Barrack on Air Force One with a pocket knife? Oh, that's right, politicians don't have to live by the same rules that we do!

HermitJim said...

Hey Gorges...
I think some of these big boys just make up the rules as they go! Certainly don't follow the rules we are supposed to!

I'm not sure he would know what to do with one if he had it!

Thanks, my friend, for coming over today!