May 8, 2021 – National Train Day | National Coconut Cream Pie Day

Travel Across The Continental United States Was Difficult Until Two Lines Became Connected.

Welcome to May 8th, 2021 on the National Day Calendar. Today we celebrate the things that connect us coast to coast and around the world. 

In 1863, travel between the East Coast and California was very difficult and took forever, so construction began on the Transcontinental Railroad. It took 6 years, but by the time it was completed, the country had a series of railroad tracks that ran the entire length of the continent. The line was built from both the east and the west, both sides moving ahead until they connected. That moment came in 1869 when the two lines met at Promontory Summit in Utah, a tiny town north of the Great Salt Lake. To commemorate the event, Senator Leland Stanford of California drove the final spike, made of gold into the rails. On National Train Day, we celebrate an invention that quite literally helped build a nation.

Tropical fruits were all the rage in the 1800s, as Americans and Europeans took great care to import bananas and pineapples.  But people scratched their heads over how to ship coconuts.  It was the French who decided to shred and dry the coconut meat for easier shipping from Ceylon, and voila, a new ingredient emerged.  From here it was a short hop, skip and a jump into delicious desserts such as custards and pies.  And anyone who enjoys this creamy confection, is likely to whip one up for any occasion. On National Coconut Cream Pie Day, we celebrate this exotic flavor that is now a part of our favorite recipes.

I’m Anna Devere and I’m Marlo Anderson.  Thanks for joining us as we Celebrate Every Day.

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