Today in 1926, America’s aunt made her debut on the airwaves.
And if you’re asking, how does the entire country have an aunt?
Well, you’ve heard of Uncle Sam, right?
On the radio, about a century ago, there was also an Aunt Sammy.
While some accounts say Uncle Sam the character was based on a real person, Aunt Sammy was 100 percent a character.
It was also never clear whether she was supposed to be Uncle Sam’s sister, or wife.
To add to the confusion, she was voiced by up to 30 different women in 30 different radio markets.
The idea was that if Aunt Sammy sounded like a local she’d draw in more listeners.
And that part was accurate: millions of people tuned in each weekday for her show, Housekeeper’s Chat.
The show was put together by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In the early days of radio, they realized they could reach huge numbers of people and give them useful information about food and nutrition.
So Aunt Sammy taught households with limited budgets to take the ingredients they could afford to buy and turn them into healthy and tasty meals.
At one point the show was getting so many recipe requests that it started printing recipe booklets and distributing them.
In fact, the very first Braille cookbook was Aunt Sammy’s Radio Recipes Revised.
The character lasted until 1934.
After that the show changed its name to Homemaker’s Chat and the host became anonymous.
But maybe the original show is due for a reboot ahead of its 100th birthday.
If you want to do an Aunt Sammy podcast, you’ve got some time to put it together.
Today in 78 BC – and yes, that’s over two millennia ago – a graffiti artist got to work.
It’s the oldest known graffiti in Pompeii, and it reads, quote “Gaius Pumidius Diphilus was here.”
History of Aunt Sammy and Her Recipes (Quaint Cooking)
Pompeii’s Graffiti and the Ancient Origins of Social Media (The Atlantic)
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