Buffalo Soldiers Day
In 1992 the U.S. Congress passed a law designating July 28 as Buffalo Soldiers Day in the United States. This day commemorates the formation on that date in 1866 of the first regular Army regiments comprising African-American soldiers.
African-American soldiers fought for the Union during the Civil War. But it was not until after the war that permanent all-black regiments were established, maintaining the U.S. armed forces policy of segregation. The African-American regiments were deployed in the southwest and in the plains states to serve U.S. interests against Native American tribes, to protect important shipments, and to construct roads and trails. A longstanding debate ranges around the origin of the term "Buffalo Soldier," with some maintaining that the nickname reflected the toughness of the soldiers and others claiming that it was a disparaging racial term used by Native Americans to describe the dark-skinned soldiers they met in battle. The segregated regiments served in the Spanish-American War, World War II, and other conflicts, before being disbanded during the 1940s and 1950s as the U.S. armed forces embraced integration.
Since 1992, Buffalo Soldier Commemorations have been held throughout the country and typically include reenactments, museum displays, educational forums, prayer services, and dedication or groundbreaking ceremonies for sculptural or other permanent memorials. A monument to the Buffalo Soldiers was dedicated at Fort Leavenworth, Kans., on the first Buffalo Soldiers Day in 1992 by General Colin Powell, who had originated the idea of a memorial to the black soldiers when he was stationed at the fort. Ceremonies and reenactments honoring the Buffalo Soldiers are not limited to July 28, however. Communities throughout the United States present special programs designed to educate audiences about the history of the Buffalo Soldiers throughout the year, particularly during Black History Month in February and on such patriotic holidays as Memorial Day and Veterans Day, with displays of memorabilia and speeches recounting the accomplishments of the troops.
National Milk Chocolate Day
July 28 is National Milk Chocolate Day, meaning you have the perfect excuse to indulge that chocolate hankering over the weekend. Not that most Americans even need a reason — according to a recent study nearly half of Americans nibble on a chocolate treat every day.
Daniel Peter was born in the village of Moudon, located in the Canton of Vaud, in beautiful, mountainous Switzerland in 1836. Peter attended school and graduated there. At the age of 19, his professor of Latin became sick and the local Board of Education asked Daniel to instruct the Latin class. As one can imagine, this was a difficult task for him as he had to teach students who were only one or two years his junior; nevertheless, he gave a good account of himself and his record is good on this score.
During the summer of 1852, Peter worked in the local food store of the widow, Madame Clement, who also owned a candle-making factory for the locality. The conscientious, dedicated working qualities of Daniel Peter were first evidenced here and he gained the esteem of Madame Clement. Four years later, Daniel and his brother, Julien, operated the candle-making factory while Madame Clement retained its control. The two brothers developed and improved the candles, which at that time in history were the only light source, and they sold well locally. In fact, the demand was such that the factory required a larger working space, and the brothers purchased a building at 19 Rue des Bosquets, in Vevey, Switzerland.
The purchase of this building was made from the estate of Francois Louis Cailler. It was through Madame Clement that the young Daniel Peter was introduced to the Cailler family and through them, he met Fanny Cailler, the eldest daughter of the family, whom he married on October 1, 1863.
In the United States, a Colonel Drake of Pennsylvania had discovered oil in that state in 1859 and subsequently, kerosene was introduced in Switzerland about 1864 or 1865 which greatly affected the candle-making business of Daniel and Julien Peter. Daniel realized that the earnings from the candle-making business would not suffice for both brothers n ow, so he proposed to his brother-in-law, August Cailler, an association for the manufacture of chocolate, however, this did not take place. It appeared to Daniel that the chocolate business had received such a favorable public reaction that it would soon overcome the Caillers' capacity to produce the product. It was for this reason that Daniel decided to go into business on his own. Peter was a very determined young man and he realized that in going on his own in this business, he would be a competitor to his wife's family, however, his lovely Fanny gave him her full confidence and support.
Julien Peter remained in the candle-making business and used only a part of the building originally established for this purpose. Daniel Peter installed his chocolate business in the remainder of the space. It is interesting to note that sometime during this period, Daniel Peter, in order to know as much about the chocolate business as he could, worked as an employee of a chocolate factory in Lyon, France, for a few weeks. He spent his time in the evenings and on Sundays documenting the technical questions raised in the manufacture of chocolate in order to know the mechanics and chemistry of the business. He also studied the cocoa harvest and transportation of the basic cocoa ingredients from the tropics.
Within a few years, Daniel Peter had formed a strong friendship with his neighbor, Henry Nestle, who had settled in Vevey, Switzerland, about 1843. Nestle had developed a process to make baby food in which he used what was then called a "milky flour." It was at this point in his life that Daniel Peter asked himself the question, "Why not try to make a chocolate containing milk?" This idea stayed with the young Daniel Peter to the point of becoming an obsession with him. He further realized that in order to stay in the chocolate market, already principally controlled by Caliller, Suchard, Kohler, and others, he must produce a new product that would become pleasing and desired by the consumer.
Peter said of this period in his life:
"It did not take me long to convince myself that if I wanted to place myself and my product within the already existing factories, I must try for a specialty. Therefore, it appeared that if I could unite the milk and the chocolate in a state which would assure conservation and satisfactory transportation, I would make useful work for many, while being sure at the same time that the ownership of this industry would be difficult to exploit by anyone."
In 1869, Julien Peter died, leaving Daniel in charge of both businesses and still carrying on the major problems of research associated with the manufacture of milk chocolate. Daniel Peter, therefore, gave up the candle-making business at this point and devoted every waking hour to the manufacture of milk chocolate.
At this time, Peter's personnel consisted of one employee and his wife. He manufactured his chocolate products in the daytime and did his office work and research in the evenings and often late into the night. He obtained a stable product, composed of cocoa, sugar and milk that was unlike the milk-flour in baby food used by Nestle. Wheat flour, as used by Nestle, has little if any fatty body, while cocoa contains, depending upon its source and the degree of maturity of the harvested bean, from 45% to 55% of fatty matter.
As was well know to most persons interested in the product at the time, water ad fat do not mix. Not only is the mixture unstable, but the fatty product is simply not suitable to work with. Therefore, it remained that a certain percentage of the fat had to be extracted from the cocoa bean. This process was known and was relatively simple. It was also important to dehydrate, at least partially, as much as possible of the water content - 87% to 89% from the milk. The equipment for this operation was complex and complicated. It required various tools and machines which were relatively costly and quite difficult to obtain in those days. In fact, such an installation represents in itself an industry which should be and would become integrated into the making of milk chocolate. Unfortunately, Daniel Peter was not in a position to acquire this equipment.
In persistently seeking the process for a more economical manufacture of the baby food, Daniel Peter started his laboratory work by evaporating the milk itself in the free air, which was a time consuming process and required constant surveillance and attention. By mixing first sugar with the milk, the evaporation was aided, but it was hard to determine the te proportions of each product. As it was simply not enough to merely taste a finished product, weeks led to months in the checking of each individual test. Peter conducted many tests, all of which were quite expensive and none of which produced the desired results.
Speaking of his early tests, Peter expressed himself at the dedication of the Orbe factory on the send day of February, 1901:
"My first tests did not give or produce the milk chocolate as we know it today. Much work took place and after having found the proper mixture of cocoa and milk - a mixture I was told was impossible to obtain - my tests, I thought, were successful. I was happy, but a few weeks later, as I examined the contents, an odor of bad cheese or rancid butter came to my nose. I was desperate, but what was I do do? go back and try a different procedure? Being as it was, I did not lose courage, but I continued to work as long as circumstances allowed."
In 1873, Peter went to Guin, a canton of Fribourg, for the purpose of ordering a sugared condensed milk from the Anglo-Swiss there who had jut opened a branch of the Cham factory. Peter expressed himself to the director of that factory in this manner:
"This condensed milk is to be used in the fabrication of a new item, which I am certain we will require before too long in very large amounts. I anticipate, therefore, the ordering of large quantities in due time."
At this time, the American brothers, known as the Page brothers, had come to Cham, Switzerland, but they were not yet in competition with Henry Nestle since they only made condensed milk while Nestle was producing the "milky flour" for the baby food process. There was in fact, actually no competition with Peter's friend, Nestle.
The results of the tests, however, conducted by Daniel Peter toward the manufacture of milk chocolate did improve. Peter asked that his agents put his product for sale in cooler and dryer parts of the territory served by the factory. It is interesting to not that Daniel Peter sold a small quantity which he personally guaranteed to take back for refund should the merchandise prove unsatisfactory. It can here be seen that Daniel was optimistic, but unfortunately too much so.
The immediate produce was favorably received, but after a few weeks, Peter received the unsold merchandise back. It had become rancid and he received some unflattering commentaries from his outlets because of this. He recognized that the criticism was justified. It turned out that the milk from Guin was not sufficiently condensed and therefore Peter hesitated to order more until he had achieved his goal for milk chocolate. He needed to avail himself of a proper vacuum with other supporting equipment which he could not afford at that time.
Peter then equipped a small room which he called a "drying room" in which the product he made was transformed into flakes, spread out on trays, and exposed to a high temperature for further evaporation. This material was weighted before and after its exposure in order to determine the amount of evaporation. For Peter, the results were favorable. He was convinced that he was near his goal. He wished to confirm for himself these last results by getting all the moisture that he could out of the drying process. Finally, in 1875, Daniel Peter obtained his impossible victory. Through his hard work, he could not offer to his friendly dealers fro the Lac Leman region of Switzerland a milk chocolate of which the normal length of shelf life was assured.
Very quickly throughout this region of Western Europe, the Daniel Peter milk chocolate found favorable acceptance, and the demand far exceeded the supply, making it necessary for Daniel to increase his production. The big decision for Peter had now to be made. He obtained sufficient credit from Swiss bankers to install a small copper vacuum and the equipment for manufacture with a capacity of from 60 to 80 liter. Difficulties and worries were never spared Peter during those long, tiring years, and although he declared himself pleased with the results of all testing, he still wanted to improve upon the taste of his milk chocolate.
With tireless effort, Peter worked out the desired proportions, the choice of the best cocoas from all over the world, searching for a proper balance between bitterness in the choice of the cocoa, or an exaggerated sweetness from too much sugar. He sought guidance from all those who would help him, from people in the area, his family, friends, clients, and workers, asking their opinions during the testing period. Finally in 1887, Daniel Peter adopted the original formula for what was to become the first successful milk chocolate in the entire world. Peter called his product, "Gala" from the Greek, which means, "from the milk."
It should be noted by all that since the early 20th century, the countries of Europe have been producing milk chocolate of varying qualities. It should also be understood that the development of the process by Daniel Peter was created in the community of Vevey, with the Canton of Vaud, in Switzerland, and further pointed out that the first chocolate process, although not milk chocolate, was also created in Vevey, Switzerland, by Francois Louis Cailler, at the age of twenty-three, upon his return to that community from France and Italy in 1819.
In 1901, the Peter milk chocolate was introduced in the British Isles. That same year, the city of Vevey, Switzerland, was unable to supply sufficient milk nor a large enough labor force to meet the expansion of the Peter plant. Therefore, a second milk chocolate plant was built in Orbe, Switzerland, which is also located in the Canton of Vaud. In 1904, Daniel Peter merged his successful operation with Amedee Kohler Chocolate Company located in Echandens, about three miles from Lausonne and fifteen miles from Vevey, and traded under the firm's name of Societe Generale Suisse de Chocolat. Peter and Kohler sent a specialty team of four trained men with their families to be the general overseers of the company and to head various sections in the Fulton plant. Mr. G. Dentan was in charge of the treatment of the cocoa; Mr. Louis Michaud was in charge of the processing of the milk; Mr. Ernest Brechon was charged with the mixing and refining process for the manufacturer. Mr. Louis Ducret was responsible for conching and moulding. Mrs. Dentan was in charge of the wrapping and a Mrs. Gustave Ansermrt was the director of the entire process.
In 1904, an agreement as reached establishing that the Societe Generale Suisse de Chocolat would manufacture a new chocolate with less cocoa and more sugar, thereby creating a sweeter milk chocolate which would be produced by that firm under the name of Nestle, and that all of the chocolate products would be sold worldwide by the Nestle selling organization. In 1911, the descendants of the F. L. Cailler Company joined to form the now famous company name of Peter, Cailler, and Kohler, Swiss Chocolate Company. Finally, in 1929, this company and Nestle merged in what was then known as the Nestle Anglo-Swiss Corporation.
Daniel Peter, the inventor of milk chocolate for the entire world, died on November 4, 1919. At his funeral in Switzerland, he was highly eulogized for his work and his kind generosity towards the organization of cultural groups which are still active and befit all of the people of that country, and the region of Vevey, especially.
World Hepatitis Day
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that nearly 400 million people have chronic viral hepatitis worldwide and most of them do not know they are infected. More than 1 million people die each year from causes related to viral hepatitis, commonly cirrhosis and liver cancer.
The date of July 28th was chosen for World Hepatitis Day in honor of the birthday of Nobel Laureate Professor Baruch Samuel Blumberg, who discovered the hepatitis B virus.
Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus that can cause mild to severe illness but does not lead to chronic infection. Globally, there are an estimated 1.4 million cases of hepatitis A every year. The hepatitis A virus is spread by ingestion of contaminated food and water, or through direct contact with an infectious person.
Hepatitis A is a virus that is usually spread through food or water contaminated with fecal matter—even in microscopic amounts. This occurs most often in countries where Hepatitis A is common, especially where there is a lack of safe water and poor sanitation.
Although rare, foodborne outbreaks of Hepatitis A still occur in the United States. Contamination of food can happen at any point: growing, harvesting, processing, handling, and even after cooking. The best way to prevent getting infected with Hepatitis A is to get a safe, effective vaccine. In the United States, the Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for all children at age 1 and adults at risk of infection.
Hepatitis B is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus that can cause both acute and chronic disease. Globally, there are an estimated 240 million people living with chronic Hepatitis B. The hepatitis B virus is spread through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person.
The best way to prevent getting infected with Hepatitis B is to get vaccinated. In the United States, the Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all babies at birth and adults at risk of infection.
Hepatitis B is common in many areas across the world, especially Asian and African countries. Left untreated, up to 25 percent of people with hepatitis B develop serious liver problems such as cirrhosis and even liver cancer. The good news is that treatments are available that can help slow down or prevent liver damage.
CDC launched Know Hepatitis B,a national, multilingual campaign aiming to increase testing for Hepatitis B among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in 2013. An estimated 1 in 12 AAPI is living with hepatitis B, but most don't know they are infected. The campaign delivers culturally relevant messages in English, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese. The Know Hepatitis B campaign was created in partnership with Hep B United, a coalition of Asian community groups from around the country. Visit www.cdc.gov/knowhepatitisbfor more information.
Hepatitis C is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus that can cause both acute and chronic disease. Globally, there are an estimated 130–150 million people living with chronic Hepatitis C. The hepatitis C virus is a bloodborne virus. There is currently no vaccine for hepatitis C.
Unlike Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B, there is no vaccine available to prevent Hepatitis C. The best way to prevent Hepatitis C is by avoiding behaviors that can spread the disease, such as sharing needles or other equipment to prepare and inject cosmetic substances, drugs, or steroids.
In addition to recommending testing for anyone at risk for infection, CDC also recommends that everyone born from 1945-1965 get a blood test for hepatitis C. People born during these years are five times more likely to be infected and account for more than three out of every four Americans living with hepatitis C. CDC's national Know More Hepatitis campaign educates people born from 1945-1965 about the importance of getting tested.
People with Hepatitis C often have no symptoms and can live with the disease for decades without feeling sick. Even without symptoms, liver damage may be silently occurring. Fortunately, new treatments are available that can cure Hepatitis C.