Today is Aug. 21

Published 12:59 am Saturday, August 21, 2021

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National Spumoni Day on August 21st celebrates a delicious frozen treat which hails from southern Italy.

Traditionally, three molded layers of flavored gelato create a unique dessert. The creamy creation often includes candied fruits and nuts in two layers and with a third chocolate layer.

According to a Chicago Tribune article from July 4, 1979, a “genuine spumoni” recipe was brought to the United States from Nola, Italy in 1905. Salvatore Lezza started a bakery in Chicago along with his wife, Lucia. Their traditional recipe called for three layers of semifreddo – an almond layer, semisweet chocolate, and stracciatella. Stracciatella is a type of gelato with irregular bits of chocolate in it.

However, around the United States, most spumoni will include a cherry layer with cherry bits, a layer of pistachio ice cream, and a layer of chocolate. Other varieties include hazelnut, vanilla, strawberry, pineapple, just to name a few.

Serve spumoni sliced and you will highlight its beautiful layers. It’s also considered the traditional way to serve the ice cream dessert.  However, the ice cream lends itself to being scooped, too. When first seeing spumoni, it looks a lot like Neapolitan. Minus the added fruits and nuts, the two ice creams are very similar. In fact, spumoni inspired the Neapolitan. It also inspired cakes, cookies, and other recipes as well.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalSpumoniDay

Many ice cream parlors offer their own version of spumoni. Order up a slice! Or, try making your own. Enjoy this Spumoni recipe and try it with this Italian Spumoni Cupcake recipe. You can also share your own recipes or memories.  While you’re at it, be sure to invite someone to enjoy a slice with you!

While you’re celebrating, be sure to use #NationalSpumoniDay to post on social media.

August 21st Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History


John Hampton receives patent No. US2223 for improvements to the Venitian Blind.


Lawyers from across the country gather in Saratoga, NY to form the American Bar Association. The national association was the first of its kind in the United States.


The Telephone Company Ltd. opens in London. The exchange is the first in Europe.


Burroughs’ invention of the adding machine made the life of merchants and accountants easier.


The carmaker, Ransom Eli Olds founds Olds Motors Works in Lansing, MI. The first car the company produced was the curved-dash Oldsmobile.


A former employee of the Louvre steals the Mona Lisa. Italian, Vincenzo Peruggia, was a glazier at the museum. He absconded with the masterpiece by Leonardo Di Vinci after cutting it from its frame and hiding the artwork under his clothes. Two years later, he would be captured after trying to sell the painting. Despite protests from Italians, the artwork was recovered and returned to the museum.


Disney released the animated film, Bambi.


The first Little League World Series begins in Williamsport, PA. Williamsport wins the championship over Lock Haven a few days later.


Hawaii becomes the 50th state to join the Union. At the age of 16, Robert Heft designed the current 50-star flag as part of a class project to include the 49th and 50th states. Upon completion, Heft sent the flag to Ohio congressman, Rep. Walter Moeller to submit the design for consideration. Congress chose Heft’s design because he submitted the only sewn design.


Patent No. 3,050,404 is issued to Edwin Traisman for a “method for preparing frozen French fried potatoes.” The patent, submitted by a McDonald’s franchisee, also includes other frozen starchy vegetables.


Lionsgate releases Dirty Dancing in the United States. It starred Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey.


The U.S. soccer team beats Brazil for the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics. Carli Lloyd scores the winning shot in the 1-0 match in extra time.


North America watches the only total solar eclipse in the 21st century to be viewable across Mexico, the United States, and Canada.


Nigeria makes great strides toward eliminating polio from its country when it goes three years without a case.

August 21st Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays

William Murdock – 1754

The Scottish inventor pursued improvements in the steam engine and was the first to use coal gas as a safe illumination.

William Kelly – 1811

On the cusp of the industrial age, Kelly is one ironmaster who developed the pneumatic process of steelmaking.

Claude Grahame White – 1879

The daring English pilot is known for completing the first night flight. He also won numerous races and competitions.

George Bugs Moran – 1893

The Chicago gangster and bootlegger escaped death during the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

Lili Marie Juliette Olga Boulanger – 1893

As an accomplished French composer, Boulanger became the first woman to win the Prix de Rome competition prize.

Theresa Weld Blanchard – 1893

The U.S. figure skater won a bronze medal in the singles competition at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics. She was also a competitive pairs skater.

Friz Freleng – 1906

The American artist began his career in animation at the age of 17. He would go on to work for Disney Studios and Warner Brothers.

Toe Blake – 1912

As a Canadian left-wing, Toe played and coached ice hockey for the Montreal Canadiens.

Jack Buck – 1924

The Major League Baseball announcer was known as the Voice of the Cardinals. In 1987, he was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987.

Judy Grable – 1925

Better known as Judy Grable, the professional wrestler earned two American Women’s Wrestling championships. She was also inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame in 2017.

Art Farmer & Addison Farmer – 1928

The identical twin brothers both entered into music, Art as a trumpeter and flugelhorn player and Addison as a double bassist. Their jazz careers took them around the world.

Janet Baker – 1933

The mezzo-soprano singer gained recognition in the 1950s for her quality performances in opera, concert, and lieder (similar to chamber performances) music.

Wilt Chamberlain – 1936

During his professional basketball career, the 7″1′ center led in nearly every scoring stat and rebounds. His phenomenal skill first landed him with the Harlem Globe Trotters and an extensive NBA career with Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers.

Kenny Rogers – 1938

The country music singer was known for his crossover hit songs such as “The Gambler” and “Islands in the Stream.” He also appeared in film and television. In 2013, he was elected to the County Music Hall of Fame.

Margo Kane – 1951

Margo Kane is a solo-voice performer and the founder of Full Circle: First Nations Performance. As an actress, she has also performed in films such as Poltergeist: The Legacy and DreamKeeper.

Lance Earl Deal – 1961

The track and field athlete earned silver in the 1992 Atlanta Olympics in the hammer throw competition.

Stephen Hillenburg – 1961

Best known as the creator of the Nickelodeon animated series, SpongeBob SquarePants, Hillenburg was also a marine biologist.

Sergey Brin – 1973

Along with Larry Page, Brin co-founded Google.

Usain Bolt – 1986

The nine-time Olympic gold medalist from Jamaica is considered the world’s greatest sprinter.

Hayden Panettiere – 1989

Panettiere began her acting career in the soap opera One Life to Live and later gained attention for her roles in the television shows Heroes and Nashville.