Daily Bread for 3.6.16 – 2017

Good morning, Whitewater.

Sunday in town will be partly cloudy with a high of forty-nine. Sunrise is 6:19 and sunset 5:51, for 11h 32m 11s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 8.7% of its visible disk illuminated.

Friday’s FW poll asked whether readers favored or disfavored the idea of a beer spa. Most respondents liked the idea (64.71% liked it; 34.29% disfavored it).

On the day in 1899, Bayer patents aspirin:

…the Imperial Patent Office in Berlin registers Aspirin, the brand name for acetylsalicylic acid, on behalf of the German pharmaceutical company Friedrich Bayer & Co.

Now the most common drug in household medicine cabinets, acetylsalicylic acid was originally made from a chemical found in the bark of willow trees. In its primitive form, the active ingredient, salicin, was used for centuries in folk medicine, beginning in ancient Greece when Hippocrates used it to relieve pain and fever. Known to doctors since the mid-19thcentury, it was used sparingly due to its unpleasant taste and tendency to damage the stomach.

In 1897, Bayer employee Felix Hoffman found a way to create a stable form of the drug that was easier and more pleasant to take. (Some evidence shows that Hoffman’s work was really done by a Jewish chemist, Arthur Eichengrun, whose contributions were covered up during the Nazi era.) After obtaining the patent rights, Bayer began distributing aspirin in powder form to physicians to give to their patients one gram at a time. The brand name came from “a” for acetyl, “spir” from the spirea plant (a source of salicin) and the suffix “in,” commonly used for medications. It quickly became the number-one drug worldwide.

On this day in 1862, the 4th Wisconsin to the Deep South:

1862 – The 4th Wisconsin Cavalry Heads South

On this date, the 4th Wisconsin Cavalry (then an infantry unit) embarked to join the “Army of the Gulf.” It arrived below New Orleans on March 12, 1862, and landed in New Orleans on May 1. The 4th was at once assigned to active service and joined an expedition up the Mississippi River against Vicksburg in May. By June they occupied Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The troops there were employed in several successful expeditions during that winter, and remained in the area through most of the war. In June of 1862, its commander was punished for refusing to return escaping slaves to their masters (more information on this event is at Turning Points in Wisconsin History). In 1863 the unit was equipped as a Cavalry Regiment; it returned to Wisconsin in 1866. Read more about it in Charles Estabrook’s guide to Wisconsin in the Civil War.

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