On this date 85 years ago, country music and radio joined together to create one of the most successful pop culture forces in entertainment history. The occasion was the first broadcast of the “Grand Ole Opry” on WSM in Nashville, Tennessee. At the time, some of Nashville’s civic leaders worried that the show’s sound would project the wrong image for the city, which, of course, long ago became the nation’s capital of country music, and remains so to this day. There are more than 1,700 sound recording studios across the U.S., and they generate over $853 million in revenue each year. You can find current data on the country’s economy by downloading the new “America’s Economy” mobile application at <www.census.gov/mobile>.
Sunday, December 9th. One of the universal conveniences of modern life was developed by a man who was born on this date in 1886. Clarence Birdseye was on a scientific expedition to Labrador in the early part of the 20th century when he noticed that freshly caught fish froze solid almost immediately when exposed to ice, wind and low temperature. But when thawed and eaten, the fish still tasted fresh. Birdseye went on to develop a system of flash-freezing meat, fish, and vegetables under high pressure. The first retail frozen food went on sale in 1930, and by 1944, refrigerated railroad boxcars allowed frozen foods to be distributed across the nation. Today, frozen food is a $25 billion a year industry in the U.S. Profile America is in its 16th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.
Saturday, December 8th. At this time of year, there are dozens of holiday parades all across the nation, especially on weekends. One of those held today will be in Hollywood Beach, Florida. The 57th annual Candy Cane Parade will draw some 30,000 spectators to see the event, featuring 100 floats and marching units on the city’s boardwalk. Many of the marchers and those on the floats will be in costume. No telling how many Santa Claus suits will be seen. Across the country, there are 2,700 firms that rent formal wear and costumes and they generate revenue of just over $1billion a year. You can find current data on the country’s economy by downloading the new “America’s Economy” mobile application at <www.census.gov/mobile>.