Going beyond the sandwich
March 14 is Reuben Day in Omaha, Nebraska, celebrating the city as the birthplace of the corned beef (look, I'm no food writer, and I prefer pastrami, but when I think of Reuben, I think of corned beef) delight.
Did we, here at Alive, know that March 14 was the day set aside to honor the creation of the classic sandwich when the decision was made to put it on the cover today? Indeed, we did, or at least that's what we'd like you to believe.
But before there was the sandwich, there was a dude named Reuben, for whom the sandwich was named. You're free to believe the Omaha tale, in which Jewish-Lithuanian immigrant Reuben Kulakofsky is the namesake of the sandwich, first served at the Blackstone Hotel, where Kulakofsky and some friends held a weekly poker game; or the New York version, which credits famed deli owner Arnold Reuben, of Jewish-German heritage, with creating the concoction. The point is, here's a list of some more people named Reuben/Ruben/Rubens.
Here's your Ohio history lesson for today. Wood was the 21st Governor of the State of Ohio, serving from 1850-1853. His first term was cut short by the implementation of a new state Constitution, but he was re-elected in 1851, only to resign in 1853 to take a diplomatic post in Chile. A native of Vermont, he moved to the tiny (population 600) village of Cleveland as a young adult.
Ruben Castilla Herrera
And a Columbus civics lesson for you. Castilla Herrera is also not originally from Ohio, but has made a significant impact in the 20 or so years he's called the Columbus area home. The second-generation Mexican-American is an advocate, organizer, civil rights champion and speaker.
Before we get out of Ohio, here's a nod to this one-time Browns running back. He had legal troubles in his two seasons in Cleveland, which pretty well diminishes the fact that he rushed for 1,000 yards as a Brown.
Another Ruben from the world of sports, Olivares was a fanatically beloved Mexican boxer in the 1960s and '70s. The Mexico City native and International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee is still considered by many as the greatest ever bantamweight champion.
A post-Revolutionary War sailor with the U.S. Navy, James is remembered for his heroic acts during the First Barbary War — although the account of his actions may not be historically accurate. Nonetheless, the Navy has named three warships after him.
You were wondering how long it would take to get to the second season winner of American Idol, right?
The Panama-born musician/actor/activist rose to prominence at the forefront of the world music movement in the 1980s, winning eight Grammys. Younger readers may recognize him better as Daniel from Fear the Walking Dead.
As a college student, I watched plenty of Pee-wee's Playhouse. The films hold up, for me, as well.
Peter Paul Rubens
The 17th-century Flemish painter is a master, his Baroque-styled paintings of historical events, Biblical scenes and well-placed members of society landing him among the titans of art history. He was a notable diplomat, as well.