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Beans in History
They've BEAN around forever
The love of jelly beans may go back to the dawn of civilization, according to leading
Recent scientific studies of prehistoric paintings discovered on the walls of a
cave near present-day Lascaux, France, suggest that jelly beans may have been enjoyed in social
gatherings as early as 23,000 BC. After a careful reexamination of the murals, anthropologists now
believe that the art was actually the work of late night revelers at a bean tasting party -
prehistoric graffiti, if you will - possibly scribbled on the walls after a fine dinner of Wooly
Mammoth au vin or Escargot Pie.
Earlier theories suggested that these ancient illustrations of animals and hunting parties were
instructional or religious in nature. One view even held that the chilly cave was used as a sort of
butcher shop or meat market and that the paintings indicated what was available to the customers.
But none of these theories had adequately explained the well-defined jelly beans depicted on the
ceiling of the third chamber of the cave, about 24 inches west of the flying saucer drawing.
Proving any of this is nearly impossible, of course, but the more recent history of the jelly bean
is better documented and deserves a look before you rush on to other topics.
Village of Beanzantium established on fertile,
bean-growing shore of the Bosporus.
Constantine moves capital of declining Roman Empire to
Beanzantium and renames the city Constantinople. Thus begins the prosperous Beanzantine Empire,
known for its great art, architecture, and jellybeans.
Fall of Beanzantine Empire to the Turks who rename the
city, Istanbul, and open the world-famous Topkapi Museum, Duplicating Service, and Gift Shop.
Hans Holbean, the Younger, newly appointed court portrait
artist to Henry VIII, introduces Beanaissance painting to England.
Beany Prince Charlie lands in Scotland to lead an
invasion of England in an unsuccessful bid to reclaim the throne for the House of Stuart.
Beanjamin Franklin lobbies for Turkey to be named
official U.S. mascot for the winter games. The Turks are confused.
Napolean Beanoparte sets sail for vacation on island of
Meddybemps. The Emperial Yacht, blown off course, lands on St. Helena instead.
Rutherford Bean Hayes elected 19th President of the
Judge Roy Bean, ornery Texas saloonkeeper establishes the
"Law West of the Pecos".
Friar Sonny Beano, unhappy over Beanedictine Order's lack
of interest in Mendel's genetic research, founds the Flavorful Brothers.
Stephan Vincent Beanet awarded Pulitzer Prize for
narrative poem, John's Brown Bean.
Beanito "Ciao, Bambeano!" Mussolini imposes fascist rule
on Italy, makes name for himself by forcing trains to run on time, later moves on to big-time
Bean Jovi borrows themes from Albinoni, J.S. Bach, and
Handel for landmark Baroque-and-Roll concert tour.
Barack O'Beana sworn in as 44th President of the United
States, possibly the first bean in the Oval Office since Ronald Reagan kept some on his desk.
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Copyright 1995, 2009 Jerry Jindrich. All rights reserved.
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