Francis Bacon, scientist and essayist, died April 9, 1626 of pneumonia. He caught his death while testing his hypothesis that a chicken could be preserved with ice. The chicken was already dead; a recent snowfall provided the ice.
Although April snowstorms are now rare in southern England, Bacon paved the way for the lonely Maytag repairman during the Little Ice Age. Winters were colder in northern Europe during this period, which lasted from the 16th to the mid 19th century.
I'm a huge Francis Bacon fan because he developed the scientific method. I learned in a writing class that he was also an essayist. The instructor was surprised that Bacon had street cred as a scientist. I admire him even more now and aspire to combine science and writing as well as he did.
If you're either a scientist or a writer, join me next year on April 9, 2012 for Bacon Chicken Day. I've put it on my calendar so that I'll remember in time to plan something next year.