ca 360 B.C.
Greek orator-in-training Demosthenes overcomes a stammer by learning to speak with pebbles in his mouth.
ca 50 B.C.
Cleopatra and her subjects enhance their beauty by painting their eyelids with kohl.
ca 100 A.D.
Indian sage Vatsyayana writes the Kama Sutra, conceivably the first how-to manual for lovemaking.
Ponce de Leon discovers Florida while searching for the fountain of youth — which he never finds.
Levi Hutchins of Concord, N.H., invents the alarm clock, making it possible to get up even earlier in the morning and go out running.
The U.S.’ first exercise book is published: Gymnastics for Youth.
Saccharin is discovered.
The world’s first home-study courses are licensed — for theology — in Chautauqua, N.Y.
The ice-cream sundae is invented, necessitating the diet industry.
Jas Ravenol, a German company, markets the first bathroom scale, turning powdering your nose into a guilt trip.
Charles Atlas, ”America’s Most Perfectly Developed Man,” launches his mail-order bodybuilding course.
The first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous is called in Akron, Ohio. Total attendance: two.
Also in 1935, Sylvia Porter writes her first column for the New York Post, thus blazing the trail for personal-finance journalism.
Dale Carnegie publishes How to Win Friends and Influence People.
The first Jack LaLanne Show is broadcast on TV.
Queens, N.Y., housewife Jean Nidetch starts Weight Watchers.
British medical biologist Alex Comfort publishes The Joy of Sex.
The first Great American Smokeout lets Americans breathe easier.
Future murder victim Dr. Herman Tarnower publishes his best-seller, The Scarsdale Diet.
Dr. Ruth’s radio show, Sexually Speaking, debuts.
Jane Fonda’s Workout hits the stores and Martha Stewart publishes Entertaining, making party-giving a competitive sport.
Ivana Trump makes herself over by abandoning an unhappy marriage, getting a new hairdo, and planning both a line of cosmetics and novels bearing her name.