In 1948, Marilyn Monroe was crowned the first Artichoke Queen of The Artichoke Festival in Castroville, CA! The festival is held in May every year and is ongoing.
A Greek myth evokes the lovely story that the first artichoke was a woman of surpassing beauty named Cynara with whom Zeus was enamored. Zeus decided to make her a goddess but Cynara so missed her home that she would sneak back to earth from Mount Olympus to visit her family. This infuriated Zeus, who exacted a rather awful retribution by turning her into the first artichoke.