American History

Gentle readers, while this blog is not commercial (and this press release is), fun facts about ice cream are always welcome! Cowabunga Ice Cream company cites cool facts, fun figures and tasty trends about ice cream!

John Bull and his family at an ice cafe, 1815. Image @Newcastle University*

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month (July 17, 2011) as National Ice Cream Day.  “According to The International Ice Cream Association, the U.S. ice cream industry generates billions in annual sales and provides jobs for thousands of citizens,” notes Ellen Schack, founder and CEO of Cowabunga Ice Cream. “They report that about 9% of all the milk produced by U.S. dairy farmers is used to produce ice cream, contributing significantly to the economic well-being of the nation’s dairy industry.”

Did you know?…

  • Each American consumes a yearly average of 23.2 quarts of ice cream, ice milk, sherbet, ices and other commercially produced frozen dairy products.
  • The Northern Central states have the highest per capita consumption of ice cream at 41.7 quarts.
  • More ice cream is sold on Sunday than any other day of the week.
  • Ice cream and related frozen desserts are consumed by more than 90 percent of households in the United States. (Source: Mintel)
  • Ice cream consumption is highest during July and August.
  • In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day.
  • The most popular flavor of ice cream in the United States is vanilla (27.8%), followed by chocolate (14.3%), strawberry (3.3%), chocolate chip (3.3%) and butter pecan (2.8%). (Source: The NPD Group’s National Eating Trends In-Home Database)
  • Children ages two through 12, and adults age 45 plus, eat the most ice cream per person.
  • The average number of licks to polish off a single scoop ice cream cone is approximately 50.
  • The History of Ice Cream and the Cone:
    1. The true origin of ice cream is unknown, however reports of frozen desserts have been reported as far back as the second century B.C.
    2. The first official account of ice cream in America was recorded in 1700 from a letter written by a guest of Maryland Governor William Bladen.
    3. In 1812, Dolley Madison served a magnificent strawberry ice cream creation at President Madison’s second inaugural banquet at the White House.
    4. The first ice cream cone was produced in 1896 by Italo Marchiony. Marchinoy, who emigrated from Italy in the late 1800’s, invented his ice cream cone in New York City. Around the same time a similar creation, the cornucopia, was independently introduced at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.
    5. Stephen Sullivan of Sullivan, Missouri was one of the first independent operators in the ice cream cone business. In 1906, Sullivan served ice cream cones at the Modern Woodmen of America Frisco Log Rolling in Sullivan, Missouri.

Cowabunga ice cream

Sources: International Ice Cream Association, a constituent organization of the International Dairy Foods Association ( )

Post, courtesy of Cowabunga, which has recently has gone national through its online storefront at The firm originally operated at the Jersey Shore community.

More posts on the topic:


Searchlights on Health: A Guide to Purity and Physical Manhood, Advice to Maiden, Wife and Mother, Love, Courtship, and Marriage, 1920 provides a look at male and female relationships as viewed from the pseudo science of eugenics. Chapter titles include “The Beginning of Life” to “Dangerous Vices” to “Nocturnal Emissions”. Apparently eugenics was popular in the early 20th century, for the fronticepiece of this book boasts that 1,000,000 copies were sold. Sadly, the Nazis took this belief to its extreme, which led to massive human rights violations and human extermination.

This section of the book advises a couple on how to conceive beautiful children:

4. The Proper Time.—To obtain the best results, conception should take place only when both parties are in the best physical condition. If either parent is in any way indisposed at the time of conception the results will be seen in the health of the child. Many children brought in the world with diseases or other infirmities stamped upon their feeble frames show the indiscretion and ignorance of parents.

5. During Pregnancy.—During pregnancy the mother should take time for self improvement and cultivate an interest for admiring beautiful pictures or engravings which represent cheerful and beautiful figures. Secure a few good books illustrating art, with some fine representations of statues and other attractive pictures. The purchase of several illustrated an journals might answer the purpose.

6. What to Avoid.—Pregnant mothers should avoid thinking of ugly people, or those marked by any deformity or disease; avoid injury, fright and disease of any kind. Also avoid ungraceful position and awkward attitude, but cultivate grace and beauty in herself. Avoid difficulty with neighbors or other trouble.

Note these two rules for marriage:

6. Wasp Waists.—Marrying small waists is attended with consequences scarcely less disastrous than marrying rich and fashionable girls. An amply developed chest is a sure indication of a naturally vigorous constitution and a strong hold on life; while small waists indicate small and feeble vital organs, a delicate constitution, sickly offspring, and a short life. Beware of them, therefore, unless you wish your heart broken by the early death of your wife and children.

9. Do Not Marry a Man With a Low, Flat Head; for, however fascinating, genteel, polite, tender, plausible or winning he may be, you will repent the day of your espousal.

Images: Wikimedia Commons

Major Steve Hutchinson was killed by a roadside bomb May 10, 2009 outside Basra, just three months before he was supposed to return home to Scottsdale, Ariz. At 60, he was the oldest combat death in either conflict.

He was a decorated Vietnam vet with a doctorate in psychology. The father of two grown daughters, he had wanted to rejoin the military after the Sept. 11 attacks, but listened to his wife, who didn’t want him to go. After she died of cancer in 2006, Hutchison re-enlisted, with tours in Afghanistan and Iraq as an adviser to Iraqi forces.

Hutchison’s unit found Laia at just 1 month old in Basra. The local vet said he would have to euthanize the dog unless they adopted her as a mascot. As policy, soldiers are not supposed to adopt strays, and Hutchison defied orders to get rid of the dog, even moving her from base to base. – Laia’s Journey

Watch the video of the dog’s arrival in the U.S. at this link.

Major Steve Hutchinson probably returned to the States with less fanfare than his dog, Laia. The two Bush administrations were admonished for not allowing the press to photograph the coffins of fallen soldiers as they returned from our two most recent wars. This practice of censoring information was not new. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s wartime staff also controlled war time information that reached the American public. “Until September, 1943, government censors blocked the publication of all photographs showing dead American soldiers.” (History Matters)

In 2009, President Obama finally allowed photographs to be published of the coffins returning from war, (The Photo Dictionary). Out of all the wars in recent memory, the horrors and daily trauma that our soldiers face in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan seem to touch the American public the least. Through censorship and lack of news coverage, the war is truly “Over There” for Americans, and almost completely out of sight. To date, 5,456 soldiers have died. Not a huge number compared to past wars, but 5,456 men and women too many.

The above image of the flag raising at Iwo Jima during World War II is iconic, showing the heroic  moment of battle at its peak.   Three of the six soldiers who raised the flag while being fired upon – Strank, Block and Sousley – would die shortly after the photo was taken. Such images are inspirational and instill a sense of pride in the viewer. These men were/are clearly heros. Images like the civil war soldiers who died in Antietam (below) fill us with despair. During the war between the states, over 620, 000 soldiers were wounded or dead. Images of the battlefield dead were distributed uncensored. Many were too gruesome to contemplate or to put on this blog. There were no silent rules censoring these horrific images, and one can imagine the despair that the families of soldiers must have felt when they saw them.

In the past year, a young man, Lance Corporal Joshua Bernard, died after being shot in Iraq. The AP distributed grainy images of the wounded and bleeding marine when he was still alive. Not only was there a hue and cry, but the father of the young man felt that the image was gratuitous, dishonored his son, and was painful to see beyond bearing. Yet, that one image (see it in this link, AP and the Death of a Marine) gave me more pause than the numbers of dead that are so casually mentioned as faceless numbers.

I want to take this opportunity to all the brave men and women who are serving in our armed forces and to thank them for keeping us safe. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and salute you.

Thank you, soldiers. We can't say it enough.

Abraham Lincoln died in the home of William Petersen, a German-born tailor. A boarder at the house took this photograph shortly after Lincoln’s body was removed. Today the small house looks much as it did on that fateful day.

Lincoln's death bed the day after he died

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