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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

July: National ICE CREAM Month

2013 Sharla Lee Shults
Can't believe I just learned recently July is National Ice Cream Month! It actually started back in 1984 when President Ronald Reagan recognized the impact eating ice cream has on 90% of the nation's population. Now, how in the world do you think I missed that reason for celebration? One will surely never know!

With it being summertime, what better treat to cool the summer heat than ice cream! More than likely you can reflect back on your childhood days and remember the scream for ice cream! I know I surely can. Even with our own kids the sound of the ice cream truck coming down the street brought on giggles, laughter and scampering to see who could get there first!
Perhaps you even enjoyed the ice cream whipped up in your own backyard, a family reunion, a weekend outing, or a trip to Grandma's. Homemade vanilla at its finest sometimes boasted fresh peaches, blueberries or strawberries. Yum-m-m-m! 
There is a lot of history surrounding the origin of ice cream that reaches way back into the BC era. How about as far back as 3000 BC? Unfortunately, no definitive record exists as to the inventor or exact date of its origin. We do know it did not begin with the creamy texture as we know it today.

Here are some early references you might recall from your history books (the names at least anyway). Keep in mind the purest snow and ice was usually brought down from the mountains primarily for cooling drinks. There were no refrigerators, not even ice boxes, no ice cream makers or special machines. 

Alexander the Great (20/21 July 356 – 10/11 June 323 BC) enjoyed snow and ice flavored with honey and nectar.  

Biblical references show that King Solomon was fond of iced drinks during harvesting.

During the Roman Empire, Nero Claudius Caesar (A.D. 54-86) frequently sent runners into the mountains for snow, which was then flavored with fruits and juices.

Marco Polo returned to Italy in the latter part of the 13th century from China with a recipe that closely resembled what is now called sherbet.

Coming to America...

Um-m-m? None of the above reflect any concoctions enjoyed in America. Of course, one must take into consideration that America had not been discovered during any of these periods of time. That begs the question "When and how did ice cream grace the shores of America?"

Ice Cream for America historical nuggets. . .
The first official account of ice cream in the New World comes from a letter written in 1744 by a guest of Maryland Governor William Bladen.
The first advertisement for ice cream in this country appeared in the New York Gazette on May 12, 1777, when confectioner Philip Lenzi announced that ice cream was available "almost every day." 
Records kept by a Chatham Street, New York, merchant show that President George Washington spent approximately $200 for ice cream during the summer of 1790.
Read MORE @The History of Ice Cream
First Lady Dolly Madison knew how to throw a party and served strawberry ice cream at James Madison's second inaugural ball, March 4, 1813!

Read MORE @Ice Age: A Look Back at Ice Cream
Added Bonus...

If you are one, like me, who also missed out all these years in celebration of July being National Ice Cream Month, here are a few more days to add to your calendar. Save the dates and notice they are not all in the month of July. Thanks to Cathryn J. Prince at Ice Age!

National Whipped Cream Day, January 5

Strawberry Ice Cream Day, January 15

Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day, July 1

National Strawberry Sundae Day, July 7

National Ice Cream Soda Day, July 20

National Vanilla Ice Cream Day, July 23

National Coffee Milkshake Day, July 26

Ice Cream Sandwich Day, August 2

Soft Ice Cream Day, August 18

National Ice Cream Cone Day, September 22

So, what are you waiting for - an engraved invitation? Go grab that bowl, cup or cone of ice cream! What is your favorite flavor?