America will celebrate its 245th Birthday on Sunday. We’ve come a long way baby, but surprisingly the celebrations for this Fourth will be similar to that first big birthday party held in Philadelphia in 1777. According to an article in The Virginia Gazette, the Williamsburg, Virginia newspaper founded in 1736, the first celebration included a dinner of the Continental Congress, toasts, speeches, prayers, fireworks, and a 13-gun salute. There was a big parade and leaders reviewed the troops. Boats anchored in the harbor were decked out with red, white, and blue bunting. Nearby, in New Jersey, General George Washington celebrated with his men and gave them all a double ration of rum.
On Sunday, I plan to do all of those things, except dining with Congress. Oh, and I’ll be eating some hot dogs. What’s more American than a hot dog? Don’t say baseball, apple pie, or Chevrolet. Think about it. A hot dog is the most American food; a melting pot of meat and toppings. Wieners are from Germany. We make them with beef, chicken, and pork. Sometimes they’re Kosher, oftentimes they’re not. They can be topped with almost anything; from southern coleslaw to Texas chili to jalapeños from south of the border. You just can’t put ketchup or catsup on them. That would be unAmerican.
I will not be alone. Americans will consume more than 15,000,000 (15 Million) hot dogs on July 4th. This doesn’t count the 75 that will be consumed by Joey Chestnut alone at the Nathan’s International Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island. Americans consume an astounding 20,000,000,000 (20 Billion) hot dogs every year, an average of 70 per American. I consider myself waaaay above average in this area. (Owning two Texas Inn locations ensures that.)
Whatever you do this weekend and however you celebrate, I hope that you have a ton of fun and eat some hots, franks, weenies, footlongs, or dawgs this weekend. Let me know what your favorite hot dog topping is.
Happy Birthday, ‘Murica!