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HISTORY FACTS * That time the U.S. banned the greatest thing ever *

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HISTORY FACTS * That time the U.S. banned the greatest thing ever * Empty HISTORY FACTS * That time the U.S. banned the greatest thing ever *

Post by Paul Fri 12 Jan 2024, 8:15 am

That time the U.S. banned the greatest thing ever




HISTORY FACTS * That time the U.S. banned the greatest thing ever * Scree346


The U.S. once banned sliced bread.


Sliced bread was first sold commercially in 1928 and quickly grew into a culinary sensation — until its rise came to an abrupt halt when it was briefly banned 15 years later. On January 18, 1943, amid World War II, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Claude R. Wickard announced a ban on selling sliced bread in an effort to conserve wartime resources. The government hoped this ban would preserve the country’s supply of alloyed steel (used to build slicing machines) and wax paper (used to both wrap sliced bread, which required thicker wrapping than unsliced loaves, and protect military equipment from the elements). It was a common practice to ask Americans back home to ration goods in the name of the war effort, but the ban on sliced bread was met with furious and immediate backlash.
 
U.S. housewives in particular were dismayed over the ban. One woman named Sue Forrester wrote to The New York Times, “I should like to let you know how important sliced bread is to the morale and saneness of a household.” While hotels and restaurants were given a 60-day grace period to prepare, bakeries weren’t so lucky, and saw sales decline up to 10% while facing sizable fines for defying the ban. Given the ration’s widespread unpopularity, many government bureaucrats played dumb and refused to admit being involved, pointing fingers at others instead. Wickard finally rescinded the ban on sliced bread on March 8, 1943, claiming, “The savings are not as much as we expected,” while conveniently neglecting to acknowledge any public outcry.
Related:During WWII, the U.S. coded messages in the Navajo language.




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By the Numbers



  • Year Wonder Bread debuted

    1921




  • Slices of bread cut by the first mechanical bread slicer

    29




  • Age (in years) of the oldest bread crumb ever discovered

    14,400+




  • Weeks the ban on sliced bread lasted

    7





DID YOU KNOW?

A sack of flour was auctioned off for over $275,000 in 1864.


In 1864, a Nevada merchant named Reuel Colt Gridley auctioned off a single sack of flour over and over again, raising a staggering sum for the U.S. Sanitary Commission (a precursor to the Red Cross). It all began after Gridley lost a friendly wager and was forced to carry a 50-pound sack of flour through town. He took the defeat in stride, decorating the sack with red, white, and blue ribbons and parading it around accompanied by a marching band. The spectacle attracted a crowd, and it was eventually suggested that Gridley auction off the famed flour sack to raise funds for charity. The winner paid $250, but didn’t actually want the flour, and suggested Gridley auction the sack again. The process repeated itself, and Gridley raised more than $5,000 by day’s end. In the weeks that followed, he traveled across the country holding auctions for the flour sack, raking in more than $275,000 (about $5.4 million today) for the cause. The flour was ultimately used to bake cakes at the 1864 Sanitary Fair in St. Louis.
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