Profile America — Monday, July 8th.One of our favorite ice cream concoctions was purportedly invented on this date in 1881 to bypass the law. The ice cream sundae was the brainchild of drug store owner Edward Berner of Two Rivers, Wisconsin, although Ithaca, New York has a competing claim. That day was a Sunday, and because of the strict Sabbath laws at the time, he was unable to fill a customer's order for a flavored soda water. So, Berner improvised, putting chocolate syrup — then used only to flavor soda water — on top of ice cream in a dish. The result was the first ice cream "Sunday." While drug store soda fountains are gone, there are more than 11,500 ice cream shops across the country, keeping over 90,000 employees busy making delights for customers worth nearly $3.2 billion a year. Profile America is in its 17th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.
Sources: 440 International Calendar of Events, Those Were The Days 2007 Economic Census, NAICS 722213
Profile America is produced by the Center for New Media and Promotions of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on the Internet at http://www.census.gov (look for "Multimedia Gallery" by the "Newsroom" button).