About National Ice Cream Day
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|Dates of National Ice Cream Day
2025 USA Sunday, July 20thNational Ice Cream Day
2024 USA Sunday, July 21stNational Ice Cream Day
2023 USA Sunday, July 16thNational Ice Cream Day
2022 USA Sunday, July 17thNational Ice Cream Day
2021 USA Sunday, July 18thNational Ice Cream Day
|Find out the dates, history and traditions of National Ice Cream Day
|National Ice Cream Day in other countries
|National Ice Cream Day internationally
Celebrated on the third Sunday of July, National Ice Cream Day originated in 1984 as Ice Cream Month. The 31-day nod to the popular treat came by way of a joint resolution in Congress. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law by proclamation in 1984.
The proclamation (No. 5219) declared ice cream "a nutritious and wholesome food, enjoyed by over 90 percent of the people in the United States. It enjoys a reputation as the perfect dessert and snack food.”
The Scoop on Ice Cream History
The Persian Empire was known to put snow in a bowl, pour concentrated grape juice over it, and eat it as a treat thousands of years ago. They would climb to mountain tops and harvest the snow from their peaks in the summertime. They would then keep the snow in underground chambers, known as a yachal, to keep it cold from the earth.
Around 697 AD, the Chinese in the Tang Dynasty took to freezing dairy with salt and ice. Although the invention of ice cream dates thousands of years back, many culinary businesses give credit to Antonio Latini from Naples, Italy, who created a milk-based sorbet in the 17th century.
In the U.S., the first ice cream shops were opened by the Quaker Colonists, who brought their ice recipes with them to the new world.
Ben Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson were among those who enjoyed the treat. It is known that in 1813, First Lady Dolley Maddison served ice cream at the Inaugural Ball.
In 1832, African American confectioner Augustus Jackson created multiple ice cream recipes and a superior technique to manufacture ice cream. And in 1843, the first U.S. patent for a small-scale hand-cranked ice cream freezer was granted to Philadelphian Nancy Johnson.
There are many different flavors and varieties of ice cream. In the south, the most popular is Butter Pecan. The most common flavors sold to date are vanilla and chocolate. The best place in Union Springs to get hand-dipped ice cream is at the Marathon gas station.
From the International Dairy Foods Association:
“The average American eats roughly 20 pounds of ice cream each year, or about 4 gallons. As the summer reaches peak temperatures in July, Americans celebrate National Ice Cream Month as a way to cool off and enjoy the nation’s favorite frozen treat with friends and family. Ice cream has historically been a key feature of American communities. According to an IDFA survey, most ice cream companies are family owned and have been in operation for more than 50 years! Here’s more sweet news: Ice cream companies help support the U.S. economy, contributing more than $13 billion directly to the national economy and supporting nearly 29,000 direct jobs that generate $1.8 billion in direct wages, according to IDFA’s Dairy Delivers®. In 2021, ice cream makers in the U.S. churned out more than 1.3 billion gallons of ice cream.”
- Did you know? Thomas Jefferson's recipe for Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream is believed to be the oldest recipe for ice cream in the USA. His original recipe is housed in the Library of Congress.
- Did you know? Sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia is the scientific term for the brain-freeze you experience after eating ice cream.