Memorial Day fell on May 28 this year, which is also celebrated annually as National Hamburger Day.
According to the 2012 Census, 68,707 establishments in the United States list the hamburger as their principal menu item.
According to history.com, “The hamburger seems to have made its jump from plate to bun in the last decades of the 19th century, though the site of this transformation is highly contested. Lunch wagons, fair stands and roadside restaurants in Wisconsin, Connecticut, Ohio, New York and Texas have all been put forward as possible sites of the hamburger’s birth. Whatever its genesis, the burger-on-a-bun found its first wide audience at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, which also introduced millions of Americans to new foods ranging from waffle ice cream cones and cotton candy to peanut butter and iced tea.
Two years later, though, disaster struck in the form of Upton Sinclair’s journalistic novel The Jungle, which detailed the unsavory side of the American meatpacking industry. Industrial ground beef was easy to adulterate with fillers, preservatives and meat scraps, and the hamburger became a prime suspect.
The hamburger might have remained on the seamier margins of American cuisine were it not for the vision of Edgar ‘Billy’ Ingram and Walter Anderson, who opened their first White Castle restaurant in Kansas in 1921.”