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Scoop of History

Jun 26, 2017 11:00PM ● By Elena Hutslar


Celebrate our County History Over a Scoop


The Contra Costa County Historical Society (CCHS) is hosting an ice cream social and open house to celebrate National Ice Cream Day and summertime in Contra Costa County.  


Haven’t seen the new exhibit “Justice and Judges” or taken a tour of the county archives? Take advantage of this special opportunity to see how CCCHS preserves delicate records and special collections.


WHEN:                    Saturday, July 15, 10am-3pm     

WHERE:                  Contra Costa County History Center
724 Escobar Street, Martinez

DETAILS:                RSVP is not required.

Parking is free on Saturdays.

$5 suggested donation at the door.

For more information, visit



National Ice Cream Day

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day. He recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food that is enjoyed by over 90 percent of the nation's population.

The History of Ice Cream in America

The first official account of ice cream in the New World comes from a letter written in 1744 by a guest of Maryland Governor William Bladen. The first advertisement for ice cream in this country appeared in the New York Gazette on May 12, 1777, when confectioner Philip Lenzi announced that ice cream was available "almost every day." Records kept by a Chatham Street, New York, merchant show that President George Washington spent approximately $200 for ice cream during the summer of 1790. Inventory records of Mount Vernon taken after Washington's death revealed "two pewter ice cream pots." President Thomas Jefferson was said to have a favorite 18-step recipe for an ice cream delicacy that resembled a modern-day Baked Alaska.  In 1813, Dolley Madison served a magnificent strawberry ice cream creation at President Madison's second inaugural banquet at the White House.

Until 1800, ice cream remained a rare and exotic dessert enjoyed mostly by the elite. Around 1800, insulated ice houses were invented. Manufacturing ice cream soon became an industry in America, pioneered in 1851 by a Baltimore milk dealer named Jacob Fussell. Like other American industries, ice cream production increased because of technological innovations, including steam power, mechanical refrigeration, the homogenizer, electric power and motors, packing machines, and new freezing processes and equipment. In addition, motorized delivery vehicles dramatically changed the industry. Due to ongoing technological advances, today's total frozen dairy annual production in the United States is more than 1.6 billion gallons.

* History of Ice Cream in America Source:  Int’l Dairy Foods Assn.



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