President’s Day, Chapter 2

Two presidential ice cream lovers, Jefferson and Madison.

I’m feeling a tad remorseful about my last blog. I had explained that there is no such day as Presidents Day. Monday is officially known as Washington’s Birthday. I explained how the father of our country deserves his own day because, among other things, he was a big fan of ice cream.

While that blog was very pro George Washington, I fear that some may have perceived it as being anti-every-other-president. Not true. I like a lot of our past presidents. I’m especially fond of those who enjoyed ice cream.

Among those ice cream lovers were two of George Washington’s founding brothers, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Like Washington, both had ice houses on their property to store ice they harvested from nearby rivers and ponds. With ice available year-round, Jefferson and Madison could enjoy their ice cream whenever the mood struck. Thomas Jefferson is known to have penned his own recipe for ice cream, while President Madison and his wife Dolly frequently served it at presidential functions.

The Presidential Proclamation that gave ice cream its own day and month.

The most important presidential function, the inauguration, often featured ice cream. James Buchanan served 1,200 gallons of it at his gala while Andrew Jackson used ice cream to get his guests to leave. As the story goes, out-of-control revelers were trashing the White House, so ice cream and wine were set up on the lawn to lure the rowdy lot outside. Thankfully, it worked.

Other Ice-Cream-Lovers-in-Chief include Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, George W. Bush and our current president, Barack Obama. While all these gentlemen should get a tip-of-the-hat for their affection for ice cream, I have a soft spot in my heart for our 40th president, Ronald Reagan. It was he who gave ice cream it’s own month and day. Thank you, Mr. President for making July National Ice Cream Month and July 15th  National Ice Cream Day!

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