Written by Katie Roberti, Associate Editor
If celebrating America’s birthday isn’t a good enough cause to make you love the month of July, here’s one more reason why it should be one of your favorite months of the year!
Thirty years ago President Ronald Reagan made a rich and creamy proclamation, one that I fully support. He designated July as National Ice Cream Month. His really large sweet tooth may have contributed to the idea, but Reagan had a much greater purpose for this designation than to solely fulfill all of America’s sweet cravings.
In 1984 Reagan proclaimed, “Ice cream is a nutritious and wholesome food enjoyed by over ninety percent of the people in the United States. It enjoys a reputation as the perfect dessert and snack food.”
Looking to improve the economy at the end of the Cold War, Reagan saw an opportunity to use American’s favorite dairy dessert to do just that. He decided this was something most Americans could both benefit from and enjoy.
Reagan further proclaimed, “The ice cream industry generates approximately $3.5 billion in annual sales and provides jobs for thousands of citizens. Indeed, nearly ten percent of all the milk produced by the United States dairy farmers is used to produce ice cream, thereby contributing substantially to the economic well-being of the nation’s dairy industry.”
Today ice cream continues to greatly contribute to America’s dairy industry. According to the International Dairy Foods Association, in 2010 the ice cream industry in the U.S. generated total revenues of $10 billion, with about 9 percent of milk being used for ice cream production.
In addition to the designation of the entire month, Reagan also declared every third Sunday of July to be National Ice Cream Day in America. So, if your swimsuit body can’t resist the treat for an entire month, at least dedicate National Ice Cream Day, on Sunday, July 20 to a scoop or two.
The Fourth of July may be over, but you’ve still got plenty of time to fully enjoy the remainder of the month. Don’t let the month of July melt away without celebrating Reagan’s national month and supporting the dairy industry! If you’re summering in San Luis Obispo, grab a pint of your favorite Cal Poly Ice Cream and do as Reagan once encouraged every American to do, “observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”