This Day in Pop Culture for July 17

1984: National Ice Cream Day

It’s strange to think, but nobody really know who invented ice cream. Look up the origins of ice cream and you’ll find that it has a complicated history that goes back as far as 500 BC. When Quaker colonists moved to Ameirica in the 1650’s, they brought over their ice cream recipes and the first ice cream shops appeared in the New York City, among others, during the colonial era. Some of the earliest partakers of the treat include Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. In fact, records have been found that showed that Washington spent about $200 on the treat during the summer of 1790. (Must have been a hot summer!) Dolley Madison, wife of President James Madison, served ice cream at her husband’s Inaugural Ball in 1813. The first small hand-cranked ice cream makers were invented during the 1840’s. In 1984, President Ronald Regan proclaimed the month of July as National Ice Cream Month and established the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day. Today, the United States consumes the most ice cream. It is said that the average American eats about 23 gallons of ice cream each year. (Image: Silvaiarita/Pixabay)


2014: Emoji Day is Born

Because everything has to have its own “day,” emoji’s got theirs on this day in 2014. This sudo holiday was created by Jeremy Burge the founder of Emojipedia, an emoji reference website. At the time, he had no activity plans for the day, but some has suggested that people only communicate using the icons throughout the day. In 2015, Pepsi celebrated the day with specially-marked Pepsi cans and bottles. In 2016, Sony Pictures Animation used the day in 2017 to promote The Emoji Movie, Google released a new series of emojis that were more inclusive to women from diverse backgrounds and Emojipedia created the first World Emoji Awards. In 2017, London’s Royal Opera House presented 20 operas and ballets in emoji form. (Image: Wikimedia)

1955: Disneyland’s “Black Sunday”

While it may be considered to be the happiest place on earth and Disney always presents a class act, Disneyland’s opening day, held on this day in 1955, was a little less magical than originally planned. Forever known as “Black Sunday,” the park was open to the public AND filmed live for ABC TV. A variety of technical glitches happened that day. Famous people who were scheduled to show every two hours, ended up showing up all at once. The drinking fountains didn’t work due to a plumbers’ strike which made people think that it was a stunt to get them to buy more Pepsi. Vendors ran out of food. Asphalt that had been poured that morning was still soft causing some ladies to get their heels stuck. There was a gas leak causing part of the park to shut down for the afternoon and parents would toss their children over the crowd’s shoulders to get them onto some of the rides.



  • 1899: James Cagney (actor)
  • 1912: Art Linkletter (actor)
  • 1917: Phyllis Diller (comedian)
  • 1935: Diahann Carroll (actress)
  • 1935: Donald Sutherland (actor)
  • 1952: David Hasselhoff (actor)
  • 1960: Mark Burnett (TV producer)
  • 1976: Luke Bryan (singer)
  • 1979: Mike Vogel (actor)

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