How Ice Cream Soothed the Great Depression

The following article was written by Jonathan Albert of Greenville, SC. To submit an article of your own, email it to TheHistoryBluff@gmail.com

One needs only to jog into the local nursing home to meet, greet and converse with members of the great American generation that fought and killed the Great Depression. Though they are now frail, weak and timid, their tales boast of a brighter past in which their sinuous strength combated the combined mights of financial downfall, fascist governments and silent films. But truth be known, the true cause of victory over the Great Depression was not the American people pulling together, it was not a jolt of industrial adrenaline caused by military production for World War II or a combination of government programs. It was in fact an intense love of ice cream manifested in the person of Franklin Roosevelt.

Roosevelt had always retained a keen liking for the sweet dessert. In his early childhood days he would often be seen secretly holding a cone in hopes that none of the other children would espy his treasure and attempt to relieve him of it. When elected to the Office of President Franklin took his obsession to a national level.

With the Great Depression sweeping the nation, industries were crumbling and people were becoming jobless quicker than a double scoop of strawberry swirl in a chocolate dipped waffle cone melts at the beach in July. The situation was dire. The need was great. FDR stepped up to the plate to do his part to save the American economy.

He liquidated the huge reserves of oil that had been accumulated over the years and rescued the ice cream industry. For a while everything seemed fine, but, after the rest of the economy collapsed true domestic turmoil set in. Americans were no longer the happy-go-lucky people of years past. The long lines of people waiting in line at the banks were filled with sad faces and empty stomachs.

It was at that precise moment that culinary manifest destiny stepped in as FDR created a new federal mandate. Realizing that something needed to be done to lift this great overwhelming depression, Roosevelt ordered that free ice cream be distributed at all banks. This was no easy task, the transportation of large quantities of ice cream through blazing heat was an issue. To combat this Franklin single-handedly invented the ice cream truck and had these large vehicles racing along the highways and byways of America in no time.

After several months of increased sugar consumption and a 34 percent rise in the national obesity level, the Great Depression ended and life returned to normal. Well, normal except for the largest war in world history. You can still see the effect of FDR’s domestic policy in effect today. Banks no longer serve ice cream, but, in accordance with the “National Fitness Act of 1967” banks are now required to offer lollipops, a tasty treat, albeit lower in calories and fat.

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1 Response to “How Ice Cream Soothed the Great Depression”


  1. 1 Mega Cone London Ontario September 17, 2017 at 5:02 pm

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