Hormel President Richard Knowlton presents a can of SPAM to Soviet President Boris Yeltsin, 1992.
Austin is the home of the Hormel Company's plant
that produces SPAM, a canned meat product well known to Americans.
SPAM has been a lifeline to Americans during difficult times and
helped to celebrate the best of times. Created in 1937, SPAM is
celebrated as part of the SPAM JAM, a Fourth of July celebration in
Austin, for about 50 years. In the late 1930s, SPAM luncheon meat
commercials were aired on the "Burns and Allen Show" featuring
George Burns and Gracie Allen, Artie Shaw and his orchestra and
SPAMMY, a miniature pig and the group's mascot. In 1991, Hormel
Foods established the First Century Museum on the occasion of its
100th anniversary; the exhibit of SPAM memorabilia quickly became
and remains the most popular. To enter the museum, visitors walk
through a giant replica of a SPAM luncheon meat can.
The popularity of SPAM continues. In the United
States alone, 3.6 cans of SPAM are consumed every second, making it
the unrivaled number one product in its category. Outside the
United States, the largest consumers are South Korea and Great
Britain, and, on the island of Guam, over eight cans of SPAM are
consumed by every person each year.
The project includes a videotape of highlights from
the 1999 SPAM JAM, another video on SPAM production, a 7-page
report and 30 photographs documenting the history of SPAM, the
"authorized biography of SPAM," a "Spamtastic gift catalog,"
newsletter of the Official SPAM Fan Club, and a copy of
Hormel Legacy: 100 Years of Quality.
Originally submitted by: Gil Gutknecht, Representative (1st District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.