Baseball. Hot dogs. Apple pie. Just a few reasons to love America. But, where does sliced bread fit into the mix?
Take a look at the July 2013 edition of Reader’s Digest, now on store shelves. This latest edition has a red, white, and blue cover feature: “50 Surprising Reasons We Love America.”
As if we needed more reasons, the magazine suggests adding these 50 “touching moments, funny folks, and good deeds to the list.”
And, among them — marked as No. 10 (page 93) — is the mention of Chillicothe, Mo., and its “battle” with Battle Creek, Mich., for bread bragging rights.
For years, Battle Creek “purportedly claimed to be the ‘Home of Sliced Bread.’ Until 2003, that is, when a journalist discovered the truth: In 1928, right after Otto Rohwedder invented the bread slicer, a newspaper ad heralded the arrival of the first pre-sliced loaf — in Chillicothe, Mo.”
The journalist, by the way, was Catherine Stortz Ripley, news editor of the Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune.
“We have been fortunate in the past year to receive some amazing media coverage,” said Amy Supple, director of the Greater Chillicothe Visitors Region.
Recent coverage included the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times. The Chicago Tribune article was written by a travel writer who was hosted by the visitors region a couple of years ago.
“Sometimes, these seeds take time to grow, but we are always thrilled when they do,” Supple said.
The New York Times article referenced the Battle Creek claim to sliced bread.
“So, it isn’t too far of a stretch to assume these media stories build and feed off of each other,” the director stated.
The New York Times article featured the bread slicer invention and noted its debut in Chillicothe.
Another medium with broad coverage was a 2011 article written by Ripley that appeared in the food magazine, Saveur, as part of an edition featuring sandwiches.
“However they hear about Chillicothe as the Home of Sliced Bread, we are always appreciative of the coverage,” Supple said.
Among the first 10 “Surprising Reasons We Love America” listed in the Reader’s Digest feature, Missouri was mentioned four times.
• Our town names can get pretty silly: Peculiar, Mo. (Also mentioned were Why, Ariz., Hygiene, Colo., and Embarrass, Minn.
• The “Silicon Prairie” that is booming in Kansas City, stating: “So much for Silicon Valley. These days, the Corn Belt is cultivating the Internet.”
• The $293 million lottery ticket winners who chose to share their bounty so that the town of Camden Point, Mo., could get a wastewater treatment plant, a new fire station and a ballfield.