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July 21st dedicates a giant menu of items to National Junk Food Day. Each year, the day permits us to chow down on the foods we usually don’t include in our daily diet. Junk foods, by definition, typically contain high fats, sugars, salt, and calories and very little nutritional value.

With the advent of packaged foods during the late 1800s, junk food made its way into American life. Still, home-cooked meals remained the standard for several more decades. Eventually, after World War II, the artery-clogging industry took off. Since the population ate out more, traveled more, the industry was primed to produce products at an increased rate.

From the frozen food aisle to fast food chains, a myriad of choices for consumers flooded the market. Potato chips, baked goods and so much more filled supermarket shelves, prepackaged and ready to go.

By the 1970s, junk foods earned a name and a bad one, too. Michael Jacobson, a microbiologist, is credited with coining the phrase. He also set out to curb our appetite for the high sugar, high salt, high preservative foods Americans consumed at an alarming rate.

While deep-fried, fat-laced foods increase our waistlines, cholesterol, and blood sugar numbers, an occasional indulgence shouldn’t impact a healthy, diverse diet and lifestyle. Also, producers make healthy versions of our favorite junk foods to entice us to enjoy a little. 

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalJunkFoodDay

Snack a little. Chow down on your favorite chip, dip or treat. In fact, treat the family or workplace to a beverage or take out. If you’re looking for some international snacking flair, check out 24 Snacks from around the World. Post on social media using #NationalJunkFoodDay. You can also celebrate by taking a walk or doing some yard work to burn off those extra calories.


We were unable to identify the origin of National Junk Food Day.

National Hot Dog Day - Third Wednesday in July


National Hot Dog Day in July celebrates a summertime staple on a bun. Enjoy one piping hot and add some relish and mustard to go! One thing we want to know – is it a sandwich or not? 

Celebrated every year during National Hot Dog Month, this day pays homage to the frankfurter, the footlong or wienie, wiener, wienerwurst or even red hot. They taste just as great no matter what we call it.

Over 25 million hot dogs are sold at baseball stadiums each year.

We make them a variety of ways. They’re portable and easy to make. While many of us prefer them grilled or toasted over a fire, we also boil, pan-fry, and rotisserie-cook them. The list of toppings are numerous – from the basic ketchup, mustard or relish to onions, mayonnaise, cheese, bacon, chili and sauerkraut – the list keeps growing. Adults and children alike love them, too. 

On May 31, 2012, a world record was set for the most expensive hot dog. The “California Capitol City Dawg” sold for $145.49 at Capitol Dawg in Sacramento, California.  The “California Capitol City Dawg” features:

  • A grilled 18″ all-beef, in natural casing frank from Chicago
  • Served on a fresh-baked herb and oil focaccia roll spread with white truffle butter, then grilled
  • Topped with whole grain mustard from France, garlic and herb mayonnaise
  • Sauteed chopped shallots, organic mixed baby greens, maple syrup
  • Marinated/fruitwood smoked uncured bacon from New Hampshire
  • Chopped tomatoes, sweetened dried cranberries, chopped tomato
  • Expensive moose cheese from Sweden
  • Basil olive oil/pear-cranberry-coconut balsamic vinaigrette and ground peppercorn
  • Proceeds from the sale of each 3 lb. super dog donated to the Shriners Hospitals for Children

7-Eleven sells the most grilled hot dogs in North America – 100 million annually.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalHotDogDay

There are so many ways to celebrate the day!

  • Host a hot dog roast.
  • Share your favorite toppings.
  • Take a poll to find out which is most preferred – blackened hot dogs or just cooked through?
  • Explore the best hot dog eateries near you and give them a shout-out. 
  • Challenge people to defend their position on this question: Is a hot dog a sandwich?

While you’re celebrating, have a hot dog. Post your favorite hot dogs using #NationalHotDogDay to encourage others to join in.


The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council established National Hot Dog Day in 1991 to coincide with a hot dog lunch on Capitol Hill. The observance occurs every year on a Wednesday in July.



On July 21st, National Be Someone Day challenges each of us to take ten seconds to make a difference in a child’s life.

What can you do in ten seconds? We can shift gears or water a plant. We can hear or tell a bad joke. In ten seconds, we can change our minds, and after doing so, say a prayer of thanks. When we walk into a room, in that time, we can register the pain in someone’s eyes and begin to provide comfort. We can praise and honor someone who deserves it.

We can also commit to reporting child abuse. On July 21st, take the pledge to be the person to make a difference in a child’s life. Most importantly, be someone prepared to report when a child trusts you enough and tells you they are experiencing abuse. Ten seconds can change a child’s life.


Be someone who changes a child’s life for the good. Take the pledge on July 21st to report child abuse. Project Be Someone provides five steps to prepare you:

  • Learn the facts
  • Minimize opportunity
  • Talk about it
  • Know the signs
  • React responsibly

Join the conversation using #BeSomeoneDay and share it on social media.


Project Harmony founded #Be Someone Day to help end child abuse and bring communities together through education and awareness.

The Registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed the day to be observed annually on July 21st.

On Deck for July 22, 2021

National Days

July 21st Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History

Aboard the Mercury – Redstone 4, Virgil “Gus” Grissom became the second American to fly in space.


British physician, Dr. Ian Donald, pioneered the first use of ultrasound for medical diagnosis.


The Hollywood Walk of Fame commemorates Mohawk actor, Jay Silverheels, with the first star on the walk of fame received by a Native American.


The Steven Spielberg World War II drama Saving Private Ryan premiered in Westwood, California. Starring Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, and Tom Sizemore, the film won five Oscars.


Bloomsbury Publishing releases J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – the final installment of the Harry Potter series.

Recipe of the Day

Kiwi Mango Parfait recipe

Name: Kiwi Mango Parfait
Prep: 5 minutes
Total Prep: 5 minutes
Servings: 2


1 1/2 cups vanilla yogurt
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 cup granola + 1 tablespoon
1-2 mangoes, sliced
2 kiwi, sliced


In a small bowl, mix half the yogurt with the chia seeds. Divide the chia seed mixture between the two jars, creating the first layer. Add 1/4 cup granola to each jar. Layer the mango slices. Add the remaining yogurt. Top with the kiwi and sprinkle with the last two tablespoons of granola.

July 21st Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays
Ernest Hemingway – 1899

The American author and journalist wrote several novels and non-fiction that are considered classics today, such as For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea. In addition, many of his works were published posthumously, including A Moveable Feast.

Mahlon Loomis – 1826

The American dentist from Washington, D.C., received U.S. patent No. 129,971 for “An Improvement in Telegraphing” in July of 1872.

Francis Clara Folsom – 1864

On June 2, 1886, Frances Clara Folsom became the youngest First Lady in U.S. history when she married sitting President Grover Cleveland. It was the only wedding of a president that took place in the White House. She also has the unique distinction of being both the 23rd and 25th First Lady of the United States.

Janet Reno – 1938

The first woman to serve as the United States Attorney General, Janet Reno, was appointed to the office in 1993 by President William Clinton. She served until 2001.

Robin Williams – 1951

During the American actor and comedian’s nearly 40-year career, Robin Williams created many memorable characters. From the sitcom Mork & Mindy (for which he won a Golden Globe) to films like Jumanji, Hook and Awakenings, Robins left an indelible mark on his fans and the industry. He won an Academy Award for his role in Good Will Hunting.

About National Day Calendar

National Day Calendar® is the authoritative source for fun, unusual and unique National Days! Since our humble beginnings on National Popcorn Day in 2013, we now track nearly 1,500 National Days, National Weeks and National Months. In addition, our research team continues to uncover the origins of existing National Days as well as discover new, exciting days for everyone to celebrate.

There’s a celebration for everyone. While National Road Trip Day satisfies the itch to wander, many pet days let us share our love of animals. National 3-D Day and National Astronaut Day honor the advancement of technology, too. Every food day you can imagine (National Avocado Day, for example), will keep you celebrating, also!

Be sure to stay in the know by signing up for our e-mail updates. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Our Ambassador Program is another way #CelebrateEveryDay®! Whether you become an ambassador or follow one of the savvy ambassadors, their fun videos and posts will keep you prepared for every holiday.

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