National Gumbo Day | October 12
(Last Updated On: November 9, 2022)


On October 12th, the menu spotlights National Gumbo Day for food holidays. This heavily seasoned, stew-like dish fills us up on chilly fall days.


Originating in southern Louisiana during the 18th century, Gumbo typically consists of strongly-flavored stock with meat or shellfish, a thickener, and seasoned vegetables. The seasoned vegetables may include celery, bell peppers, and onions. In Cajun cuisine, the trio is known as the “holy trinity.” Most people serve Gumbo over rice. Gumbo also falls into different categories based on the following types of thickener used:

  • African vegetable okra
  • Choctaw spice filé powder (dried and ground sassafras leaves)
  • Roux (the French base made of flour and fat)

Gumbo arose from a West African word for okra. Many believe this word association is how the soup and the ingredient became intertwined. Gumbo is thought to have been first documented in 1802 and was listed in various cookbooks in the latter 19th century. It gained widespread popularity in the 1970s when the United States Senate cafeteria added Gumbo to the menu in honor of Louisiana Senator Allen Ellender. Gumbo is also the official cuisine of the state of Louisiana. Since 1989, New Iberia, Louisiana hosts The World Championship Gumbo Cook-Off.  


Of course, you’re going to serve up your favorite gumbo dish. This terrific dish will also help you use up the last of the garden vegetables. Serve up a piping hot plate of it on a cool fall evening. Make enough to share, too. If you don’t have one, we’ve got you covered! Share recipes that keep your family coming back for more. 

Chicken and Okra Gumbo
Seafood Okra Gumbo

Use #NationalGumboDay to post on social media.


National Day Calendar is researching this hearty food holiday.


October 12th Celebrated History


Munich celebrates its first Oktoberfest in honor of the marriage of Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.


The Executive Mansion receives a new name. Just weeks into his presidency, President Theodore Roosevelt officially gives the president’s residence the name of White House. The new name went into immediate use, appearing on official stationary and in many U.S. newspapers.


Rookie basketballer, Larry Bird, debuts in his first NBA game. The forward scored 14 points for the Boston Celtics against the Houston Rockets.


In the eye of Super Typhoon Tip west of Guam in the Pacific Ocean, the US Air Weather Service recorded the lowest barometric pressure ever documented. The pressure recorded was 870 millibar. That’s compared to normal barometric pressure at sea level of 1013.3.


Alexandra Trusova of the Russian Federation completed the first quadruple Lutz by a woman figure skater. The skater’s achievement took place during the Junior Grand Prix in Yerevan, Armenia.

October 12th Celebrated Birthdays

Ascanio Sobrero – 1812 

In 1846, the Italian chemist discovered nitroglycerine. His discovery would later be used in other applications. Alfred Nobel found that diatomaceous earth easily absorbed the nitroglycerin creating a paste – and later dynamite.

Mary Kingsley – 1862

The explorer and ethnographer wrote two books about her travels – Travels in West Africa and West African Studies. Through her journey and writing, she brought a better tolerance and understanding of West African tribes.

August Horch – 1868

The one-time blacksmith turned shipbuilder founded the Horch & Cie Motorwagen Werke in 1899 in Cologne, Germany. Horch later launched another company we are familiar with today – Audi.

Doris Miller – 1919

The American sailor earned the Navy Cross for his heroic actions during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. As a Cook, Third Class, aboard the USS West Virginia, he aided the wounded and also took control of an unattended 50-caliber anti-aircraft gun, firing on the invading Japanese aircraft.

Art Clokey – 1921

The artist pioneered a style of clay animation known as stop-motion. His best-known characters include Gumby and Pokey from the Gumby adventures.

Jean Nidetch – 1923

In 1963, Nidetch transformed from housewife to businesswoman. She founded the diet company called Weight Watchers, also transforming the habits of dieters around the world. The format of healthful eating plus group support led to a worldwide franchise.

Janet Wiley – 1933

Before joining the South Bend Blue Sox roster in 1949 at the age of 16, Wiley served as the team’s bat-girl. She later made her professional baseball debut in the All American Girls Professional Baseball league in 1950 with the Chicago Colleens. The pitcher and outfielder played three years in the league, leaving on a career-ending injury.

Scott O’Grady – 1965

On June 2, 1995, while assigned to a mission supporting NATO ground troops in Bosnia, Captain Scott O’Grady’s F16 was shot down. Even though no parachute was seen, the pilot successfully ejected from the aircraft and parachuted to earth. O’Grady avoided the Serbian troops for six days and used his survival skills until he made contact with another F-16 squadron.

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