Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Today is National Taco Day? Sort of...

001 Tacos de carnitas, carne asada y al pastor
Larry Miller, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Tacos - a wonderful handheld food that Americans eat by the dozens

As the American melting pot grew in the early 1900s, tacos became a staple of American diets in the Southwest. During the last century, this food moved across the country until nearly everyone in the country has eaten at least one taco during their lives and many restaurants even advertise Taco Tuesday every week.

In 1968, Congress officially recognized the importance of tacos, saying:

On May 3rd of every year National Taco Day will be observed, in honor of the birth date of the great Texan and American, the Honorable Henry B. Gonzalez, Congressman of Bexar County and San Antonio. The highlight of National Taco Day will come on the night of May 3rd, at which time a celebration will honor the birth of a new era for the Taco and the Mexican Food Industry.

[From the Congressional Records of 1968, pg. 11132]

So why are we seeing images for National Taco Day now, on October 4th?

Because in 2009, Del Taco set up a marketing campaign the celebrate a "National Taco Day" on October 4th.  I have absolutely no idea why they decided to create this campaign, but it both worked and didn't work.  You see, I have heard of National Taco Day in October, but I had no idea where this idea came from until I did some research.

From Chef Lola's Kitchen

So which National Taco Day is the "real" one?

Taco Trivia

Back in 1989, Taco John trademarked the name Taco Tuesday. For decades, the business defended their trademark against others, though in the end it was all for naught.  Nowadays, plenty of restaurants advertise their own Taco Tuesday since the term is now considered  "a commonplace term, message or expression widely used by a variety of sources that merely conveys an ordinary, familiar, well-recognized concept or sentiment." by the United States Patent and Trademark Office [citation].

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