Corn Bread Day

Kitchen with a wood stove in Valley County, Nebraska, undated. RG2765-3-5


In 1899 the Omaha World-Herald proposed setting aside a special day in Nebraska for the eating of corn bread. It is not known whether the idea took wing, but A. H. Holmes, editor of the Wilcox Herald, was not enthusiastic. Holmes had this to say of Corn Bread Day in his November 24, 1899, edition:

“This is all right for what is intended: To bring to the attention of those who are unacquainted with the nutritive qualities of corn bread its valuable properties, but for us old-timers who in bygone years had our intestines rifled out with the rasping ‘roughness’ because we couldn’t get anything else, it is entirely unnecessary. We know all about it. In the old pioneer days we were compelled to eat corn meal or starve. We are acquainted with it in all its forms; baked, boiled, fried, and fricasseed we have eaten it; until for years afterward the sight of a cornfield would give us the diarrhea. Yes, it is all right to bring the smooth-bore bowels of anterior easterlings in touch with the rough edges of the rasping ‘corn dodger,’ but us ‘old fellows’ have been there, thank you.”

Holmes’s opinion was seconded by Cash Martin, writing in the Alma Journal: “Colonel Holmes of the Wilcox Herald . . . stated in last week’s Herald that he had eaten so much corn meal in ‘the days of old’ that the sight of a cornfield would cause his intestines to get on a jamboree that it made life miserable, and in consequence kicks on having to put any more baked, boiled, fried or fricasseed cracked corn into the interior of his corporeal system, and we see where the Colonel is right. We remember in the days of our childhood we had fried mush for breakfast, boiled mush for dinner, milk and mush for supper, and for dessert it was milk de mush, mush on de milk, and on rare occasions we had cawn pone on the side. Oh, it was tough on the intestinal part of our anatomy and in consequence we think it would be detrimental to the best interests of Nebraskans to have a ‘Corn Bread Day,’ except perhaps, for the few citizens of our fair state who fail to swallow their per capita of Early Risers. For them it might do, but excuse your humble servant from participating in the feast.”

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