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U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature for Friday, Aug. 19: Root Beer Floats


WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 -- Following is the daily “Profile America” feature for Aug. 19 from the U.S. Census Bureau:

Profile America Friday, August 19th. One of the delights of summer originated on this day 112 years ago. Frank Wisner, who owned the Cripple Creek Brewing Company in Colorado, put a scoop of vanilla ice cream into a glass of his Myers Avenue Red Root Beer. His inspiration was seeing the nearby, snow-capped Cow Mountains in the moonlight. He named his concoction the “Black Cow Mountain ice cream root beer float.” Local youngsters loved it immediately and shortened the unwieldy name to the simple “black cow,” which has stuck for more than a century. The Cripple Creek Brewing Company is still in business, located in Illinois, and it still produces the Myers Avenue Red Root Beer. Today, root beer, with or without ice cream, is part of the nearly 50 gallons of carbonated beverages each of us consumes every year. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau on the Web at .

Sources: Chase’s Calendar of Events 2005, p. 431 Statistical Abstract of the United States 2004-2005, t. 201


Profile America is produced by the Public Information Office of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments ready to air on a monthly CD or on Internet at (look under the “Newsroom” button). For further information, contact Rick Reed at 301-763-2812, fax at 301-457-3670, or e-mail at


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