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From a member of U.S. Congress to Spam: Happy 75th birthday!

July 25, 2012|By Richard Simon
  • Spam, Hormel's famous canned meat, which was born in Austin, Minn., has been a part of Americans' lives since 1937.
Spam, Hormel's famous canned meat, which was born in Austin, Minn.,… (Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty…)

WASHINGTON -- Who better to pay tribute to ham, or rather a form of it, than a member of Congress?

Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) was on the House floor Wednesday, declaring "Happy 75th birthday, Spam!’’

He proudly held up the familiar blue-and-yellow tin of the long-ridiculed, but iconic, blend of spiced pork shoulder and ham, manufactured by Hormel Foods Corp. in his district.

"Spam is an important part of our American history,’’ Walz said. "It  played an essential role in feeding Allied troops during World War II, has worked to create local jobs and, with over 7 billion cans sold worldwide, has truly become an iconic American product.’’

Although lawmakers have long sought to recognize hometown industries, House Republican leaders scaled back votes on commemorative resolutions such as one honoring the Saratoga Race Course on its 142nd season,  contending they wasted floor time needed for more pressing matters. Yet that hasn’t stopped lawmakers from finding other ways to commemorate anniversaries and other events important to their districts. 

The first can of Spam rolled off the production line July 5, 1937, according to a company spokesman.

This week,  Hormel will mark the anniversary at its Austin, Minn., home with "traditional dishes like Spam burgers and Spam 'n' eggs.’’

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richard.simon@latimes.com

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