An American Candy Combat Veteran Turns 78
In March of 2019, an American institution turned 78. A combat veteran, it has been next to our servicemen all over the world, through seven major wars―from World War II up to today, serving in the Middle East and the Far Pacific.
Help celebrate the 78th anniversary of the M&M.
The candy was specifically created for the American military, especially those serving overseas. Chocolate had in the early Twentieth Century become a favorite candy delight for Americans. However, it was susceptible to heat. At temperatures of over 75 degrees, chocolate began to soften and break down; obviously a problem. In tropical or desert parts of the world, storage and distribution was almost impossible.
By the end of 1940, another world war had been going on for over a year. Europe had been overrun and occupied, and the Far East faced a fanatic, Japanese expansion program.
Around this time, 34-year old Forrest E. Mars, Sr. of the Mars Company wanted to create a chocolate candy that could withstand hot weather. The idea had come to him during the Spanish Civil War. He saw British soldiers eating a candy called ‘Smarties,’ chocolate pellets with a hardened sugary colored shell to keep them from melting. Mars made a couple experimental batches of his own, and on March 3, 1941, received a patent for his process.
The next day, he signed a contract with the Hershey’s Corporation to form a new company. It became M&M Limited, so-named using the initials of Mr. Mars and for Bruce Murrie, the son of Hershey Chocolate's president William F. R. Murrie. Forrest owned the patent, but the candy was to be made by Hershey, because chocolate at the time was about to be rationed, and Hershey had control of the chocolate supplies, which were to only go to the military.
The deal made, they immediately began production in a factory in Newark, New Jersey. Each of the pieces had a chocolate center and came in one of five colors: red, yellow, purple, green or dark brown.
Since the product had been designed with foot soldiers in mind, the new company's first big customer was naturally the U.S. Army, which readily saw the advantages of this small, tasty, high-calorie energy product for men in the field. During World War II, M&Ms were only sold to the military. The candy came in cardboard tubes.
Over the years, this American confectionary staple has observed the following highlights:
Even today, M&Ms go wherever our military goes.
We salute the American serviceman’s long-time field ration best friend: the M&M.
There is a bridge in Edgartown Massachusetts that is called the American Legion Memorial Bridge (some locals call it the “Big Bridge”). Along this bridge runs a part of Seaview Avenue, which connects Edgartown with the town of Oak Bluffs. Coincidentally, the bridge also divides the Atlantic Ocean from Sengekontacket Pond.
Does the bridge look somewhat familiar?
It should. How about now?
It is also called the "Jaws Bridge," because it was made famous in Steven Spielberg's 1975 blockbuster "Jaws." It was at this Amity Island bridge (in the film) that the famous shark scene with Michael in the pond was filmed.
Despite its nickname, the bridge is a small one, just a few car-lengths in total, and it has been refurbished in recent years. The stone quay that Roy Scheider ran on during the Jaws attack 'in the pond' is still there and runs perpendicular to the bridge. The beach on the ocean side, called Joseph Sylvia State Beach, was where the rest of the scene was filmed.
The American Legion
Reynoldsburg Post 798
P.O. Box 58
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068
The next regularly scheduled post meeting this month will be on Thursday, January 9, 2020 at 1900 hrs. The meeting location will be as usual at the F.O.E. Eagles Club (#3261) at 1623 Brice Rd.
MERRY CHRISTMAS !