There's been some big food and drink news on the campaign trail of late, from Paul Ryan's catfish-noodling hobby to President Obama's home-brewed "White House Honey Ale." They got me wondering if barbecue had ever taken center stage in a presidential campaign. (Well, since this one.)
What distinguished this ambitious plan from past campaigns was that it aspired to take Texas barbecue to the uninitiated masses in cities like Beverly Hills, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis. The St. Albans (Vermont) Messenger reported in October 1964 that Johnson even contemplated occupying Wall Street with a massive, open-air barbecue where "several or more blocks of the nation's financial center would be roped off."
The idea was nixed by New York Democrats, who felt it was "too corny for Manhattan, especially for the President of the United States." I wonder what they - and LBJ himself - would have made of today's Big Apple Barbecue Block Party that draws a crowd of over 140,000 guests to Madison Square Park over the course of two days.
Delve into more barbecue goodness from the Southern Foodways Alliance blog.
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