—Old Homestead, New York City’s oldest steakhouse, opens. Its $41 Kobe beef burger won’t appear for more than a century, however.
—Upton Sinclair publishes The Jungle. Its graphic depiction of the unsanitary conditions in a Chicago meat-packing plant leads to the passage of the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act later that year.
—Billy Ingram and Walter Anderson open the first White Castle hamburger stand, in Wichita, Kansas.
—The Great Depression replaces beef with cabbage soup and braised hobo-shoe. Consumption hits an all-time low of 32.1 pounds per capita.
—Ray Kroc opens his first franchised McDonald’s, in Des Plains, Illinois.
—General Mills debuts Hamburger Helper to help consumers stretch a small amount of ground beef into a family meal.
—Beef consumption hits 88.8 pounds per capita, its all-time high, thanks to the largest cattle herd in U.S. history hitting slaughter age.
—People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) forms.
—Wendy’s “Where’s the beef?” commercial debuts, making 81-year-old Clara Peller a star, until she is fired in 1985 for appearing in another ad saying she found the beef—in a jar of Prego.
—Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution is published. It will spend four years on the New York Times bestseller list and lead millions to shun carbohydrates in favor of steaks.