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Nathan’s Famous Coney Island Hot Dogs

Nathan’s Famous Coney Island Hot Dogs

Crowd at Nathan's Coney Island Stand, New York, 1947, Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Crowd at Nathan's Coney Island Stand, New York, 1947, Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Polish immigrant, Nathan Handwerker, started Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs in 1916 on the board walk in Coney Island, New York. People principally came to Coney Island enjoy its amusement park and to stroll up and down the board walk trying the various eateries such as Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs. Nathan Handwerker’s wife Ida developed a hot dog recipe that quickly became a hit with common folk, gangsters, actors, and politicians. FDR enjoyed the hot dogs so much that he had them served to dignitaries at White House events and sent them to the Yalta summit to share with Britain’s Winston Churchill and the Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin. New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller supposedly said in the 1960s that no one could successfully run for public office in the state without being photographed eating a Nathan’s Famous hot dog. Today Nathan’s hot dogs are sold in supermarkets in all 50 states. 

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