January 12, 1943 – Frankfurters Become Victory Sausages

On this day in history, the U.S. Office of Price Administration announced that for the duration of the World War II, the name of the popular meat known by the German name “frankfurter” would be replaced with by “Victory Sausage,” and, furthermore, the proportion of meat in the “sausage” would be replaced with “an unspecified amount of soybean meal or some other substitute.”

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Victory Meat Extenders was published during World War II by the National Livestock and Meat Board. It focused on the goal of extending proteins (more specifically, meats) in wartime.

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Renaming helped transform resentment of sacrifice to pride in patriotism. Similarly, in World War I, “sauerkraut” was renamed “Liberty Cabbage,” and the entire British throne changed its name from the German “House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha” to the more acceptably British-sounding “House of Windsor.” In 2003, the name “Freedom fries” came into vogue in the U.S. as a substitute for “French fries” in response to France’s opposition to the proposed invasion of Iraq. (The term fell out of use due to declining support for the Iraq War.)

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