'MISSOURI SLICED BREAD
Rep. Black files bill relating to historic event that took place in Chillicothe in 1928
C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley
Sliced Bread Day
Bill Clears House; Heads to Senate
By Catherine Stortz Ripley
02 23 18
Photo Courtesy / Tim Bommel / Missouri State Capitol
MO - A proposal declaring July 7th as Missouri Sliced Bread Day received overwhelming
support by the Missouri House of Representatives Wednesday afternoon. Upon its 128-16 vote approval, the
bill was forwarded to the Missouri Senate and had its first reading. In his introductory remarks on the House
floor, Rep. Rusty Black (R-Chillicothe), the bill's sponsor, provided information about the earliest records of
bread up through the introduction of the world's first automatic bread slicing machine which was first used in
Chillicothe, Mo., on July 7, 1928. "In 1911, Otto Rohwedder, the father of sliced bread, began working on a machine to mechanically slice
bread," Black said. At the time, Rohwedder was a jeweler in St. Joseph, Mo.
"In 1928, the first automatic bread-slicing machine was first used in the great town of Chillicothe, in the greater state of
Missouri," Black said. "Missouri: The home of sliced
bread." Applause could be heard coming from the House floor. Black continued.
"We've talked about value added agriculture," said Black, a retired ag education teacher.
"Sliced bread, folks, is value added agriculture... as well as the peanut butter and
jelly... that becomes very popular when we add sliced bread."
Rohwedder, Black said, talked with bakers throughout the country but none wanted to give his invention a try.
None, except for Frank Bench, of Chillicothe Baking Company, in Chillicothe, Mo.
"Within two weeks, the amount of bread that he sold went up 2,000
percent," Black said. "The rest is history." Black concluded his remarks on
the House floor by stating that July 7, 2018, will be the 90th anniversary of
commercially-sliced bread. He once again renewed his motion that his bill declaring July 7th as Missouri Sliced Bread Day be third read and passed.
More applause came from the House Floor and Rep. Richard Brown (D-Kansas City) offered comments in support
of the bill. Brown is the ranking minority member serving on the Special Committee on Tourism.
"We heard this bill in the Tourism Committee, and it is a very good bill for the city of Chillicothe as well as the state of
Missouri," Brown said. "This bill is the greatest thing since sliced bread and if we
don't pass this bill, we'll all be toast! And with that, Mr. Speaker, I urge the body to pass this
Several individuals from Chillicothe were in Jefferson City in support of the bill, including Pam Clingerman, curator
of the Grand River Historical Society Museum. Clingerman and Museum Board President Marvin Holcer
approached Black with the idea of establishing a state designation for sliced bread.
"This is an amazing piece of history," Clingerman said.
"This is important to everybody in Missouri; not just Chillicothe. It revolutionized the
baking industry." Amy Supple, director of the Greater Chillicothe Tourism Region, also was at the state capitol
Wednesday afternoon. "In Chillicothe, we are so fortunate to have an amazingly innovative story as part of our
history," Supple said. "July 7th is a day worth celebrating and
that's what we plan to do."
Rep. NateWalker (R-Kirksville) is a co-sponsor of the Missouri Sliced Bread Day bill. Sen. Denny Hoskins
(R-Warrensburg), who represents Chillicothe in the Senate, will handle the bill in the Senate.
Wednesday's House vote was 128 "yes" votes, 16
"no" votes and 1 "present" vote. There were 13 members absent. House Speaker
Todd Richardson declared the bill passed.
02 21 18 - JEFFERSON CITY, MO - Missouri Rep. Rusty Black's bill to have July 7th declared as Missouri
Sliced Bread Day is scheduled to be introduced on the floor of the Missouri House of Representatives this afternoon.
The proposal received unanimous support last month from the Special Committee on Tourism and then passed
through Consent and House Procedure. Several individuals from Chillicothe were expected to be at the state
capitol when the bill is presented today. If the bill passes out of the House, the measure will be up for Senate consideration.
On the Senate side, Senator Denny Hoskins (R- Warrensburg), who represents Livingston County, will help move the
proposal through the Senate. This bill has received widespread interest and media attention for Chillicothe since
Black (R-Chillicothe) filed the bill late last year, bringing recognition to the fact that
commercially-sliced bread was first introduced to the public in Missouri. That event took place July 7, 1928, in Frank
Bench's Chillicothe Baking Company in Chillicothe, Missouri. The most recent media coverage came Tuesday in the form of a news article
printed in the Washington Post online edition. The bill also received online exposure on
C-T 01 31 18
- JEFFERSON CITY,
MO - Missouri Rep. Rusty Black's bill to have July 7th declared as Missouri Sliced Bread Day
received support Tuesday morning during its second round of committee hearings. The Consent and House
Procedure Committee heard the bill as presented by Black (R-Chillicothe). The committee voted unanimously in favor
of the proposal. The bill now goes back to the speaker's office to be considered for placement on the calendar for
debate on the House floor. Black stated that the proposal still has a long way to go before reaching the
governor's desk but, so far, has been well received. "Things like this make a
difference," Black stated. "This recognition highlights Highway 36 and tourism opportunities provided along this highway. It may be 15 or 20 miles between
historic highlights, but there is great, rich history in this part of the
The Sliced Bread bill was among several bills heard in committee Tuesday morning. In addressing committee members, Black noted the history found along U.S. Highway 36, including J.C.
Penney's hometown of Hamilton, Congressman Jerry Litton's hometown of Chillicothe, Gen. John J.
Pershing's hometown of Laclede, Dr. Howard A. Rusk hometown of Brookfield, and Walt
Disney's boyhood home of Marceline. There's another important one, Black
told committee members, "the greatest thing since... sliced
Black provided committee members with a brief history of slice
bread's introduction to the world that took place in Chillicothe on July 7, 1928. Several legislators asked questions and made comments.
"Rep. Curtis Trent (R-Springfield) said this is a celebration of innovation, ingenuity and hard work for our entire
state," Black said. Once presented on the House floor, the bill would need to be read again before moving to the
Senate's consent calendar.
The Sliced Bread
bill's first hearing took place Wednesday, Jan. 24, and was heard by the Special Committee on
Tourism. The committee unanimously voted the measure out of committee as a consent bill. The bill, HB1349, is
co-sponsored by Nate Walker (R-Kirksville).
C-T 01 26 18
MO - Missouri Rep. Rusty Black's bill to have July 7th declared as Missouri Sliced Bread Day
received support during its first hearing Wednesday evening. The Special Committee on Tourism heard the bill as
presented by Black (R-Chillicothe), along with testimony from Pam Clingerman, curator of the Grand River Historical
Society Museum, and Catherine Ripley, news editor of the Chillicothe Constitution- Tribune.
After hearing testimony, the committee unanimously voted the proposal out of committee as a consent bill.
Wednesday's action is the first of several steps the bill will need to take before reaching the
governor's desk, Black stated. The next hearing on this bill is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 30, before the Consent and House Procedure Committee. The bill, HB 1349, is
cosponsored by Nate Walker (R-Kirksville).
By CATHERINE STORTZ RIPLEY
Seventh District Missouri Rep. Rusty Black (R-Chillicothe) has filed a bill to designate each July 7th as
"Missouri Sliced Bread Day." The legislator pre-filed the state bill in December. The bill had its first reading on Wednesday, its
second reading on Thursday, and now awaits committee assignment for a hearing. The bill language calls for the
declaration of Missouri Sliced Bread Day and encourages Missourians to participate in appropriate activities and
events to commemorate the first sale of sliced bread on July 7, 1928, in Chillicothe, Mo.
The building in which the first loaf of
commercially-sliced bread was introduced to the world still stands at the corner
of First and Elm streets in Chillicothe and is owned by the Sliced Bread Corporation. It was here where Chillicothe
Baking Company owner, Frank Bench, put Otto Rohwedder's bread
slicing machine into operation. Last summer, Black visited Grand River Historical Society Museum in
Chillicothe where a Rohwedder bread-slicing machine is on loan from the Smithsonian Institution and is displayed. At the conclusion of his visit, Pam Clingerman, museum
curator, and Marvin Holcer, of the Livingston County Historical Society, asked if Black would be willing to file a bill
declaring July 7 as Missouri Sliced Bread Day. "I told them I would be happy to file the
bill," Black said. "I have visited the museum a few times,
but it has been a few years, and I found it very interesting to see the exhibits and
changes to the museum." Although it is undocumented as to what happened to the original bread-slicing machine, it
is believed to have been used until it fell apart. The machine on display at the Chillicothe museum was used at
Korn's Bakery in Davenport, Iowa, and is the second one that was put into use. It was donated to the Smithsonian
about 30 years ago by the family of Otto Rohwedder.
PHOTO CAPTION: On July 7, 1928, Chillicothe,
Missouri, became the first place in the world to introduce
commercially-sliced bread. Missouri Rep. Rusty Black has filed a state bill that would designate each July 7th as
Missouri Sliced Bread Day.