Athens Is Home of the Hamburger

National Hamburger Day is May 28 and while people celebrate with a thick, juicy one with everything on it, they may be interested to learn that the East Texas town of Athens holds claim to where the all-American sandwich got its start.

Athens celebrates the Uncle Fletch Davis Hamburger Festival in late September each year. Davis, a cook with enterprising ideas, reportedly created the hamburger — ground beef between two pieces of Texas toast — for his customers who were too busy to sit down for a meal. He included the new creation on his menu by 1880.

The burger’s popularity went national when Davis and his wife served up hamburgers as food vendors at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.  

As time passed, other tales of the origin of the hamburger emerged, including one that tied the burger’s beginnings to Hamburg, Germany. Still, Athens has plenty of reasons to celebrate its own version. The most notable — especially for Texans — is the fact that the 80th session of the Texas Legislature passed a resolution in 2007 dubbing Athens “the original home of the hamburger.” 

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