TIME Food & Drink

This Graphic Shows How Many Hot Dogs It Takes to Win the Nathan’s Eating Contest

Nathan's Hotdogs
George Heyer—Getty Images Crowds outside Nathan's Famous hot dog stand on Coney Island, New York City, circa 1955

They scarf down a lot more than they used to

According to Nathan’s Famous lore, the first Fourth of July hot-dog-eating contest took place the very year the hot dog stand on New York’s Coney Island opened in 1916. The story goes that it began when four immigrants were trying to determine who was the most patriotic by scarfing the dogs. But there’s no proof that there was an organized contest until the 1970s– as the press agent Mortimer Matz told the New York Times and Nathan’s then acknowledged. So our tally of how many hot dogs it took to win the contest begins in 1972, when Nathan’s started keeping records. That year’s winner, Jason Schechter, ate 14 wieners—a number that’s puny by today’s standards. Current record-holder Joey Chestnut won his title by noshing a whopping 69 in 2013.

For your awe-filled—or vomit-tinged—enjoyment, scroll down to see how many frankfurters have been consumed by the winners of every Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest between 1972 and 2014. As for why the thing is at Nathan’s at all, here’s how TIME explained the importance of Nathan Handwerker’s beachside joint in 1960:

The spiritual home of the U.S. hot dog —and the world’s largest hot dog stand—is Nathan‘s Famous on Brooklyn’s Coney Island. To Nathan‘s gaudy green and white stands each summer flock many of the millions of visitors to Coney, gobbling up more than 200,000 hot dogs (at 20¢ each) on a weekend. Summer or winter, Nathan‘s never closes. Its customers have braved blizzards just to reach a Nathan‘s hot dog: it is a regular last stop for many early-morning survivors of Manhattan’s cafe society.

TIME Civil Rights

The Meaning Behind the Civil Rights Act’s Signing Date

Johnson Signs Civil Rights Act
PhotoQuest / Getty Images President Lyndon B Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act in a ceremony at the White House, Washington DC, July 2, 1964 .

President Johnson signed the bill into law on July 2, 1964

For President Johnson to sign the Civil Rights Act into law on July 2, 1964, was a no-brainer: the date was a Thursday, just as it is this year, and the symbolism of marking the hard-fought victory just before Independence Day would be a shame to waste.

But, as TIME noted in its original 1964 coverage of the landmark legislation, the Fourth of July wasn’t the only significant date in play. The date on which the Senate passed the bill was June 19, 1964—precisely one year after “President John Kennedy sent to Congress a civil rights bill, [and] urged its speedy passage ‘not merely for reasons of economic efficiency, world diplomacy or domestic tranquility, but above all because it is right.'” Though Kennedy had been assassinated the previous fall, the law he had advocated for had actually grown in strength and scope.

After the House also passed the bill and it went on to the President, the season of its signing—and not just the calendar date—would also prove significant.

The bill included many obviously important provisions affecting matters of great weight, like voting rights and equal employment. But, as TIME pointed out, it would take months to see the voting rules take effect, and the labor matters included a period during which businesses could adjust. On the other hand, one of the parts of the law—a part that may seem today to be far less important—was, as TIME put it, “effective immediately, and likely to cause the fastest fireworks.”

The law entitled all persons to equal use of public accommodations, from hotels and movie theaters to soda fountains and public swimming pools. In the run up to the final vote, St. Augustine, Fla., proved why pools—long a contentious point, for the necessary closeness that comes with sharing the water with other people—would be a hot topic:

There, five Negroes and two white fellow demonstrators dived into the swimming pool at the segregated Monson Motor Lodge. The motel manager, furious, grabbed two jugs of muriatic acid, a cleansing agent, tried unsuccessfully to splash the stuff on the swimmers. Cops moved in, one of them stripped off his shoes and socks, leaped gracelessly into the water and pummeled the swimmers with his fists. When the fracas was over, 34 people, including the swimmers and other civil righters who kept dry, were hauled off to jail.

Due to the time of year, the new law’s effects would be immediately visible at swimming pools around the country.

TIME gender

See 9 Striking Historical Photos of African American Women

From the collection of the National Museum of African American History and Culture

The history of what it has meant to be black and female in the United States is not easily summed up—a point that the upcoming Smithsonian photo book African American Women makes plain. As Kinshasha Holman Conwill, deputy director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, points out in an introductory essay, the images in the book “[illuminate] a narrative that reflects large and small moments in U.S. history and culture.”

Famous faces like Lena Horne are presented alongside those whose personal stories are far less well known. Leona Dean, for example, lived a relatively prosperous life in the Midwest in the early 20th century—a place and time that has been largely eclipsed in the national memory. “We made a point of choosing images of people who aren’t famous,” says Michèle Gates Moresi, the museum’s supervisory curator of collections. “They aren’t known as leaders, but they were to their communities.”

The book is part of the Double Exposure series from the National Museum of African American History and Culture; the first installment in the series was released earlier this year and both African American Women and Civil Rights and the Promise of Equality will be released on July 7.

TIME movies

This Is Why ‘PG-13′ Is a Thing

Harrison Ford In 'Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom'
Paramount Pictures / Getty Images Harrison Ford in a scene from the film 'Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom', 1984

The movie rating was introduced on July 1, 1984

Movie-going teenagers of the United States, say “thank you” to Indiana Jones.

Before 1984, the line between movies for kids and movies for grown-ups was an all-or-nothing proposition. Everyone under the age of 16 was lumped together, kept from rated-R showings unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. And then came Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The bloody blockbuster released that May was rated PG, much to the consternation of many parents. When Gremlins followed in June, it became clear that a movie might be neither adults-only nor kid-friendly–and the rating system needed a solution.

As TIME’s Richard Zoglin reported that June, the Hollywood establishment heard the complaints:

Last week the Motion Picture Association of America (M.P.A.A.) seemed close to making perhaps the most sweeping change in the rating system since it was established 16 years ago. Ready for unveiling is a new rating, known as PG13, that would prohibit children under 13 from being admitted unless accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. The rating would presumably be used in the future for movies like Indiana Jones that are deemed acceptable for teen-agers but potentially harmful to younger children.

The PG13 proposal has been endorsed by a number of studio chiefs and theater owners and by the chairman of the M.P.A.A. rating board. Even Spielberg, confessing in a TV interview that there were parts of Indiana Jones that he would not want a ten-year-old to see, advocated the creation of the new rating. The proposed change, however, has been opposed by M.P.A.A. President Jack Valenti. He argues that the current system is working well enough and that adding more classifications would cause more confusion. “Who is smart enough to say what is permissible for a 13-year-old and not for a twelve-year-old?”

It was on this day, July 1, in 1984, that Valenti announced that PG-13 was a go. The first PG-13 movie, Red Dawn, arrived in theaters that August.

Read the full story, here in the TIME Vault: Gremlins in the Ratings System

TIME Civil Rights

See the Civil Rights Movement in Photographs

A new Smithsonian book tells the story through pictures

As the National Museum of African American History and Culture prepares to open, its staff is preparing a vast collection of artifacts and documents for display—but, though the museum won’t officially open until next year, a new series of books offers a sneak peek at its photography collection. The second book in the Double Exposure series, Civil Rights and the Promise of Equality, will be available July 7. (The first came out earlier this year.)

Some of the images of the civil rights movement—the fire hoses, the marches—are likely to be familiar to readers. But as other photos in the collection make clear, those weren’t the whole story. The movement was also captured in photographs of a new voter’s happiness and a new father’s insistence on a better future for his child.

“Civil rights, certainly, is something where people expect a story to be told but we want people to look at it in a different way—not just the photos of Martin Luther King,” says Michèle Gates Moresi, the museum’s supervisory curator of collections. “Those are in there, of course, but I think when people actually look at the book they can be introduced to new stories.”

TIME Books

See How Lewis Carroll’s Alice Evolved Through the Decades

The world first met Alice in July of 1865

It was precisely 150 years ago this week—on July 4, 1865—that the world first met a very special girl, who in the decades since has taught countless readers (and movie- and theatergoers) about the importance of believing in the impossible.

lewis carroll
Oscar Gustav Rejlander—The Morgan Library & MuseumPhotograph of Lewis Carroll, 1863.

Charles Dodgson, better known by his pseudonym Lewis Carroll, had taken a boat trip exactly three years earlier, on July 4, 1862, with a group that included a girl named Alice Liddell. Liddell was a daughter of the Dean of Christ Church at Oxford, where Dodgson was studying mathematics. (Some people have questioned the nature of Carroll’s relationship with Alice, although there appears to be little firm evidence that it was not benign.) As the Lewis Carroll Society tells it, it was on that outing that he began to tell the story of another Alice, who found her way to a magical place underground. The character’s real-life inspiration loved the story and asked him to write it down for her, which he did.

That story became Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which was published in a very limited run by Macmillan on July 4, 1865, with illustrations by John Tenniel. A few weeks later, Tenniel announced that he didn’t like the quality of the first printing and asked to have the edition withdrawn. The book didn’t become more widely available until that holiday season, but according to the University of Florida libraries—which hold a collection of editions of the work—it was from the July 4 printing that Alice Liddell was given her very own copy of the book she helped bring into the world. July 4 is celebrated throughout Oxford as Alice’s Day.

Many other museums, libraries and groups will also celebrate Alice‘s birthday this week; one of the Tenniel illustrations in the gallery above, for example, can be seen at the new exhibit Alice: 150 Years of Wonderland, on view now through Oct. 11 at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City.

In the 150 years since John Tenniel’s illustrations first helped the world imagine Alice, depictions of the character have evolved—but she has never lost her sense of wonder.

TIME Courts

Marriage Equality Is an Older Idea Than You Think

TIME's mentions of same-sex unions go back nearly a half-century

Friday’s news that the United States Supreme Court has ruled that all states must issue licenses for and recognize marriages between same-sex couples comes after years of anticipation among advocates and allies. Plenty of ink has been spilled about the speed with which the idea went from political poison to a seeming inevitability—but the story of marriage equality in the United States is actually much longer than is often acknowledged.

Oct. 31, 1969
Cover Credit: FRED BURRELLThe Oct. 31, 1969, cover of TIME

One of the first instances of same-sex marriage being discussed in the pages of TIME was in 1969, as part of a round-table discussion on the question “Are Homosexuals Sick?” in an issue with a cover story on The Homosexual in America. (That’s the cover, at left.) At one point in the conversation, one Rev. Robert Weeks proposed that it wasn’t so easy to say whether homosexuals as a group were “sick” or not:

I just finished counseling a person who was addicted to the men’s room in Grand Central Station. He knows he is going to get busted by the cops; yet he has to go there every day. I think I did succeed in getting him to cease going to the Grand Central men’s room, perhaps in favor of gay bars. This is a tremendous therapeutic gain for this particular man. But he is sick; he does need help. However, I don’t think Dr. Socarides [another participant, a psychoanalyst] is talking about people like another acquaintance of mine, a man who has been “married” to another homosexual for fifteen years. Both of them are very happy and very much in love. They asked me to bless their marriage, and I am going to do it.

Robin Fox, an anthropologist participating in the discussion, concurred: “So far as the two ‘married’ individuals are concerned,” he said, “they are engaged in what to them is a meaningful and satisfying relationship. What I would define as a sick person in sexual terms would be someone who could not go through the full sequence of sexual activity, from seeing and admiring to following, speaking, touching, and genital contact. A rapist, a person who makes obscene telephone calls—these seem to me sick people, and I don’t think it matters a damn whether the other person is of the same sex or not.”

The notion of gay marriage wasn’t just theoretical. Same-sex couples around the country were already starting to push for legal unions.

In October of 1970, a man named James Michael McConnell was fired by the University of Minnesota after applying for a marriage license with his partner. A district court judge ruled that the university couldn’t fire McConnell over it, as “the homosexual is as much entitled to the protection and benefits of the laws as are others.” The following year, McConnell was back in the news with an enterprising solution to his problem: ultimately unable to use marriage to make their relationship legal, he adopted his partner. The ruling that allowed the adoption was, the Gay Activists Alliance told TIME that week, the first of its kind. And it came with benefits: their new household status suddenly opened the door for tax deductions, tuition discounts and inheritance rights. They were living proof that legal acknowledgement of a relationship conferred tangible rights. (As of a May 2015 New York Times profile, they were still together).

By the time the 1972 Democratic National Convention rolled around, the idea of marriage equality—though far from mainstream—was real enough to make it to Miami, where the delegates would meet. As TIME reported, the largely youthful cohort that supported George McGovern included Americans who were ready to push the envelope for change, “demanding platform planks in favor of legalized marijuana, abortions on demand and homosexual marriage.”

Except, of course, McGovern lost the general election to Richard Nixon.

That same year, 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) passed Congress. Though the ERA, which said that “equality of rights under law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex,” passed Congress, it failed to be ratified by enough states, even after a multi-year fight. Foes of the measure warned that it could open the country to a future full of unisex bathrooms, military conscription for women and, yes, legalized gay marriage.

TIME called the threat “exaggerated” and noted that even at the 1977 National Women’s Conference, where lesbian rights were on the agenda, many progressive leaders wanted to distance themselves from LGBT issues (not that they were called that at the time) for fear of lending ammunition to ERA foes. In 1981, as the ERA was on its last legs, speakers for the National Organization for Women accused the Stop ERA campaign led by Phyllis Schlafly of spreading word that the ERA would lead to “approval of homosexual marriage or the breakup of the family,” in TIME’s words. But their protestations weren’t enough. In 1982, the clock ran out on the ERA.

Despite the use of same-sex marriage as a scare tactic, momentum for the idea began to build again in the 1980s. Individual municipalities and businesses began to grant benefits to domestic partners, and by the end of the decade there was growing, if still small, support for extending some legal protections typically associated with marriage. In the years since a TIME survey in 1989 showed that more than two-thirds of respondents opposed recognizing the marriage of same-sex couples, public opinion has essentially flipped in favor of the unions.

Perhaps Phyllis Schlafly was right. Given America’s turnabout on gay marriage, it’s distinctly possible that the ERA could have helped marriage equality arrive even faster. Nor was Schlafly the only one who might have guessed correctly. In 1975, TIME interviewed a Columbia Law professor about the possible implications of the amendment. The professor said that women who expressed fear of the ERA were really just afraid of change, but conceded that it was impossible to know what the eventual results would be of such a broadly worded addition to the Constitution. That professor’s name was Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Read TIME’s 2013 cover story on marriage equality: How Gay Marriage Won

TIME conflict

How the Korean War Started

UN forces' transport vehicles recrossing
Time Life Pictures—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty UN forces' transport vehicles recrossing the 38th Parallel as they withdraw from Pyongyang in 1950

The line between North and South was crossed on June 25, 1950

Though the Korean War started on this day 65 years ago—June 25, 1950—when North Korean tanks crossed the 38th parallel, the boundary with South Korea, TIME’s reporting from the following week reveals it took several days for the United States to realize the scope of what had happened.

It was early Sunday morning in Korea, the middle of Saturday afternoon in Independence, Mo. In the former, TIME reported, “North Korean radio broadcast war whoops” as “past terraced hills, green with newly transplanted rice, rumbled tanks.” In the latter, U.S. President Harry Truman was visiting with friends and supporters in his home state when he received a telephone call from Secretary of State Dean Acheson.

About a day passed. In Korea, American civilians were evacuated as the Southern army rallied to try to hold the line. The 38th parallel was, one State Department official admitted, an entirely arbitrary line, chosen by the World War II victors in Potsdam with no consideration for the geographical, economic or political realities of the country—but it was the border, nonetheless, and it had been crossed. In the U.S., Truman returned to the capital to meet with advisers. The nation had already taken a side and promised help, but the question of how to help was unresolved. “As the tense White House conferences stretched through Sunday night and Monday,” TIME reported, “that question merged with another: Would the rapidly retreating South Koreans be able to hold out long enough for the U.S. to act?”

South Korean President Syngman Rhee said publicly that he was disappointed with the American response: “Our soldiers are very brave. They sacrifice themselves against the tanks . . . Korea is very hard up because aid was so slow. It is too little and too late.” Via North Korean radio, the South was urged to surrender.

Then, on Tuesday, June 27, President Truman and his advisers came to a decision. “Shortly after 11 a.m., the U.S.’s political and military policymakers began to arrive at the White House from the State Department, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill,” TIME reported. “By 11:30 they had closed the high doors of the Cabinet Room behind them. Outside 100 reporters thronged the executive lobby or stood by telephones in the adjacent press room. Exactly at noon, Presidential Secretary Charles Ross stirred them into a whirlwind as he passed out the text of the gravest, hardest-hitting answer to aggression that the U.S. has ever made in its peacetime history.”

The President’s statement, as reprinted in the magazine, began:

In Korea the government forces, which were armed to prevent border raids and to preserve internal security, were attacked by invading forces from North Korea. The Security Council of the United Nations called upon the invading troops to cease hostilities and to withdraw to the 38th parallel. This they have not done, but on the contrary have pressed the attack. The Security Council called upon all members of the United Nations to render every assistance to the United Nations in the execution of this resolution.

In these circumstances I have ordered United States Air and Sea forces to give the Korean government troops cover and support.

The attack upon Korea makes it plain beyond all doubt that Communism has passed beyond the use of subversion to conquer independent nations and will now use armed invasion and war.

It has defied the orders of the Security Council of the United Nations issued to preserve international peace and security. In these circumstances the occupation of Formosa by Communist forces would be a direct threat to the security of the Pacific area and to United States forces performing their lawful and necessary functions in that area.

After the statement was read in Congress, though some (like Missouri Senator James Kem) questioned whether the President was in effect declaring war without the proper congressional path to action. Those in Congress who supported the President’s actions carried the day, and the House quickly approved an appropriation bill to fund the military action, which would officially continue for about three more years.

Read more about Truman’s response, here in the TIME Vault: Challenge Accepted

TIME Books

Read TIME’s Original Book Review for Anne Frank’s Diary

Anne Frank (1929-1945).
Heritage Images / Getty Images Anne Frank (1929-1945)

The diary was first published in the Netherlands on June 25, 1947

When the diary of Anne Frank was first published in English, as Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, a full decade had passed since a young Anne received the fateful journal for her 13th birthday. Five years had passed since the diary had been published in the Netherlands—on this day, June 25, in 1947, as Het Achterhuis—and more than dozen had passed since its author stopped writing down her days.

And yet, despite the passage of time, her story was something new, a different way of understanding the horrors of the Holocaust. “The resulting diary is one of the most moving stories that anyone, anywhere, has managed to tell about World War II,” as TIME’s book reviewer put it, describing the diarist’s experiences:

As the war dragged on and news trickled in of mass deportations of Jews, Anne became desperate. She had terrifying fantasies about the death of Jewish friends. Often she saw “rows of good, innocent people accompanied by crying children [walk] on and on . . . bullied and knocked about until they almost drop.” With appalling prescience she wrote that “there is nothing we can do but wait as calmly as we can till the misery comes to an end. Jews and Christians wait, the whole earth waits; and there are many who wait for death.” When her pen fell into the fire, she wrote that it “has been cremated.”

Though not much interested in politics, Anne tried to understand what was happening to the world. “I don’t believe that the big men, the politicians and the capitalists alone, are guilty of the war,” she wrote. “Oh no, the little man is just as guilty, otherwise the peoples of the world would have risen in revolt long ago! There’s in people simply an urge to destroy, an urge to kill, to murder and rage, and until all mankind, without exception, undergoes a great change, wars will be waged …”

But sometimes she cried out from the heart, as if for all the Jews of Europe: “Who has inflicted this upon us? Who has made us Jews different from all other people? Who has allowed us to suffer so terribly up to now? It is God that has made us as we are, but it will be God, too, who will raise us up again.”

Many more decades have passed by now—this year marks the 70th anniversary of Anne Frank’s death at Bergen-Belsen—and her father’s decision to execute her wish to have her diary published continues to prove significant. According to the Anne Frank House, it has since been published in 70 languages.

Read the full review, here in the TIME Vault: Lost Child

TIME Television

Read TIME’s Original Review of Seinfeld

Seinfeld
Andrew Eccles—NBC/Getty Images Michael Richards as Cosmo Kramer, Jason Alexander as George Costanza, Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes, Jerry Seinfeld as Jerry Seinfeld

As the show begins streaming on Hulu, revisit our first take on the show about nothing

Wednesday is a big day for Seinfeld fans: rather than rely on late-night reruns to get their fix of the beloved sitcom, they can now binge watch the whole thing on Hulu.

It’s been more than 25 years since the show premiered in 1989, but interest in Jerry & co. shows no sign of flagging—something that TIME’s critic Richard Zoglin might not have predicted when he reviewed the show back in 1992. (Yes, it took more than a year for TIME to give Seinfeld more than a blurb review, but in fairness it took a while for the show to find its footing, too.) The characters’ tendency not to talk about their deeper feelings or concerns—one of the show’s signatures—meant, Zoglin guessed, that even viewers who loved to tune in for a half-hour a week wouldn’t really get attached.

Still, even when it wasn’t clear that Seinfeld would become a classic, it was obvious that something was working:

Stand-up comics can get chewed up fast in TV. First they are squeezed dry of material by Letterman, Leno and the other talk-show bloodsuckers. Then, if they grow popular enough, they are plucked from their solo job and awarded a sitcom. There, major pitfalls await them. Some are exposed as Johnny-one-notes (Kevin Meaney in Uncle Buck); others are simply unable to make the transition from joke telling to character building (Richard Lewis in Anything but Love). Only a few — Roseanne Arnold, Tim Allen — succeed without selling out. One of the brightest members of that small club is Jerry Seinfeld. The Long Island native was perhaps the quintessential yuppie comic of the ’80s: his larky, laid-back observations about the trivial pursuits of modern life — buying candy at a movie theater, riding with your dog in the front seat of the car — were funny, recognizable, nonthreatening. Now he is the centerpiece of NBC’s hottest sitcom.

Read the full review, here in the TIME Vault: Comedian on the Make

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com