Oakland has always attracted and embraced creative, innovative people. Here are a few contributions to the pop culture landscape, straight out of Oakland.
The Mai Tai
Victor Bergeron, aka "Trader Vic" concocted this creation in 1944 at his Oakland restaurant. Mixing Jamaican rum, fresh lime, Curacao, rock candy and orgeat syrup, when he served it to his visiting Tahitian friends they reportedly said "Mai Tai, roe ae" which means "out of this word, the best."
Invented by 11-year-old Oakland resident Frank Epperson in 1905 when he accidentally left his lemonade outside overnight with a mixing stick in it. It froze, and the rest is history. Epperson didn't start selling his creation under the name "Popsicle" until 1923, but 3 million are sold each year.
Rocky Road Ice Cream
William Dreyer's chocolate, almond and marshmallow concoction may have been inspired by Oakland's Fenton's Creamery recipe (it had walnuts instead of almonds). But Dreyer's Ice Cream company was the first to name it "Rocky Road" in 1929. The name was meant to make people smile during the Great Depression.
The Fortune Cookie Folding Machine
Thanks to Cal Berkeley graduate Shuck Yee, who invented the fortune cookie folding machine in 1973 in Oakland. The cookie began the ubiquitous treat at the end of every Chinese restaurant meal!
Let's Go Oakland
Local sports legend "Krazy George Henderson" invented "the Wave" on October 15, 1981 when the Oakland A's played the Yankees. Though the Wave has been swapped out for the "Bernie Lean," Oakland A's fans can still claim credit for it!
An Oakland Tribune sports editor, reporter and two Raider's employees started the first Fantasy Football game in 1962 at the King's X Bar. The weekly Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League went on to inspire Fantasy Football leagues around the world.
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