Who doesn't love M&M's? Remember their tagline, melt in your mouth, not in your hands? The joke in our house was that since they were so small, they hardly had any calories and, what they did have, didn't count. I still stick to that theory to this day. This year, these little sweet treats turn 75 and, as it turns out, they have a pretty interesting history.

M&M's first arrived on the scene in 1941 and, according to The History Channel, they are named for their inventors; Forrest Mars Sr.,his family owned the Mars candy company; and Bruce Murrie; whose father started Hershey chocolate. When World War II broke out, M&M's were only made available to the military. They were great because they were easy to carry and they didn't melt like other chocolate did. When the war was over, the demand for these candies grew and grew.

The brown packaging we know today, first hit store shelves in 1948. Peanut M&M's were introduced in 1954 and now you can choose from the original milk chocolate, peanut, dark chocolate, crispy, peanut butter, pretzel, almond, dark mint, dark chocolate peanut. It's enough to keep you standing in front of the snack machine for a good ten minutes deciding which bag to buy, or maybe that's just me.

They were the first candies in space, going up with Space Shuttle Columbia in 1981 and they were the official candy of the 1984 Olympics. They have since gone on to be the official candy of many big events. You can even have them personalized. It's a bit pricey but they're nice for a baby shower, graduation, wedding, any family event. My husband and I got them as Christmas stocking presents one year and they were a hit.

So go ahead and get that bag of M&M's, or a second bag, I'm not judging. It's all to celebrate an American Icon. I just hope I have enough change for the snack machine.


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