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Mildred Day's Rice Krispie Treats: June 9, 1996

Iowa Time Machine ⏰: On June 9, 1996, the inventor of Rice Krispy Treats, Mildred Day, passed away. A graduate of Iowa State, Day innovated over a long career working for Kellog, Pillsbury, and in culinary publishing.

Born in Durham, Tennessee, Herriet Midred Ghrist, Day moved to Quebec, Canada, with her family. During adolescence, her family moved to Ames, where her father took a job as a custodial worker at Iowa State. Day enrolled at the college and excelled in the Home Economics program while also working as a research assistant for a geneticist.

Hired by graduation, Kellog’s hired Day. Working as a test cook in the company’s kitchen, Day and co-worker Malitta Jense came up with the idea for Rice Krispy Treats in 1939. Day drew inspiration from popcorn balls sold at county fairs, and the first test for the product came at a Campfire Girls meeting. The ‘marshmallow squares proved a big hit, and soon Kellogg’s rolled out the tasty treat.

Day also allegedly served the first airline meal while cooking for a group of publishers on a flight. Moving on to work at Pillsbury, Day focused on creating understandable and easy-to-use cookbooks. Day eventually left Pillsbury but continued to publish through Meredith and other culinary magazines for the rest of her life. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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