- And it's safe to say it will be around for a long time.
A man from Illinois scooped up Richard Nixon’s sandwich 60 years ago, on September 22nd 1960, when the politician was visiting home to give a speech in Sullivan. And he still has the sandwich.
Steve Jenne has been invited onto several tv shows like “The Tonight Show,” with Johnny Carson, because of the buffalo barbeque sandwich. He co-wrote a book published this year about the sandwich as well.
It’s all about the sandwich.
“You could probably sell this to some museum — a very pathetic museum,” Carson joked about the paper plate on which the sandwich had been served.
According to Jenne, who was 14 at the time, school had let out early that day because of Nixons visit and his Boy Scout troop was enlisted to help with the event. He was posted right behind the vice president in the park, where Nixon ate the sandwich for lunch before his speech.
“He took a couple of bites and commented how tasty, how good it was,” Jenne said.
After Nixon left, the rest of the park cleared out, too. Jenne stayed behind for a bit though and that’s when he saw the rest of the sandwich. “I looked around and thought, ‘If no one else was going to take it, I am going to take it,” he recalled.
.Jenne brought the leftovers home with him and asked his mom to help him preserve it. She stuck it in the freezer for him and then when he moved out, he transferred it to his own freezer.
In 1988, the sandwich came out of hiding so-to-speak and was in a local newspaper story that hit the wire services and went international. This was what led to Jenne going on the “Tonight Show” where he was given a half-eaten snack of Carson’s and a paper plate from Steve Martin. He got some other souvenir sandwiches from celebrities, too.
Jenne plans on keeping the leftovers, just as he has this whole time.
“As long as I am living, that sandwich will be stored in my freezer in a container that is labeled, ‘Save, don’t throw away,’” he said.