"Spam"-The Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Snack of Champions During WWII.
During WWII, millions of the "mystery meat", or "miracle meat" were sent to the U.S. military and their allied forces, and many members of the U.S. military loved to grumble about it, because they had to eat it so often. (Sometimes three times a day.) They called spam as, "the ham that didn't pass its physical". The Hormel company created the spam as we know it today in 1937, and it was originally called "Hormel Spiced Ham". The name was soon changed to "Spam", after actor Kenneth Daigneau, (Who was the brother of a Hormel vice president) came up with the name & won the $100 prize to rename the product.
Interestingly enough, the British & the Russian troops during WWII, (Who were also sent millions of the "mystery meat" by the Hormel company) generally did not share the same derision of the canned meat. A veteran infantry man from the US 4th Infantry Division related an incident that occurred during the Normandy campaign in 1944. Both he and a fellow soldier were complaining constantly about the "mystery meat", when two visiting British soldiers nearby heard their gripes, and suddenly took some spam, and without a word, dropped it into the dirt. They then picked it up and swallowed it. The message was loud & clear to the complaining U.S. infantrymen: You pampered Yanks have nothing to complain about. This is a treat compared to what we get.
During the 1960's the Soviet leader, Nikita Khruschev, (Who was well known for his anti-American rants) even admitted that Spam had saved the Russian troops during WWII. He admitted that, “Without Spam, we wouldn’t have been able to feed our army.”
After the end of WWII, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, (Who commanded the allied forces during D-Day landings in Europe) wrote a letter to a retired Hormel executive, and he wrote: “During World War II, of course, I ate my share of Spam along with millions of other soldiers. I’ll even confess to a few unkind remarks about it—uttered during the strain of battle, you understand. But as former Commander-in-Chief, I believe I can still officially forgive you your only sin: sending us so much of it.”
You can read more here about the contributions of "Spam" during WWII:http://www.americainwwii.com/stories/spamagain.html
You can also see photos here that were taken from the "Hormel Spam Museum" in Austin, Minnesota:http://www.notpurfect.com/travel/spam/spam.html
In the U.S. today, the State of Hawaii consumes the most number of spam in all the 50 States. (It is jokingly called, "The Hawaiian Steak".) One of the most popular local Hawaiian food today is known as "Spam Musubi". (Spam that's wrapped with rice & edible seaweed.) Today, Spam is also used as a slang term on the internet to refer to unwanted e-mail or solicitations.
The popular British comedy team, "Monty Python" also did a comedy sketch in 1970 group about the mass quantities of Spam that's available in England during & after WWII. (The Hormel company was actually very supportive of this sketch.) The Spam song has since been used extensively on the internet to make fun of all the internet spamming.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8huXkSaL7o