On July 4 (7/4) we celebrate America's Independence. Today, on July 11 (7/11) we celebrate its Slurpees.
Convenience store chain 7-Eleven celebrates its 85th birthday today with Slurpees from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., in 7.11-ounce Slurpee cups. While the special-edition cups last, the famous flavored-ice drinks are on the house, or houses--all 7,370 of them in the United States, according to the company's website.
The ubiquitous company is the world's largest convenience store chain, with over 46,000 stores. That's more than Subway or McDonald's, the world's largest restaurant chains. Subway has about 34,000 restaurants, and McDonald's about 33,000, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal last year.
The first 7-Eleven store opened in 1927 when a Dallas ice store began offering a few convenience items. The Slurpee didn't come along until later, but the two have since become synonomous. Texas may be its birthplace, but 7-Eleven is now international and, increasingly, Japanese. A Japanese holding company has owned the franchise since 2005, and there are more 7-Elevens in Japan than anywhere else--twice as many as in the U.S.
Seth Cline is a reporter with U.S. News and World Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter.