Firehouse Subs Celebrates National Sandwich Day with 10 Fascinating Facts

The story of America’s favorite food has some serious meat to it!

Sandwiches and subs have a storied history dating back at least 250 years. On this National Sandwich Day, learn how this fabulous concoction came to be -- plus nine other fun facts about the meal Americans will devour 300 million times today. 
  1. Which came first? The Earl or the Sandwich? According to, the sandwich was named after John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, a first lord of the British Admiralty in the 1770s and 80s. He was an avid gambler and was rumored to have created the easy-to-eat sandwich during an especially long card game when he was unable to leave the table.
  2. Submarines literally inspired the “sub.” Legend has it that Benedetto Capaldo, a restaurant owner near an east coast U.S. Naval submarine base, would receive hundreds of orders a day from local workers during World War II. The sandwiches, which he originally referred to as “grinders,” eventually morphed into being called “submarines” and “subs.” 
  3. On that note, what’s in a name? There are at least seven common terms used for “sandwich,” which often differ regionally. Those include our favorite “sub,” along with “hero,” “potbelly,” “grinder,” “hoagie,” “po’boy” and “blimpie.” 
  4. No matter their age, Americans relish the idea of pickles on their sandwiches. A recent survey commissioned by Firehouse Subs shows Gen Xers (84%) and Millennials (82%) appear to enjoy pickles on their sandwiches most, closely followed by Boomers (76%) and Gen Z (74%).
  5. Home is where the heart is. Six cities titled “Sandwich” can be found across the globe, including Sandwich, IL, Sandwich, MA, and Sandwich in Kent (UK). 
  6. Let’s be frank, a hot dog is a sandwich, at least according to the USDA. Interestingly, the first menu item at Firehouse Subs was actually the “Dalmatian Dog,” which consisted of an all-beef hot dog served with a choice of chili, relish, cheese, slaw, onions, mustard, ketchup on a poppy seed bun.
  7. Super-sized sandwich creations can be found all over the world. Here in the U.S., Michigan claims the world’s largest sandwich at 5,440 pounds, while Lebanon proudly holds the record for the longest sandwich at 2,411 feet. In 2019, chefs in Mexico City invited 10,000 people to enjoy the world’s largest torta at 236 feet. 
  8. Appetites divided. According to USDA research, American men eat more sandwiches (52%) than women (43%) in a day.
  9. There is much debate on America’s favorite sandwich, but it’s what’s inside that counts. At Firehouse Subs, the Hook & Ladder -- featuring smoked turkey breast, Virginia honey ham, and melted Monterey Jack, steamed to perfection and served on a toasted sub roll -- has been our guests’ ultimate favorite for over 27 years.
  10. Subs save lives. A portion of every purchase at all Firehouse Subs locations goes to the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation to provide lifesaving equipment to first responders. To date, over $62.5 million has been granted to public safety organizations across the U.S. and Canada.