You know what today is? July 7, aka “Slurpee Day.”

To inaugurate the celebration, the convenience store chain is offering free small Slurpees. Here is how to get yours:

Download the 7-Eleven or Speedway app

Visit your favorite 7-Eleven®, Speedway® or Stripes® store from 7/1 – 7/11

Fill up one of the special Slurpee Day cups with your fav flavor (or flavors)

Scan your 7-Eleven or Speedway app at checkout

What became 7-Eleven was originally founded in Dallas in 1927. After World War II, the stores changed their name to 7-Eleven to reflect their hours of operation. But it wasn’t until 1966 that the Slurpee was introduced. 

As WFFA points out, 7-Eleven didn’t exactly invent the frozen drink (though, of course, the Slurpee brand name, concept and marketing are 7-Eleven’s). During the 1950s, a Dairy Queen franchise owner named Omar Knedlik created Icee slushy drinks in Coffeyville, Kansas. According to Thrillist, the drinks were created by accident: in 1958, Knedlik’s soda machine broke, so he put the fizzy beverages in the freezer, but then decided to sell the frozen pop to customers, who loved the new drink. Knedlik worked with a marketer named Ruth Taylor, who came up with the Icee branding.

In 1960, Knedlik worked with Dallas-based John E. Mitchell company to create the Icee machine, which, according to the patent, was called, “The Machine for Dispensing Semi-Frozen Drinks and Control Therefor.” The first flavor sold was cola and Icee machines ended up in drug stores, diners, restaurants and places where soda was sold. 

7-Eleven first licensed the Icee machine in 1965 but then devised its own formula and branding. But why the name “Slurpee?” 

“The first time I heard that sound through a straw, it just came out ‘slurp,'” Bob Stanford, the director of 7-Eleven’s ad agency, said in a 1967 meeting (via Smithsonian Magazine). “We added the two e’s to make a noun. It was just a fun name and we decided to go with it.”

For more, check out the official 7-Eleven site.

Brian Ashcraft

A native of North Texas, Brian Ashcraft previously lived in Japan for over two decades. He has authored six books, including the award-winning Japanese Whisky and The Japanese Sake Bible. Prior to joining...