Sweet History

It was 1950.  American soldiers were fighting in the Korean War. They ran out of mortar shells.

The shells were the ammunition the soldiers used for their guns. They called them Tootsie Rolls after the candy. They used the nickname as a code. They didn’t want the enemy to know what they were talking about.

The soldiers used a radio to ask for more mortar shells. They used the code words. But the people listening to the radio didn’t know it was code. They thought the soldiers wanted real Tootsie Rolls.

A plane came and delivered Tootsie Rolls. The soldiers couldn’t believe what had happened. They called themselves “The Tootsie Roll Marines.”

The soldiers ate Tootsie Rolls for weeks. They also used the candy to patch holes in their equipment. It was very cold and the Tootsie Rolls were frozen. So they warmed them up to make a useful sort of clay.

The Tootsie Roll marines didn’t get their ammunition. But they made it to safety. And they had a good story to tell.