National Hot Dog Day is celebrated each July in the United States. At the Billy Graham Library’s Graham Brothers dairy bar, more than 10,000 of the summer cookout favorites have been enjoyed. But what many people don’t know is that the humble hot dog has been a long-time favorite of Billy Graham. Fittingly, the hot dogs served at the Library are called “Billy Franks”—after Billy Graham’s childhood nickname.
Stop by the Graham Brothers dairy bar and pick up a “Billy Frank” this National Hot Dog Day.
Ricky Skaggs shared this memory of eating a hot dog with Mr. Graham in “Billy Graham & Me”:
I once went over to Dr. Graham’s house to sing a few songs for him. I had committed to do a spiritual forty-day fast, drinking water and hot tea and a little coffee. The body is an amazing thing, and you can actually get along without food for quite a while. I’ve had friends that have done two year fasts for nearly thirteen years. You don’t just jump into something like that without really feeling God inviting you to a fast. It’s a spiritual thing. Fasting was something that was very common in the days when Jesus was walking the earth. But we’ve gotten away from that lifestyle. In other religions it still happens quite a bit, but it seems like in the Christian religion it’s a bygone thing. I got to Dr. Graham’s house around lunchtime. I walked in and of course we hugged and said our hellos. He sat down at his table and said, “Would you have a hot dog with me?” The first thing I thought to myself was, Oh, you’re fasting. You can’t do that. But I really felt like I heard the Lord say, Yes, you will have a hot dog with him. Don’t let the fasting be an offense to him because that nullifies the whole fast if you do that. So, I didn’t tell Dr. Graham anything about the fast because I did not want to make him feel bad that he was eating in front of me, and tempting me. Instead, I said, “Yes, sir, I’d love to have a hot dog with you.” And that was the best hot dog I’ve ever had.