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The history of hot dog eating competitions on Independence Day

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FORT WORTH -- When you think about the Fourth of July, your mind probably goes to the birth of our nation. Where our founding fathers fought for independence against British tyranny.

Fast forward to today, and what most Americans in Fort Worth are fighting against, is indigestion.

“This is the seventh annual Curly’s July 4th hot dog eating contest,” said Bourke Harvey.

Curly’s Frozen Custard in Fort Worth hosted the Cowtown version of the 4th of July hot dog eating competition, which was made famous by the major league eating event on Coney Island.

"About halfway through the third one, I debated if I was going to finish, much less take as long as I did,” said Stephen Roberts, who participated in the competition Tuesday.

So how did hot dog eating contests become such an American staple, especially on the 4th??

Legend has that about 100 years ago, four immigrants were having an argument on who was the most patriotic.

The owner of the hot dog stand overheard and had one simple solution: Have a hot dog eating contest to determine a winner. Thus the hot dog eating contest at Nathan’s Famous stand on Coney Island was born.

That is something our founding fathers would be proud of.

Here in Fort Worth the top dog will win tickets to a Rangers game.

But the true glory is when the wiener, I mean, winner, takes their place in history, of a proud American tradition.

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