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Profile America — Saturday, October 18th. A great many Americans would name pizza high up among their favorite foods, month in and month out. But for the 31st time, October is designated as National Pizza Month. No one knows the exact origin of pizza, but ancient Mediterranean cultures enjoyed flatbreads with various toppings and seasonings. An Italian immigrant named Gennaro Lombardi opened the first pizzeria in the U.S. in New York City in 1905. American soldiers who served in Italy returned from World War II with a taste for pizza and helped its climb to nationwide popularity. Now, about 3 billion pizzas are sold annually. There are some 70,000 pizzerias across the U.S., among the country's 216,000 limited service restaurants. You can find more facts about America's people, places and economy, from the American Community Survey, at http://www.census.gov.
First pizzeria: http://www.firstpizza.com/
Pizzarias and pizzas sold: http://www.americanpizzacommunity.com/page.asp?g=pizza&content=events
2007 Economic Census data on limited service restaurants: http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_72SXSB01&prodType=table NAICS 722211