Lots of innovations have come about during wartime. Jet engines, duct tape, digital cameras, even candy.

During the early days of the United States Civil War, William Schrafft was working on creating a new type of sweet. He wanted to make something chewy that could be easily shipped and stored. Jellied candy such as Turkish Delights had been popular for centuries but it was sticky and didn’t travel well. Then he got the idea to add a hard coating, similar to the one used on Marcona almonds. And voila, the jelly bean was born.

This new candy soon became a popular treat to send to Union soldiers. And civilians were pretty excited about them too. On National Jelly Bean Day, enjoy a handful of these colorful, all-American sweets.

Today we also celebrate: National Day of Silence, National Donate Life Blue and Green Day, National Earth Day, and National Girl Scouts Leader’s Day.