6. Indianapolis 500
The Indianapolis 500 takes place on Memorial Day weekend and is nearly as old as the holiday itself. Held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indy 500 began in 1911 -- it is so old that the winner of the first race outfitted his car with the original rear-view mirror.
Many traditions have become attached to the race over the years. In 1936, they began handing out the Borg-Warner Trophy, complete with the face of each year’s winner sculpted on it. In 2004, they had to make a larger version of the trophy in order to fit everyone. Starting in 1946, it became an annual tradition for “Indiana” to be sung on the morning of the race.
But perhaps the most iconic moment of the 500 is the winner’s victorious post-race milk drinking, also introduced in 1936. A dairy executive saw a picture of the winner, Louis Meyer, drinking milk, and vowed that it would continue – and a tradition was born.
And of course, the Indy 500 is home to four of the most famous words in sports: “Gentlemen, start your engines!” (And in recent years, ladies, too.)