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A tasty tradition in honor of the cheeseburger kicked off Sunday in Pasadena — the birthday place of the food. 

According to modern-day Pasadena historians, the cheeseburger was invented in Pasadena in January 1924 by a 16-year-old short-order cook named Lionel Clark Sternberger. There’s even a commemorative plaque marking the historic spot.

“In 1924, as legend has it, teenaged Lionel Sternberger burned one side of a hamburger patty at The Rite Spot, his father’s roadside stand along Colorado Boulevard,” according to the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce. “Rather than throw away the spoiled burger, he masked his mistake with a piece of cheese and served it to a very appreciative customer.”

To honor Sternberger’s genius, 40 restaurants, burger joints and eateries across the city are offering signature burgers, special creations and great deals from Sunday through Friday.

Wendy Burch reports for the KTLA 5 Morning News on Jan. 23, 2022.