On the 24th of December in 1826, a celebration at the north barracks of West Point got a little bit out of hand.
The military academy was concerned that the cadets were drinking too much and it was decided that this year’s Christmas party would be alcohol-free.
This did not much appeal to the cadets, who promptly planned to smuggle in a half-gallon of whiskey to add to the eggnog. One group purchased two gallons of whiskey. Another brought in a gallon of rum. And on the evening of the 24th, another cadet got a further gallon of whiskey in case they ran out. And then the party began.
There were multiple attempts to quiet down the cadets in the early hours of the morning but this was met with resistance. At four am, three drunken cadets were found rummaging around the barracks. They were searching for drums and a fife in order to lead the mutiny.
By 5am, the cadets were openly rioting.
A few of the cadets took Thayer’s regulations as a challenge and intended to outsmart the superintendent and his staff by having the best holiday celebration West Point had seen. The term “celebration” may not apply in this case, but the incident of the “Eggnog Riot” was something West Point had never experienced. At least seventy cadets took part in the shenanigans, resulting in assaults on two officers and destruction of North Barracks, as some of the students, in their inebriated state, had smashed several windows.
The Eggnog Riot resulted in nineteen cadets and one soldier court-martialled. The moral of the story: if you are enjoying a tipple this holiday season, please do try to avoid playing the fife. It causes no end of trouble.t
Meanwhile, on the 24th of December in 2011, Saturday celebrations took place around the world! Take a look:
And these are the top-of-the-class photographers who took them:
Next Saturday is the last Saturday of the year! Make sure to take a photograph so you can join us for the end of year celebration!
All you need to do is take a photograph on Saturday and tweet it to @SatScenes with your location. It’s easy and fun and a great way to end 2011.