One of the most coveted and revered traditions in the United States is the premise of happy hour. This post-afternoon ritual usually involves discounted drinks and socializing in a warm and inviting atmosphere. Like so many other activities that are undertaken on a regular basis, the origins of this activity might be unknown to the average person. Today, we plan on changing that by taking a closer look at the tradition that so many of us enjoy partaking in.
One of the earliest incarnations of the concept dates back to the United States Navy in the early 20th century. To help alleviate boredom when on a long voyage at sea, a weekly program was instituted on the USS Arkansas. The concept was focused more on entertainment and relaxation than alcohol consumption. By the end of the first world war, several ships in the fleet had their own versions of “happy hour.” Emphasis on alcohol eventually took hold. A 1959 article in the Saturday Evening Post reported that American servicemen in the Caribbean had an hour set aside during their day to enjoy a few libations and relax when off-duty.
Against the Law
From 1920 to 1933, the United States entered a unique chapter in its history—prohibition. During this thirteen-year period, the manufacturing, transportation, and sale of alcohol were prohibited. And while the nation was “dry,” it was still quite thirsty. Rum runners and bootleggers made astronomical profits from the sale of illegal booze. Ironically, the predecessor of happy hour, known as cocktail hour, began to achieve notoriety around the time prohibition went into effect. By the time prohibition had ended in 1933, bars and restaurants utilized cocktail hour as a marketing ploy to attract business following the newfound legalization of alcohol. However, happy hour is still prohibited in certain states, including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Alaska, and North Carolina.
Further Popularity by Way of a Crossover
In the early 2000s, country singer Alan Jackson teamed up with Jimmy Buffet on a song called “It’s 5:00 Somewhere,” which soon became the anthem of cutting out the stress and responsibilities and slipping on down the bar for a few libations. At Captain Eddie’s Seafood, we’re firm believers that it’s always 5:00 somewhere, and enjoying a few beverages with our delectable seafood is always encouraged. For a menu and more, stop by our website at captaineddiesseafood.com.