What is National Happy Hour Day?
If you’re sitting at your favorite watering hole with a group of buddies chowing down on free or reduced price buffalo wings, chips and salsa, fries and maybe some coconut shrimp with cocktails or beer between 5-7pm on November 12, then you’re right on time for National Happy Hour Day! Life would be dull without it, so, enjoy!
National Happy Hour Day History
Surprisingly, something that most of us associate with fun after work in mostly urban settings, actually got its start with the U.S. Navy as far back as 1914. (However, in 1900 “Happy Hour” social clubs did exist.)
Happy Hours, as we know them today, got started during the early days of the Mexican-American war. During the occupation of Veracruz Harbor, American sailors aboard the U.S.S. Arkansas were the subject of desperate reporters looking to fill out mundane stories after earlier fighting had used up all the exciting copy. Notices, as in this lead in the “Washington Times” of May 1, 1914, “ ‘The Happy Hour’ Aboard Ship Makes U.S. Tars (short for “tar heels”, a slang for sailors from North Carolina) Contented.” were common. After a busy day, happy hours boosted morale with boxing matches, dancing and drinking. (Although liquor was expressly banned from naval vessels starting in 1899, sailors may have sneaked booze onboard.)
By the end of WWII, happy hours were a “thing.” The relaxing practice had spread throughout U.S. naval fleets. But on April 25, 1959, a “Saturday Evening Post” article popularized, “happy hour” for everybody outside the Navy. According to “Bustle,” an article entitled, “The Men Who Chase Missiles” described the hazards for people who “ lived and worked on remote island outposts tracking Cape Canaveral’s missile launches… “Except for those who spend too much during “happy hour” at the bar — and there are few of these — the money mounts up fast.”
As much as we love National Happy Hour Day (and we really do!), the day itself remains uncredited. This may be one of those internet-generated days that makes life so much fun. So, at the end of this day, let’s meet at the bar after work, say, around 6?