Army cadets at West Point perpetrated one of the most violent displays of eggnog-fueled debauchery in American history.
Sometimes known as the Grog Mutiny, the 1826 Eggnog Riot is a tale largely unknown to the Military Academy’s current students, according to the school’s historian. At the annual Christmas party in 1826, students smuggled in a bootlegger’s load of whiskey to spike the eggnog, despite the fact that the Superintendent, Colonel Sylvanus Thayer, had banned alcohol from campus earlier that year. Several hours into the evening, all hell broke loose. Two officers were assaulted; banisters were torn from stairways, and windows, furniture and tableware were smashed. Within a month, 19 of the 90 cadets involved were court-marshaled and ultimately, 11 were expelled. An “eggnog defense” was not mounted, although it may have simply been the last straw for the cadets after enduring other prohibitions on tobacco, novels, and dueling.