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July 4: Independence Day

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It’s Independence Day. You know, with nearly 250 years of separation, it’s easy to forget the amount of guts it took for the Founding Fathers to tell the most powerful empire in the world to go stuff itself. Luckily there was plenty of booze on hand to give them the strength and fortitude to pull it off. Over the last two centuries, the Drys have tried mightily to frame the Founders as a bunch of tee-totaling milksops, but the fact of the matter is, those guys liked to party. The Declaration of Independence was largely written in pubs, and most of its signers liked a drink, or two, or twelve, or as much as they could pry out of the innkeeper’s hands. True story: When the war was over and they settled down to write the Constitution, 55 delegates, including George Washington and the usual suspects, threw a party at a pub and ran up a 16,000 dollar bar tab. Between them, they put away 54 bottles of Madeira wine, 60 bottles of claret, 8 bottles of whiskey, 22 bottles of porter, 12 bottles of beer, 8 bottles of cider and 7 large bowls of spiked punch. They didn’t mess around and neither should you. Today, declare independence from the cruel tyranny of sobriety. Happy Fourth!