On this day in 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis kicked off when an Air Force U-2 reconnaissance plane photographed those sneaky Soviets installing nuclear missiles on the island of Cuba. The resulting blockade and showdown were probably the closest the world ever came to full-scale nuclear war. So, you’re probably wondering, did drinking go up during that incredibly stressful time? Of course it did. According to a report released by the JFK Presidential Museum in 2002, there was a large jump in alcohol consumption, especially during the peak of the crisis from October 22nd to the 28th. Americans drank roughly a third more than usual, which should surprise no one. When things go to hell, mankind has always turned to the comforting arms of Sweet Mother Booze. It’s gotten us through a lot. It’s that calm companion that leans against that flimsy door separating sanity and madness. True story: A British study conducted in the 1950s claimed that without alcohol, Western Civilization would have collapsed shortly after World War One. It nursed us right through that existential crisis.