Home Today's Reason to Drink October 17: Evel Knievel’s Birthday

October 17: Evel Knievel’s Birthday

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It’s Evel Knievel’s birthday. Born in 1938 in Butte, Montana, the motorcycle daredevil defined all that is daring, courageous and dangerous for at least two generations of Americans. And when I say dangerous, I’m not just talking about his motorcycle jumps. You didn’t want to mess around with Evel, as a Hollywood producer found out in 1977 when Evel jumped him with a baseball bat in the parking lot of 20th Century Fox. The FBI tried hard to roll that act of revenge and other assorted assaults into a racketeering charge, but aside from a 6-month stint in jail for the aforementioned baseball battery, the daredevil managed to keep one fast step ahead of the Feds. So did Mr. Knievel like a drink? He did. He averaged a half a fifth of whiskey, usually Wild Turkey, and a six-pack of beer a day. Before every jump, he would knock back a shot of Wild Turkey. For good luck. Sometimes he would knock back more than one if he felt he needed extra luck. His favorite cocktail? A whiskey, beer and tomato juice combo called the Montana Mary. Fun fact: That diamond-studded cane he carried around? Its center was hollow and usually filled with Wild Turkey. And sometimes, a sword. Depending upon what kind of mood he was in. And that, my friends, is as American as a man can get.

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