Home Today's Reason to Drink September 5: Jesse James’ Birthday

September 5: Jesse James’ Birthday

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It’s Jesse James’s birthday. Born in 1847, this iconic American outlaw tore things up on the U.S. frontier until he was shot in the back by that cowardly scoundrel Robert Ford in 1882. History has awarded Jesse a sort of Robin Hood status, but there isn’t much evidence that he gave much to the poor, and could be downright murderous if it served his purposes. So, did Jesse like a drink? He did. Whiskey mostly, because it was easier to carry when you were on the run, as opposed to say, beer. Sometimes during train robberies, Jesse would reward a cooperative engineer with two silver dollars, instructing him to drink a toast to the health of Jesse James the next day.  Which illustrates Jesse’s fine grasp of the art of public relations. He would sometimes hand out press releases during train robberies. I kid you not. Here’s an actual example, and I quote: “The most daring robbery on record. The southbound train on the Iron Mountain Railroad was stopped here this evening by five heavily armed men and robbed of  blank dollars… The robbers were all large men, none of them under six feet tall. They were masked, and started in a southerly direction after they had robbed the train, all mounted on fine-blooded horses. There is a hell of an excitement in this part of the country!” Unquote. That is freaking hilarious.

 

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