The History of Happy Hour

March 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Though many people enjoy going to happy hours around the world, most do not know where the idea originated. The term came from the U.S. Navy during the 1920s, when performances were scheduled for a certain time period on the ships, and sailors often felt a certain degree of happiness from the alcohol they imbibed during this time, according to The Examiner.

Unfortunately, the trend spread to land at the same time that Prohibition began. As such, for several years, happy hours could only be held at “cocktail hours” in speakeasies and in peoples’ homes before dinner, since restaurants did not serve alcohol (The Examiner).

Though happy hour was initially associated with being a pre-dinner activity, in time people began to partake in it more commonly after work. Around 1960, people began using the term “happy hour” to describe this time period.  The phrase is used since those who frequented happy hours were always slightly drunk, and thereby happier than they normally would have been. As happy hours became popularized and the risk of drunk driving increased, bars began to offer happy hour dishes in the 1980s, according to The Examiner.

Most happy hours take place from 4-7, and although in recent years, some countries and states have banished happy hour, it is still popular for those who want to relax following a long day at work (The Examiner).


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