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– The common story that the term “cup of joe” for coffee originated from Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels’ order to prohibit alcohol in the fleet is probably a myth. ships around the world held similar events to rid themselves of alcohol and mark the end of an era, but none came close in size and international participation than the soiree off Veracruz.
The ration was reduced to one gill (four ounces) in 1842 and totally eliminated 1862 during the Civil War—though the Confederate Navy continued to provide crews with rum rations, believing that the tradition would help recruit much-needed experienced sailors from other nations. Inspired by the editorial cartoons that had ridiculed the initial announcement, sailors had renamed a captured Mexican ship USS until it was spotted by an admiral, who smiled but demanded that it be repainted immediately.
The occasion would also be one of the last peaceful interactions between the navies for many years.
A world war would erupt by the end of the month; less than a year after participating in the event, the German cruiser – Grog is a concoction of rum, water and citrus juice that was originally drunk by British sailors and adopted by the U. Navy as a way to make stagnant water more palatable and to fight scurvy.
The results of the poll clearly indicated that Navy leaders strongly preferred to continue prohibition on the ships, though the policy was modified to allow alcohol on shore at stores and clubs. Ships keep a small stock of alcohol for so-called medicinal purposes such as when a crewmember is shaken by an accident or a pilot is suffering from the pressures of a demanding mission.
The alcohol can only be issued on the authority of the medicinal officer or captain of the ship.