Today in History - The Black Tot Day - July 31, 1970
No, it wasn't some massacre, but perhaps a news just as tragic to sailors of the British Royal Navy.
"Tot" was the word for the daily ration of rum the sailors received. The tradition began in the 18th century, to kill off bacteria in unsafe drinking water.
Sailors were given as much as half a pint of undiluted rum twice daily in the 18th century, but that amount was gradually reduced to 1/8 pints, once a day by the late 19th century.
1970, the Navy decided to get rid of rum rations altogether, fearing mission readiness in the age complex machinery and equipment.
It wasn't well-received by the sailors. "Black arm-bands were worn as the Queen was toasted. Tots were buried at sea and in one navy training camp, sailors paraded a black coffin flanked by drummers and a piper."
Pour a glass of rum and commemorate this tragic day with the sailors.