NATIONAL HARVEY WALLBANGER DAY
National Harvey Wallbanger Day on November 8th recognizes a fruity and spirited cocktail made with 3 parts vodka, 1 part Galliano and 6 parts orange juice. Pour it into a highball glass and garnish it with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry.
In 1968 at a chili tasting in San Diego, hosts served Harvey Wallbangers along with a story explaining the cocktail’s origin. According to the story, all that remained of a Laguna Beach party included vodka, Galliano, and orange juice. When the party-goers left, Harvey remained, banging his head against the wall.
Donato ‘Duke’ Antone
However, accepted lore three-time-world-champion bartender, Donato ‘Duke’ Antone, deserves the credit for the cocktail’s invention. He operated Duke’s Blackwatch Bar on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Over the years, Antone collected quite a few credits for famous beverages. As a bartender, his resume was impressive – inventor of the Rusty Nail, White Russian, and Flaming Russian. According to the bartending wizard, in 1952, a surfer named Tony Wallbanger inspired the cocktail. Perhaps, the party in Laguna Beach is a version of Antone’s. However, no one has been able to identify the inspirational surfer.
Harvey Wallbanger remained a quiet little secret in the San Diego area until around 1968. Then George Bednar, a marketing director for McKesson Imports Company (the maker of Galliano), joined up with graphic artist Bill Young. Their marketing campaign launched a Harvey Wallbanger character that exploded into commercial popularity in the late 1960s and 1970s.
Harvey Wallbanger is the name and I can be made! ~ 1969 Galliano marketing slogan
The drink’s name became a metaphor to describe someone who goofs off or makes mistakes. When politicians or sports figures find themselves in compromising positions, they may earn the name Harvey Wallbanger. And it’s also interesting to note that voters write in Harvey Wallbanger at election time.
HOW TO OBSERVE #HarveyWallbangerDay
Call some of your friends to get together. Meet them at your local bar, and everyone orders a Harvey Wallbanger. Raise your glasses and toast a Happy National Harvey Wallbanger Day!! (Remember always to drink responsibly and never to drink and drive). Use #HarveyWallbangerDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL HARVEY WALLBANGER DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar® continues researching the origins of this spirited holiday.
Harvey Wallbanger FAQ
Q. Harvey Wallbanger sounds like a good name for a band. Is the name taken?
A. It was. Kind of…musicians Jeremy Taylor, Christopher Prurves, Johnny Griffiths, Neil “Reg” McArthur, Richard Allen and Harvey Brough founded Harvey and The Wallbangers in the 1980s.
Q. What kind of glass do you serve a Harvey Wallbanger in?
A. Harvey Wallbangers are served in a highball glass.
Q. What is Galliano?
A. Galliano is a sweet distilled liqueur infused with herbs and spices.
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November 8th Celebrated (And Not So Celebrated) History
William H. Frost receives patent No. 974,785 for an insect destroyer. The device improves upon previous electric insect electrocution devices by using smaller gages of wire and increasing the voltage. Previous inventions only killed the bugs when they came in contact with the wire. With Frost’s insect destroyer, the insects close the circuit by passing between the wires. Zap that!
The television soap opera, Days of Our Lives debuts on NBC TV
Massachusetts elects the first African American Senator since Reconstruction. The former Massachusetts Attorney General Edward Brooke won the seat over former Governor Endicott Peabody. In 1875, Blanche K. Bruce of Mississippi began his term as the last Senator before Reconstruction.
Time, Inc. launches the cable company Home Box Office. The company set a standard for future cable television and movie services to come.
November 8th Celebrated (And Not So Celebrated) Birthdays
Milton Bradly – 1836
In 1860, Bradley put his newly acquired lithography machine to work producing a board game he designed. He called it the “Checkered Game of Life,” and the success of the game led to a business that’s still going strong today. While the game design and name have changed slightly, so have some of the obstacles we face in The Game of Life.
Herbert Austin, 1st Baron Austin – 1866
The engineer sharpened his skills at the Wolseley Sheep-Shearing Company before founding the Austin Motor Company in 1905.
Margaret Mitchell – 1900
The author’s 1936 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Gone With the Wind adapted to a screenplay that starred Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh. Nominated for 13 Academy Awards, the film won in 8 categories including Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Dorothy Day – 1897
The journalist and social activist led a bohemian lifestyle for several years. Consistently being drawn to the teachings of the Catholic Church, In 1927, she joined the church and in the midst of the Great Depression founded the Catholic Worker Movement with Peter Maurin. The organization continues today.
Martha Gellhorn – 1908
As one of the first women to report from the ranks of war correspondents, Gellhorn’s career spanned nearly 60 years. She wrote several books and covered everything from the Spanish War to the beginning of the end of the Cold War before she retired in 1989.
Christiaan Barnard – 1922
In 1967, the cardiac surgeon performed the world’s first successful human-to-human heart transplant on a middle-aged man. The patient regained consciousness and lived another 18 days before succumbing to pneumonia.
Margaret Rhea Seddon – 1947
In 1978, NASA selected six women to join the astronaut training program. Seddon along with Shannon Lucid, Kathryn Sullivan, Judith Resnik, Anna Fisher, and Sally Ride made the cut. As a physician, Seddon completed the training program and flew her first Space Shuttle mission in 1985 followed by two more in 1991 and 1993.
Tom Anderson – 1970
In 2003, Anderson co-founded the social networking website Myspace with Chris DeWolfe.