The 1829 inauguration of Andrew Jackson ranks as the most raucous in American history.
Presidents in those days traditionally held open house for the general public after being sworn in, but no one anticipated that hordes of Jackson’s rough-and-tumble supporters would descend on the nation’s capital for the big day or that they would troupe over to the White House following his inaugural address to shake his hand and guzzle free booze.
The party soon spun out of control. China and glassware were smashed, punch bowls and liquor spilled, and mud tracked over fine carpets as men in dirty boots stood on chairs to get a better look at the new president.
Washington’s more sedate residents surveyed the chaos and shuddered. They no doubt saw his supporters as “a basket of deplorables,” but historians today view this event as symbolizing a seismic shift in American politics: the Jacksonian Revolution.