With four million people crowded into D.C. for today’s inauguration, open house at the White House is out of the question — but it wasn’t always. SF Chronicle summarizes highlights from inaugurations past, including Andrew Jackson’s 1829 public melee’ :
1829: Andrew Jackson, “the People’s President,” holds an open house. About 20,000 people trample mud and horse manure into the White House, destroy rugs, break satin-covered chairs, smash crystal and china, and spill liquor. Fights break out, women faint and Jackson has to escape through a window. Order is restored when barrels of whiskey are placed on the South Lawn, drawing the crowd outside.
I bet barrels of free gubmint whiskey would still be effective as a crowd control technique. And more fun than rubber bullets.