”A “Cup of Joe” and Our Future…
July 9, 2017 Veterans Corner by Ronald Verini
Many veterans that join us around the’ coffee table’ for morning talk and ‘a cup of Joe’, share their stories about all their experiences during their military service. A very common phrase used especially by the older veterans, described the importance of and emotional attachment for, their daily must have “cup of Joe”. Well, for those of you younger folks, a “Cup of Joe” always referred to the traditional daily cannot go on without it, ‘soldiers best friend’, a cup of coffee. Many of the veterans’ stories mention the many friendships that were started from just having that ‘cup of Joe’ together and how important it still is today. So we all were wondering just how that saying got started.
Seems that this phrase “a cup of Joe’ has been around since WWI. In 1912, then US President Woodrow Wilson appointed a Mr. Josephus Daniels, who was a newspaper Editor and Publisher in North Carolina, and very active in Politics, to be the new Secretary of the Navy.
The original term was “a cup of Joseph Daniels”, and was started by sailors in the US Navy, and was meant to be an insult. Secretary Daniels was on a mission to impose much stricter ‘Moral Standards’ on naval life and made many changes such as cracking down on prostitution, appointing more Chaplains and banning alcohol! It was the banning of alcohol that really infuriated the troops because in so doing the stewards increased their orders for coffee and other (non-alcoholic beverages). This led to a cup of coffee then being referred to disparagingly as “a cup of Joseph Daniels”, which was very quickly shortened to “a cup of Joe”.
There are also a few other stories that purport to being the ‘real’ reason that a cup of coffee is referred to as a ‘cup of joe’. In the 1930’s a common nickname of “jamoke’ was used to describe the combination of ‘java’ and ‘mocha’ and linguists believe that ‘a cup of joe’ was the shortened transformation of ‘jamoke’. The other theory is that the slang term for a ‘guy’ or ‘chap’ or ‘fellow’ is ‘joe’, and thus coffee being considered the common mans drink a “cup of joe” was attached to that fellowship. There is one more story that could have been responsible for a “cup of Joe”. In the late 1800’s Joe Martinson began roasting coffee beans in NYC. He selected the beans as they were unloaded right off the docking ships, roasted the beans and sold fresh coffee and beans off a pushcart on the streets of New York. He became so popular the phrase ‘get a cup of Joe’ was associated with his coffee.
So which ever you believe to be the better explanation might just be your next discussion amongst friends over a ‘cup of joe’ of course.
And regarding the many ‘friendships’ that were born out of having coffee together, we thought that might just be the answer for our elected representatives. Golly just think about all those Democrats and Republicans having coffee together and agreeing on a solution !!!!!!!!!
Example: a story a few days ago about the problems our lawmakers in Congress (is this not surprising?) are having in determining size of the Army in 2018. Well the House Armed Services Committee approved a $625 Billion version of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act for 2018 which calls for the Army to add 17,000 soldiers. Then, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved a $640 Billion version that adds about 6,000 soldiers, yet the White House does not want expansion next year and proposes a $575 Billion budget, letting stand the current soldier count at 1,018,000. Sure would be nice to hear that all of Congress is now taking ‘conversational coffee breaks’ and agreeing on all sorts of things to improve our great nation!!!!!!
“Coffee tastes better if the latrines are dug downstream from the encampment.” U.S. Army Field Regulations.
“Not in numbers but in unity that our great strength lies.” Thomas Paine
“Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all.” Alexander The Great
“All for one, and one for all.” Alexandre Dumas (The Three Musketeers)