Most people tune out the news on Christmas.

But, historically speaking, it’s one of the newsiest days of the year.

In 1776, George Washington used Christmas as cover for a sneak attack.i

Washington led thousands of men across the icy Delaware River, and defeated an enemy force that had partied a bit too hard the night beforeii (although more than half of his troops didn’t arrive in time for the fight).

On Christmas Eve in 1929, Herbert Hoover was the president making news, because the White House nearly burned down while he was hosting a Christmas party.iii

And the Hoover Administration had to ask Congress for money for repairs, because the White House wasn’t insured.

Perhaps America’s strangest bit of Christmas history was … the Eggnog Riot.

(Yes, that’s really what it was called.)

In 1826, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point had just been made a dry campus.

But a group of cadets smuggled in nearly four gallons of whiskey for a Christmas party.

The celebration got so out of hand that they nearly destroyed their barracks.iv

They also threatened the officers who caught them with swords, pistols, and bayonets — which doesn’t go down well at West Point.

While only 19 cadets were kicked out, more than 1/3 of the student body faced expulsion.

Not exactly a “Silent Night.”