A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 06, 2012
“24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not.” (Newman Day)

"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not.” This line has often been attributed to the comedian Steven Wright, but it’s uncertain when (or if) he used it in a comedy routine. “My father used to ask me if I really thought it was just a coincidence that there are 24 hours in a day and 24 beers in a case” was credited to the comedian Dan Bradley by the Los Angeles (CA) Times in October 1990.

Bates College (Lewiston, ME) has held, since the mid-1970s, an unofficial event called “Newman Day” on the Friday nearest January 26, the birthday of actor Paul Newman (1925-2008). Students on Newman Day attempt to drink 24 beers within 24 hours. The name probably comes from Newman’s role in the movie Cool Hand Luke (1967), where his character ate 50 eggs in an hour. Newman is sometimes credited with the humorous line about 24 beers in 24 hours, but there’s no evidence that he originated it. Paul Newman tried (unsuccessfully) several times to stop Newman Day.

Newman Day is also popular at Princeton University, where it is celebrated on April 24th (possibly to reflect the “24” beers and hours). Kenyon College (Gambier, OH), Newman’s alma mater, celebrates Newman Day on March 30th, honoring his winning an Academy Award on March 30, 1987.


Wikiquote: Beer
Unsourced
24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence?
. Steven Wright

Wikipedia: Newman Day
Newman Day (also Newman’s Day), which occurs on April 24th of every year, is a collegiate drinking ritual where 24 beers are consumed over 24 hours. It is named for the late beer-drinking actor Paul Newman and his apocryphal remark made during a campus speech: “24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not.” Another reported source comes from a scene in Cool Hand Luke, in which Newman’s character eats 50 eggs in an hour.

History
Recent research has shown references made to Newman Day in The Bates Student as early as the late 1970s, including alumni who remember days of cafeteria food fights following each year’s celebration. Bates Student research indicated that the tradition was founded by several first-year men living in Milliken House in 1976, spreading to the entire campus and, years later, other institutions.

Today, participation in Newman’s Day is arguably most robust on the campus of Princeton University, where many students can be found consuming beers on the terraces of their Eating Clubs, or with their fraternities and sororities.

Newman’s Day: Wikis
Newman Day occurs on April 24 at Princeton and Yale, at Bates College on the Friday nearest the actor’s January 26 birthday. Kenyon College, Newman’s alma mater, has observed Newman Day on March 30, the anniversary of the actor’s first Academy Awards.

5 October 1990, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “The Opening Act Deserves a Listen” by Glenn Doggrell, Calendar, pt. F, pg. 16:
“My father used to ask me if I really thought it was just a coincidence that there are 24 hours in a day and 24 beers in a case.”
(Dan Bradley, a comedian—ed.)

14 April 1992, Advance-Titan (Oshkosh, WI), “Fried Green Gripes,” pg. 6, col. 2:
37. You think it’s just a coincidence that there are 24 beers in a case and 24 hours in a day?

Los Angeles (CA) Times
COMEDY: Bradley Has Cleaned Up His Act
July 2, 1992 | DENNIS McLELLAN, Dennis McLellan is a Times staff writer who regularly covers comedy for O.C. Live!
Comedian Dan Bradley says he doesn’t drink any more, but his old man still does. “My dad drinks beer all day long,” says Bradley. “My father used to ask me if I really thought it was just a coincidence that there are 24 hours in a day and 24 beers in a case.”

8 March 1995, Daily Herald (Chicago, IL), “Forget baseball; all sorts of interesting things are going on” by Mike Imrem, Sports, pg. 1:
T-shirt philosophy to ponder: ‘’24 hours in a day; 24 beers in a case; coincidence?”

Automotive Forums
Whats the most beer you have drunk in one sitting???????
JD@af
11-11-2001, 05:25 AM
Back in college we had this annual event called Newman Day. The last Friday in January, the idea was that you buy a case of beer, drink the whole thing spaced out over the course of the day, while going to all your classes, doing all your studying, and finishing by midnight without napping or puking. My first three years I thought it was a moronic, sadistic act of liver abuse, but my senior year I decided what the hell. I wound up putting away 22, though I puked at least a couple times, and I wound up dozing off. I woke up at 11:00 (so I had one hour left to complete the insanity) in my friend’s room, I had my last two Beast Lights on the couch beside me, and I just got up, went home, and crashed.
(...)
JD@af
11-11-2001, 07:12 PM
I went to college up in Maine, where the winters were long, cold, and lonely. Lots of kids who didn’t go skiiing every weekend and also were not inclined to knock themselves out studying found drinking a good way to pass the time (like up in northern New England, what do you do all winter long??? DRINK!). So we became something of “experts” at drinking, sad as that sounds. I had friends that really pushed up the bar, pulling stunts like doing Newman Day with Guiness, or just plain not stopping at 24 beers.

The Daily Princetonian
Health services to rely on ‘usual’ staff for Newman’s Day check-ins
By Samantha Cooper
Senior Writer
Published: Thursday, April 24th, 2003
Between Easter and Houseparties, University students have another date marked on their calendars. Today, April 24, also known as Newman’s Day, is an annual holiday observed by drinking a beer per hour for 24 hours.
(...)
Silverman dismisses as “apocryphal” the stories he has heard about students’ drunkenness on the day that honors a quip attributed to Paul Newman, “24 hours in a day . . . 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not.”

The Daily Princetonian
Behind the legend: Newman denies namesake tradition
By Melisa Gao
Senior Writer
Published: Friday, April 16th, 2004
In a letter to the University a few weeks ago, actor Paul Newman’s attorney expressed concern over Princeton’s 24-beers-in-24-hours tradition that occurs each year on April 24.

“Mr. Newman is disturbed by the use of his name in conjunction with this alcohol related event and he would like to bring an end to this tradition,” the letter said.

New York (NY) Times
Film Legend Bothered by Use of Name in Stunt at Princeton
By JONATHAN CHENG
Published: April 22, 2004
Paul Newman has attached his name to salad dressing, popcorn and salsa. But he has drawn the line at a Princeton tradition known as Newman’s Day, in which students strive to drink 24 beers in 24 hours.

Newman’s Day is scheduled for Saturday, and Mr. Newman has joined a chorus of university officials and residents of the Princeton community calling for moderation.

The day got its name from an apocryphal quote attributed to Mr. Newman: ‘’24 beers in a case, 24 hours in a day. Coincidence? I think not.’’

The Daily Princetonian
A Newman’s Day to be proud of
By David Marcovitz
Guest Columnist
Published: Friday, April 23rd, 2004
I’ll start with an admission: Newman’s Day is pretty fun. As one of my coworkers put it when asked for her thoughts on the notorious on goings of April 24, “Even if you’re not drinking, you get to see students walking around drunk, doing things they wouldn’t normally do.” Well put, Coco. Essentially, it’s Princeton kids’ way of rebelling against a stereotype, and many of its participants would argue that they deserve the one-day change of pace. Do we really?
(...)
For those students not familiar with Newman’s Day, the basic idea is that one will try to drink twenty-four beers in twenty-four hours on April 24th in honor of what Actor Paul Newman, now 79, allegedly said in a speech at Princeton. While Newman denies being responsible for the mantra “24 beers in a case, 24 hours in a day. Coincidence? I think not,” whether he said it or not isn’t really relevant to our discussion.

The Daily Princetonian
The SHAB alternative
By Cole Crittenden
Guest Columnist
Published: Friday, April 23rd, 2004
Not very many us graduate students here at Princeton actually know what Newman’s Day is. But even though we do not have a name for what happens on April 24, many of us see its consequences, most notably in precepts interrupted by those ridiculous but noticeable few who choose to come to class in an intoxicated state, beer can in tow.

Of course, if we did know the name, we probably would not use it. Scrutinizing language is a favorite pastime for my kind (especially those of us in the humanities), and assigning the name of a person who has done so much to fight alcohol and drug abuse to this date seems incongruous. It also strikes me as grossly hurtful, given that Newman’s founding support of the Scott Newman Center was motivated by the death of his son, Scott, due to substance abuse.
(...)
I serve as assistant master of Rockefeller College, and the dangerously immature attempt of some undergraduates to consume 24 beers in 24 hours places a particular burden on the resident advisors that I oversee.

Google Books
Bates College 2012: Off the Record
By Jessie Sawyer
Pittsburgh, PA: College Prowler
2011
Pg. ?:
Newman Day: On the Friday of Winter Carnival, some students partake in Newman Day. Batesies founded the day, which is also celebrated at Princeton. Each year, students try to drink 24 beers in 24 hours. The College has tried to eliminate the event in the past, but students continue it. (...) Paul Newman learned of the day held in his honor, and was disgusted. he wrote to the College in 1987 asking that it ban the drinking on Newman Day and instead make the day about sports or raising money for charity. The JAs and RCs honor Newsman’s request, raising money to donate to charity.  They campaigned in 2009 to stop Newman Day to little success.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Friday, July 06, 2012 • Permalink