The Los Angeles Times had an interesting article in their Food section yesterday entitled, First Suppers (you can read it at http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo-inaugural14-2009jan14,0,5905247.story).
The article included a picture of Abraham Lincoln's inaugural ball dinner menu which you can also see if you go to the above link. What I liked the most was the story about his inaugural dinner. The newspaper states that a lavish midnight buffet was planned to be held at the Patent Office because it had two large halls that could be used for dinner and dancing. Patent models were displayed in the same hall as the dinner was to be served. The LA Times goes on to say,
When the grand supper was announced, after several hours of dancing, the crowd rushed the table and people began grabbing, pushing and stuffing themselves shamelessly. In a matter of minutes, the sumptuous buffet was a shambles-as were several of the patent exhibits.
Well I think this just goes to show that you should always feed people before midnight, otherwise people who have been dancing may lose their manners when they are hungry (well, I would anyway;). I think it also shows that our ancestors didn't always behave like angels.