History.com explains the phrase “…owes its origin to one legendary night of drunkenness.” The Marquis of Waterford led friends on a night of drinking in the English town of Melton Mowbray in 1837. There was a spree of vandalism, including painting a tollgate, the doors of several homes, and a swan statue red. Another theory about the origin is that it refers to men in the American West behaving badly as if the entire town is a red-light district. One final theory is that it came from the sight of a town being burned by angry Native Americans. I prefer the first theory.