Because it's always good to know who to blame for getting you shit-faced, here is a PBS video profile of the man who created the Long Island Iced Tea: Bob Butt. It was at a bartending competition held at the Long Island's Oak Beach Inn bar in the 1970s that this blessed/cursed drink came to life. Butt explains that the bartenders had to make something with triple sec, so he basically went with "everything white at the bartender's station."
Butt says he was surprised at how quickly the drink became ubiquitous, and that he was never in it for the money-making aspect. And apparently he recently met a woman in a bar who, upon learning of his invention, swore at him and blamed him for the time she wrecked her car. Must happen a lot. Go watch:
Video: Long Island Iced Tea | INVENTORS