A recent letter in the Birmingham News notes that in Prohibition’s first year, Alabama became the leading state in the country in the number of illegal moonshine stills found.

Check out the full letter on AL’s Prohibition past here.

Did you know that Tennessee was once a major supporter of Prohibition? That’s why 75 years ago this month it was such a dramatic turnaround when the state called for and ratified the 21st Amendment repealing national Prohibition.Here’s an op-ed in today’s Nashville Tennessean that talks more about the state’s individual history:

Prohibition wasn’t the cure-all that Tennessee wanted

Blue Laws are still in full force in Tennessee. It’s one of the few states that still ban Sunday sales.

Yesterday in Texas, Americans for Prosperity (Texas chapter) published this op-ed in the San Antonio Express-News discussing some of Texas’ outdated Blue Laws: Texas’ old alcohol laws need to change

Here’s a quick excerpt about the success of recent efforts to make “dry” towns “wet”:

The people of Fort Worth — and throughout Texas — are speaking loudly and clearly on the issue of alcohol sales. They want this state’s archaic, outdated liquor laws modernized. To do so, they are petitioning their local governments to put the question on the ballot. In more than 80 percent of 312 elections since 2004, local voters decided their liquor laws should more closely reflect today’s society.

There is a Sunday sales effort underway in Indiana by a group called Hoosiers for Beverage Choices – a statewide grass-roots coalition of citizens who want to update Indiana’s alcoholic beverage laws.Here is the story: Sunday beer views sought

Notably, here is a recent editorial in the American Chronicle calling for Sunday alcohol sales in Indiana.

Interesting article this morning on Pacific rumrunners during the 1920s.

Here’s an excerpted quote:

“San Diego, San Pedro and Santa Barbara have become the focal point of the rum runners operating on the Pacific Coast. . . . It is believed that the bulk of the rum fleet will arrive in Southern California waters, literally flooding this part of the state with booze of all descriptions.”
– San Diego Union,
May 12, 1925

Many people by now have heard that George Washington was the largest whiskey distiller in America when he died in 1799. He produced 11,000 gallons that year and was looking to do more because, as he wrote, “the demand in these parts…is brisk.”This week, whiskey is back on the market at Mount Vernon giftshops.

Good stuff. But did you know that during Prohibition, officials discovered and excavated Washington’s gristmill and distillery. They even reconstructed the mill on its foundation in 1932. But not the distillery. No doubt the distillery reconstruction got sidelined because many were uncomfortable linking Washington so closely with alcohol.

So it didn’t happen, at least until the 21st Century. Now, 75 years after the Repeal of Prohibition, Washington’s whiskey is back…

“For the first time since the repeal of Prohibition, people in Utah may buy whiskey, vodka and high-alcohol beer at a local distillery or brewery…”

Read the full story from today’s Salt Lake Tribune here.

Check out this book review on leading cocktail historian David Wondrich’s latest book, Imbibe!
“Imbibe!” features Prohibition-era cocktails from the Absinthe Cocktail to the Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to “Professor” Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar.

Let me know what you think…

Welcome to TheSpeakeasy — a blog designed to help celebrate the 75th Anniversary of National Prohibition Repeal.December 5th is the official date in 1933 that the 36th state, Utah, ratified the 21st Amendment — ending a 13-year nightmare that didn’t decrease alcohol abuse but increased it, didn’t eliminate crime but criminalized ordinary citizens, and didn’t increase prosperity but robbed the treasury of taxes.

So welcome to TheSpeakeasy. Glad you visited and please come back for more information on Prohibition Repeal news and events as states across the country continue to modernize archaic Prohibition-era alcohol laws.