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Designing Women S4 E20 Extra Sugar - Prohibition

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

Daddy Jones and his moonshine made an appearance in this week’s episode, so we’re taking that as a perfectly adequate excuse to finally talk about prohibition and the, er, uh, precarious relationship we’ve had with alcohol here in the South.

Join us as we discuss what prohibition was (and what it wasn’t), what it did (and what it didn’t), and the ripple effects we still see to this day.

It’s a complicated history, y’all, so it’s impossible to cover it all in one fell swoop. We’ll be looking for future opportunities to dig into different angles, including the specific history of moonshine (‘cause it has one all its own!).

Dig in if you want! Here are some of our references:

Also, as promised – here are the names of some of the fascinating women from this era:

Come on y’all, let’s get into it!



Nikki: That cut sound gets you every time, doesn't it?

Salina: Are we recording?

Nikki: We're recording.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: Well hey, y'all.

Salina: Hey, and.

Salina: Hey, Nikki.

Salina: Hey, Salina.

Salina: Let's do it backwards.

Nikki: It's extra sugar.

Salina: And welcome to this week's edition of extra sugar.

Salina: I was trying to put my document over here on 125% because I'm so young.

Salina: We're there, right in the thick of it, if you will.

Salina: Tagnabit just jumping right in on middle age.

Salina: I love it.

Salina: I have to tell you that I was pleased as punch when this week's designing women episode included a reference to moonshine.

Nikki: Because you love moonshine.

Salina: Well, actually, that's probably a good question.

Salina: Have you had moonshine?

Nikki: I've had the legal version of moonshine.

Nikki: So there is some version that's legal to make.

Nikki: And they sell it a lot in the gift shops in Tennessee.

Salina: I've had that the old smoky whatever.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: Yeah, I've had real moonshine before.

Nikki: Really?

Salina: It is disgusting.

Salina: So I was like moonshine.

Salina: And it's good that I'm admitting to illegal activities here.

Salina: Keep going.

Salina: Salina, it was a long time ago.

Nikki: They have no proof on you.

Salina: That's true.

Nikki: Except you admitting it.

Salina: I mean, I was probably like 18.

Nikki: Years old, allegedly, right?

Salina: I mean, honestly, someone just offered it to me, so who knows what I had.

Nikki: This is this guy on the corner of an Atlanta street getting worse.

Salina: It was like moonshine cherries.

Nikki: Okay.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: But I also drank some of the moonshine, and there was cherry.

Salina: It was just I couldn't get two sips.

Nikki: Yeah, it burned bad.

Salina: But anyways, so that reference to moonshine was just really a very perfectly adequate opening to talk about, well, really the precarious relationship we've had with alcohol here in the south.

Salina: Kay was tough, man.

Salina: Well, and it's something that's come up a few times in my research for extra sugars.

Salina: So as I was doing this, I was thinking a little bit about the one that we did season two women in the ministry, because I was looking a lot also at southern Baptist at the time.

Salina: Obviously, they're not really all about alcohol or tea totalers or on the opposite side of the spectrum, you have moonshine and bootlegging, these illegal enterprises that have been the livelihood of generations in appalachia.

Salina: And that made me think about the Hatfields and the McCoys that we covered in season three.

Salina: So while our southern predilection for both teetotling on the one hand as well as copious drinking on the other, predated the 18th amendment, that's where I'd like to focus our energy today.

Salina: Today we're going to talk about prohibition, what Herbert Hoover called the noble experiment and what Winston Churchill referred to as an affront to the whole history of mankind.

Salina: So he wasn't a fan, is what I'm trying to say here's.

Salina: A quick lay of the land of what we'll talk about.

Salina: I'll do a little primer on what prohibition was and what it wasn't as well as what it did and didn't do.

Salina: Then we'll talk about what led to it, how this was playing out in the south, specifically, we're Southern podcast.

Salina: And then what?

Salina: Prohibition changed for good.

Salina: That's where it gets a little lighter.

Nikki: Is there any alcohol involved?

Salina: We are prohibition today.

Salina: No drinking today.

Nikki: There was a lot of alcohol during Prohibition.

Salina: Yes, absolutely.

Salina: That is totally just saying, that is totally one thing that we'll talk about.

Salina: So stop me if you have any questions or if nothing I'm saying is making sense.

Salina: Hopefully at least one or two things will, because as I always say, if you have questions, it probably means other people have questions.

Nikki: I thought you were going to say I'm the eyes, ears, and fingers of the audience.

Salina: The fingers.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: So Prohibition officially kicked off on January 17, 1920, when the 18th Amendment went into effect.

Salina: It lasted for 13 years, ten months, 19 days.

Salina: And this was the federal US government prohibition of the manufacture, sell, or transportation of intoxicating liquors.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: Manufacturing, selling, transportation.

Salina: Nikki, do you notice anything missing from that list?

Nikki: Imbibing?

Salina: That's right.

Nikki: The drink.

Salina: Yes, that's right.

Salina: It's not on the list.

Salina: Now, look, I'm not a law expert.

Salina: I don't know if you knew that or not, but I'm not.

Salina: So right there, that seems like the kind of thing that might make this whole experiment a little challenging.

Salina: Enforcement nearly impossible.

Salina: 13 years.

Nikki: 13 long, dry years.

Salina: Just wait.

Salina: You just settle back with your glass of water there.

Salina: It's so terrible.

Nikki: Very thirsty.

Salina: I know.

Salina: What kind of extra sugar host am I not?

Nikki: Very extra.

Salina: As an example of how well it worked, malcolm Bengay, who was a newsman at the time, reportedly said, I know it was impossible to get a drink in Detroit unless you walked at least 10ft and told the busy bartender what you wanted in a voice loud enough for him to hear above the uproar.

Salina: And that really kind of encapsulates the way things were.

Salina: So the thing is, you have this thing, it's called the Volstead Act.

Salina: This is the law that's passed to enforce the 18th Amendment.

Salina: The problem is, it had a lot of loopholes in it.

Salina: So here's the ways you could get alcohol.

Salina: You could still get it as a prescription.

Salina: I didn't write this down, but the prescriptions like quadrupled or something crazy.

Nikki: I need it bad.

Nikki: I need it real bad.

Salina: And it wasn't even a crazy amount, but you could get prescribed, like, three drinks a week or something.

Salina: So you could make your own wine or cider at home.

Salina: You could drink it for religious purposes.

Salina: It was still available for industrial purposes.

Salina: Breweries eventually caught on and sold malt extract to consumers who turned around and made beer at home.

Salina: And then they do this thing, too, where they put a little note on it that tells you how to make it, and they'd be like, we're not saying it, we're just saying, like, if someone could, here's how they would do it.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: And then for the richer variety of people, they just stockpiled enough wine and liquor to keep them going.

Salina: Because the 18th Amendment was ratified one year, but it didn't start until a year later.

Nikki: Oh, Dang.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: So they had an entire year to get their acts together.

Salina: That's right.

Nikki: And alcohol stays a long time.

Nikki: It keeps a long time.

Salina: 13 years?

Salina: Probably not 13 years.

Salina: Some of them.

Salina: It depends on what you're drinking.

Salina: Some things you probably don't want.

Salina: Your wine coolers may not last.

Nikki: 13 on how desperate you are.

Salina: Well, based on the stories I saw and read, there was a lot of desperation, especially when I go back to the industrial purposes.

Salina: So people were definitely getting desperate.

Salina: But, like, why did this happen?

Salina: A change to the Constitution.

Salina: I don't need to tell you this.

Salina: That didn't happen every day.

Nikki: Takes an act of Congress.

Salina: Takes an act of Congress.

Salina: It's complicated.

Salina: It's certainly not a straight line, but a couple of things to know is that, one, it didn't happen overnight.

Salina: The seeds of Prohibition were planted as early as the 1830s.

Salina: And then two, it's important to understand America's relationship with alcohol.

Salina: So from our European roots I mean, not from everybody's European roots, but from European roots, alcohol was very much ingrained in daily life.

Salina: So take a farmer, for instance.

Salina: It wasn't unusual to wake up and have a cider with breakfast, one at lunch, something with dinner, and then maybe a toddy at bedtime.

Salina: But this barely had any alcohol content.

Salina: So when distilled liquor comes along, the routine stays, but now with a much higher alcohol content.

Salina: So by 1830, the average American over age 15 was drinking about three times as much as people today.

Salina: About 88 bottles of liquor a year.

Salina: And then I read some estimates that it's up as five times as much as the average person today.

Salina: Now, I wonder if they've compared this to post pandemic.

Salina: Yeah, but you get the idea.

Nikki: Question 88 bottles of liquor on the walls of liquor.

Nikki: I'm going to be singing that.

Salina: Oh, well, me too.

Salina: Thank you.

Nikki: That was a lot, Dang.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: We needed a reset, no?

Salina: Yes.

Salina: I don't know.

Salina: We went the right way about it, but yes, something probably needed to take place.

Salina: So here's a couple of other things just to kind of give you an idea of what it was like at the time.

Salina: So Americans were spending more on alcohol each year than the entire expenditure of the federal government.

Salina: And that not like one American.

Salina: One American was spending.

Salina: Right.

Salina: You get it?

Salina: And there were really serious concerns at the time, and I'm sure this is really what you I mean, I learned about Prohibition in school and what led to it.

Salina: This is more of what you learn about.

Salina: So there was domestic violence, there was crime, neglected families, economic ruin.

Salina: Disease, death.

Salina: I mean, not the best things.

Salina: Women and children often beared the brunt because men were losing their jobs, spending all their paycheck at the bar or wealth.

Salina: Then they would have called it the saloon.

Salina: And then many came back.

Salina: They came back home, and they were violent.

Salina: So not good things today, I think most historians believe prohibition was largely driven by xenophobic and anti immigration fillings.

Salina: Among those people in Middle America who were white, born in America, and Protestant, it was fear based, fear of change.

Salina: And the US.

Salina: Was changing quickly even then.

Salina: It was an initial push pull between these ideas of ruralism and urbanism.

Salina: There was a large exodus to the city at the time.

Salina: So you have this, like, traditionalism versus progressivism.

Salina: Racism is also in the mix, which we'll talk more about here shortly.

Nikki: So america.

Salina: America.

Nikki: That just sounds like every social issue.

Salina: Every time I go to look at something, I'm like, oh, okay, we're terrible racism.

Salina: I mean, honestly.

Salina: And it's been quite a learning experience these last two years.

Salina: Let's just say they don't teach you all this in the classroom.

Salina: So the roots of prohibition were the more measured temperance movement, which can be traced back to the early 18 hundreds, but it really starts gaining steam around the 1830s and 40s.

Salina: Temperance was not happening in a vacuum.

Salina: As Frederick Douglas said, all great reforms go together.

Salina: So associate professor, historian, and author Mark Lawrence Schrod argues, quote, temperance and Prohibitionism worked hand in glove with other freedom movements, abolitionism and suffragism that fought against the entrenched systems of domination and subordination.

Salina: Let me boil that down.

Salina: In other words, you got to fight the power.

Salina: You got to fight the power.

Salina: That be okay.

Salina: He said it the smart way.

Salina: I'm going to say it the way that I understand.

Salina: So the temperance movement practically began alongside abolitionism, and temperance was really a training ground for women's suffrage.

Salina: Women had finally found their voice, and when one woman wasn't allowed to speak at a temperance convention because of her sex, she switched her focus to fight for women's rights.

Salina: That woman was Susan B.

Salina: Anthony.

Nikki: B.

Nikki: Anthony.

Salina: That's right.

Salina: This is other things you learn in school, but it's been a long time.

Salina: So I was, like, reading it, and I was, like, just covered in chills.

Salina: I was like there were some successes, but they were usually short lived.

Salina: And then the movement came to a grinding halt when the Civil War broke out.

Salina: Moderation and resisting temptation.

Salina: These are nice ideas, but they just didn't stick.

Salina: So they get people to kind of back off of the heavy drinking for a while, and it'd be like large groups of people, like whole towns and stuff.

Salina: But eventually the temperance movement gave way to outright prohibition.

Salina: I think what a lot of historians are saying is that those people who wanted outright prohibition were always there in the mix.

Salina: But it just more and more support was garnered over the years, and eventually they just came to believe that the weight of the law was the only way they could get what they wanted.

Salina: Prohibition came at first slow and then fast.

Salina: And this is really where the south comes into play, because while we're not always seen as some early adopters, well, we were here.

Salina: In fact, in 1907, our home state of Georgia became the first state to pass a statewide ban on the production, transportation, and sell of alcohol, a full 13 years ahead of the 18th Amendment.

Nikki: They've always said we are super progressive in Georgia, and we are just the early adopters.

Nikki: We really lead the way.

Salina: That's right.

Salina: So eight additional Southern states would join us by 1915, but the timing for us is not coincidental.

Salina: From what I read one year earlier was the Atlanta race massacre that happens alongside Jim Crow, which is in full swing.

Salina: You ever heard of the Atlanta race massacre?

Nikki: Yes.

Salina: Okay, teach me, though.

Salina: Let me tell you, because I don't think I ever heard about that until maybe college.

Salina: I certainly didn't hear about it.

Nikki: We wouldn't have talked about it.

Salina: Or middle school.

Nikki: Middle school?

Nikki: No.

Nikki: That wasn't part of Georgia history, I don't think.

Salina: But it winds up happening when Jim Crow is really in full swing.

Salina: That same year, there was a very contentious governor's race, and I think the boiled down version is that it was full of a lot of racial and racist rhetoric.

Salina: And then there was a series of incendiary and unsubstantiated stories of alleged assaults on white women by black men that unleashed an outbreak of violence for three days that ultimately claims the lives of dozens of black citizens.

Salina: The situation was unhelped by the well, everybody was drunk.

Salina: It doesn't help things or calm things down when everyone is intoxicated.

Salina: I'm sure we all have lived enough life to know that what followed was what The Atlantic described as one of the most drastic law enactments in the history of prohibitory legislation.

Salina: Even at the time, the country was very interested in what was happening here in the south.

Salina: So the article that I ran across by The Atlantic was published in 1908.

Salina: I mean, they've been around a long time, really, and it provided some insight into the predominant thinking at the time.

Salina: So first it discussed that the legislation, or like the legislation that's happening in these different pockets, was racially motivated.

Salina: And it was similar to the decision at that time to keep liquor off Indian reservations, islands in the Pacific and areas in Africa under British rule.

Salina: The reporter wouldn't have said it this way in 19 eight, but this is part and parcel to colonialism.

Salina: Those in power want to stay in power, and there is a fear of not having the power any longer, an idea that certainly doesn't belong to 19 eight, by the way.

Salina: So by many accounts, racism was used as a tool in the south to gain support for Prohibition.

Salina: Here's what one interviewee had to say about it in the Ken Burns Prohibition documentary the scariest thing to a white Southern racist, a black man with a ballot in one hand and a bottle in the other hand, they would do anything to keep the black man from having either one.

Salina: The thing is, it's more complicated than racism.

Salina: Along going back to that Atlantic article, the argument for Prohibition was also a pragmatic one.

Salina: There was a vested business interest at stake.

Salina: So saloons, dive bars, especially the seedier ones, they didn't make for a strong labor force or for safe neighborhoods, and that was really keeping potential industry partners away.

Salina: In fact, during George's debate over the prohibitory the prohibitory bill race is not mentioned as a reason for Prohibition at all.

Salina: Now, that may not always feel noteworthy, but I have to say that in 19 819, seven people would not have been squeamish about overt racism.

Salina: So the fact that it wasn't mentioned at all in this case feels noteworthy.

Salina: And from what I've read, some historians really bristle at what Mark Lawrence Schrod, who I mentioned earlier, refers to as, quote, the forgotten history of black Prohibitionism.

Salina: We'll link to his article because it's super insightful, but within it he notes that nearly every major black abolitionist and civil rights leader before World War I endorsed temperance and Prohibition.

Salina: So we're talking Frederick Douglas, martin Delaney, sejorner Truth, Few Harper, IDA B, Wills web Du Bois, and Booker T.

Salina: Washington.

Salina: Douglas, in particular, was very vocal about alcohol and how it was strategically used to keep slaves, quote, stupefied, divided and disorganized.

Salina: And he wrote that it was the most effective means in the hands of the slaveholder in keeping down the spirit of insurrection.

Salina: Now, that's something that I learned about back in college as well.

Salina: That slaveholders would basically drop off copious amounts of liquor to the slaves on a plantation and just let them get really drunk.

Salina: That way they wouldn't try and either run away or rise up or whatever.

Salina: And because I learned that to this day, I struggle a little bit with liquor as gifts.

Salina: And that's one of the reasons, for whatever reason, I can't unsee learning that.

Salina: And that's what I always I know that's not what it's about when people give liquor as gifts, but I just can't disassociate the two.

Nikki: I think I have a question.

Salina: Sure.

Nikki: So this is a very logistical question.

Nikki: You may not know the answer.

Nikki: Would they would do that after work then?

Nikki: Because wouldn't they be disincentivized to stupeify their work Christmas?

Salina: You would get time off.

Nikki: Okay.

Salina: So like, while the family was off, they would also get time off.

Salina: This is like a 20 year old memory now of what I learned in history class.

Nikki: But then the other question I have is so I'm hearing both that it can stupefy you, but it can also incite riots.

Nikki: Is that what I'm hearing?

Salina: So in the Atlanta riots, they're talking about the white men who were going around and running around and, like, basically beating up black men in the streets.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: Because when you're drunk I think it was a quote you said they have a ballot in one hand and a bottle in the other.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: Is that about violence or is that about stupefication?

Salina: I do agree that when I was going, I almost put something in my notes about this because I was wondering if this would strike you, too.

Salina: I think it switched a little bit, depending on the time period we're talking about.

Salina: How can I put this?

Nikki: It's complicated is also a fair answer.

Salina: I think that's right.

Salina: But I do feel like now that you've raised it, we need to talk about it.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: And the way that I saw it, because I thought that there was a little bit of not a straight line between those two ideas and the best I could no one I didn't read anything that made sense of that for me.

Salina: I kind of had to make sense of it for myself.

Salina: And the way I imagine it is this.

Salina: When you have complete control over a group like you do during times of slavery, maybe they felt okay with dropping off liquor or something in the slave quarters because at the end of the day, they knew that they could just do whatever was necessary to control people if they needed to.

Nikki: Oh, I see.

Salina: After slaves are no longer slaves and they're supposedly free.

Nikki: Total control.

Salina: That's right.

Salina: So then them having liquor becomes dangerous.

Nikki: Because they've got freedom mixed in.

Salina: That's right.

Salina: That's how I made sense of it.

Salina: No one made sense of that for me in any of the readings.

Salina: So if anybody who's listening to this has any historical narrative or anything behind it but I think at the end of the day, it's like vesting that control.

Nikki: That makes sense.

Salina: It's also this idea, too, that no matter what the scenario is, they wanted control of the liquor and what either slaves or free men and women were doing.

Salina: And it didn't matter whether they were giving it or taking it away.

Salina: They wanted the control either way.

Salina: And that was another way I was reading it as well.

Salina: That is, without being a true historian at this time.

Salina: Just a dabbler.

Nikki: I think what I'm hearing is context matters, and what you said about slavery versus non slavery helps contextualize that a little bit.

Nikki: I think the other thing with alcohol and issues that are like interrelated to alcohol so smoking, I don't know.

Nikki: I can't think of any other ones around the top of my head.

Nikki: Issues like that where you bring in elements like religion, you bring elements like racial superiority, all those things that influence those social decisions.

Nikki: People make cases both ways.

Nikki: Yes.

Nikki: You get both sides of the coin at the same time.

Salina: Whatever's useful for you.

Salina: Exactly.

Salina: Yeah, I think that's absolutely right.

Salina: So going back to Shroud, who's this historian, he argues that black prohibitionism is often left out because it doesn't align with the narrative that this was a conservative white movement focused on legislating morality.

Salina: And he also argues that black prohibitionism primarily targeted liquor traffic in what he described as predatory capitalism and the immorality of getting one's fellow man addicted to promote your own profit.

Salina: A more contemporary example, and I think something that maybe resonates a little bit more today is like the opioid epidemic.

Salina: So I really highly encourage anyone who is interested in this topic to take a deeper look at the references that I'm dropping in because it is such a complicated story.

Salina: I hate to use the word story because this was real life, right?

Salina: And it's still real life to some extent today, but I think it's going to be able to contextualize things in a much deeper way than I can in 25 minutes.

Salina: Also, it's just really fascinating.

Nikki: It's weird that you're talking about something that happened in the first half of the 19 hundreds.

Nikki: And still in Georgia, you can't buy alcohol before 1230 on a Sunday in a store.

Salina: 1230.

Salina: Thank you.

Salina: I was trying to remember the time because we're going to get into that as well.

Salina: Okay, there's one more really big piece to the hastening of prohibition in the south as well as the US at large, and that is the saloon, or what we would think of as a bar today.

Salina: Nikki, what do you hear or what do you think of when you hear the word saloon?

Nikki: Annie Oakley.

Nikki: Yeah, I think of western.

Salina: Thank you.

Salina: I think of Whiskey swilling, door swinging, gun toting John Wayne movies, but they were actually everywhere at the time, especially in urban areas.

Salina: I was picturing Starbucks circa 2007.

Salina: Do I want to go to this Starbucks or the one across the street?

Salina: The one to my left, to my right, everywhere.

Nikki: It's like being on Bourbon Street all over again.

Salina: A lot of them were owned by the breweries so Anheuser Bush and Pat's Blue Ribbon, and they were essentially profiteering off of their integration into the distribution of their product.

Salina: That kind of monopoly in and of itself is problematic, but it also allowed them to pop up easily and everywhere.

Salina: So let me just give an example.

Salina: So the idea is kind of like making it sound like herpes or something, but I was just thinking of a.

Nikki: Man pulling up his covered wagon and pulling the back up, and he's like, it's filled to the brim with alcohol.

Nikki: And he's like it's.

Nikki: Robert saloon.

Nikki: That's a very specific mental picture.

Salina: Interestingly.

Salina: It's kind of like this, basically a guy, okay, I'd like to open a saloon.

Salina: And Anaheuser Bush is like, wonderful, and we will back you, and all you have to do is sell only anheuser Bush.

Salina: And so it sounds like early franchising or something.

Salina: I just want to make sure it makes sense, because a lot of this was more cementive for me as I'm watching these documentaries and stuff in a way that I'm like, am I being clear?

Salina: I don't know.

Salina: So at their best, they would become America's collective, annoyingly drunk frat boys.

Salina: But at their worst, they were home to prostitution, violence, and this one's, the really big one, I think political corruption.

Salina: So just listen to how The Atlantic described them.

Salina: Man, that article is really helpful.

Salina: This is a quote rapacious lawless and cruel unmindful of the public welfare and of private rights, defiant of restraint and impudently, insistent upon their right to do as they please, they have worn out the patience of the public.

Salina: Definitely not writing to the fifth grader here.

Salina: They have elected and have controlled sheriffs, mayors, aldermen, and legislators until the people have awakened to the fact that the short and simple, not to say the only way to get rid of the saloon in politics is to get rid of the saloon.

Nikki: I feel like someone at The Atlantic was a big time temperance movement person saloons the desperate underbelly of America?

Salina: Or are they sort of capturing the fed upness of, like, all of this at the time?

Salina: It's hard to say because we weren't alive.

Nikki: But, I mean, I wasn't you're three months older.

Salina: Let me tell you about it, Shannon.

Salina: For all of these reasons, the prohibition movement has set their sights almost entirely on saloons.

Salina: Indeed, it's the Antisaloon League or the ASL who is credited with pushing prohibition through two really big things help the ASL to do.

Salina: This one is the passage of the 16th Amendment, which sanctioned income tax.

Salina: How much do you know about your amendment?

Nikki: Darn it.

Nikki: That's the one I don't like.

Salina: Well, that means the federal government no longer had to rely on the enormous amount of tax revenue that were collected from alcohol sales.

Nikki: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Salina: I'm almost certain that in some years prior to the 16th Amendment, up to 80% of the federal government was funded by alcohol tax.

Nikki: I want to know how much is funded by the cigarette taxes now, because that's not an insignificant amount of funding either.

Nikki: Getting a lot of our money as if I'm a smoker.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: How many packs a day are you.

Nikki: Tax on alcohol too?

Salina: Isn't there I don't know how it works now.

Salina: Do you not do your tax on everything?

Salina: I didn't really.

Salina: I just kind of threw this together this morning.

Salina: But my thing is, there is no way that the 18th amendment ever happens without that money coming from somewhere else, period.

Salina: Especially if it was up to 80%.

Salina: That's a crazy amount.

Salina: So the other big one is World War I.

Salina: I would describe it as the final straw.

Salina: It certainly accelerated prohibition, the furthest it had ever been.

Salina: This is the first time in history that every American was subject to federal restrictions on alcohol.

Salina: In this case, it's due to rationing to support the war effort.

Nikki: So it wasn't just because we didn't want a bunch of drunk soldiers laying around.

Salina: No, but that's an interesting point.

Salina: It is really where the Xenophobia piece comes in, and it's really the clearest, because for some time already, the movement was connecting a couple of things alcohol production and German, Irish, Catholic and Jewish Americans.

Salina: Suddenly, we enter World War I, and patriotism is very fashionable once again.

Salina: And breweries, largely run by German Americans, are enemy number one.

Salina: So here's the argument they're making to Americans at the time.

Salina: Every dollar in their pocket, every bushel of grain diverted to a brewery aided the German war effort.

Salina: That's what we were told.

Salina: Just me, because you weren't alive yet.

Salina: I'm alive.

Salina: They even wait for this one, okay.

Salina: They even renamed Sauerkraut liberty cabbage.

Nikki: It's like French fries and freedom fries.

Salina: I swear to heaven and stars.

Salina: This is why we can't have nice things.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: All right.

Salina: A hop, skip, and one ratification later, we enter 13 years of Prohibition.

Salina: Sort of.

Salina: As we've already talked, there were a lot of loopholes, lot of loopholes nicki maze, but there are no spoilers here.

Salina: It fails.

Salina: This is definitely an oversimplification, but there's a growing let's call it a displeasure with the way things turned out.

Salina: By the time the Depression hits, people were over Prohibition, and it was not long for this world.

Salina: It may have not been effective for many reasons, but and as you've already alluded to, its effects were certainly long and far reaching.

Salina: Here are five things that it changed for good.

Salina: Prohibition changed the way we drink.

Salina: So before, women and men drank separately, saloons were for men.

Salina: Not intended that's because saloons were for men.

Salina: And Speakeasies changed all of that.

Salina: Women entered that bar, and we have never left Yay women, all of it.

Salina: So it also popularized imported liquor like Canadian whiskey, tequila, and rum, as well as mixers like tonic, gingerl, and Coca Cola.

Salina: I'm not saying these things didn't exist before.

Salina: I'm just saying it made them really popular.

Salina: It's when we learned about the daiquiri, the mojito and bacardi.

Salina: Arguably, it introduced us to Tiki culture.

Salina: Nikki oh, I love Tiki culture in rum centric bars.

Salina: Yeah, I know.

Salina: I thought you might like that.

Nikki: I don't know why I love Tiki culture.

Salina: I can't do that for you.

Nikki: Thank you.

Salina: Well, it's fun.

Salina: It's fun.

Salina: It's got a unique flavor.

Nikki: Oh, yeah, that, too.

Salina: We planned that.

Salina: And of course, the Speakeasy culture is here to stay.

Salina: We love the exclusivity of an unnecessary password, a hidden entrance, and dim lighting.

Nikki: I thought you meant drinking in private.

Salina: Well, that's what I like.

Salina: Well, it's not private, but it is behind a falsey bookshelf.

Salina: I like a dim lighting because it's the lighting I.

Salina: Look best in.

Salina: So Prohibition also created so speakeasy.

Salina: I want to say, and this next thing, I think are the two number things that people associate with Prohibition in the first place, but it created organized crime.

Nikki: I'm not sure what reaction I'm supposed to have to that.

Salina: Well, not excitement, necessarily, but it is interesting.

Salina: So the American Mafia can be traced back to the late 19th century, but it was small, siloed, and disorganized.

Salina: No, prohibition changed all of that.

Salina: Now, they were a business with lawyers, accountants, real estate investments.

Salina: We legitimized them during this time period.

Salina: Prohibition also gave them a reason to cooperate with one another beforehand.

Salina: They were just killing each other.

Nikki: Right?

Salina: I mean, there was some killing after.

Nikki: But then they realized, teamwork makes the dream work.

Salina: It does.

Salina: Because they needed to work together across state lines to get liquor out in these distribution.

Salina: That's right.

Salina: And all over the US.

Salina: So the other thing is, when alcohol was no longer illegal, well, they still had those same connections, and they just took all those newly sharpened skill sets and diverted it towards drugs, gambling, prostitution.

Salina: Here's one.

Nikki: Nothing if not ingenious.

Salina: That's right.

Salina: Here's one that kind of lived in the back of my mind, but I forgot about it.

Salina: Prohibition led to NASCAR bootleggers.

Salina: You want to say something?

Nikki: I was hoping you were going to go here.

Salina: I was going to be sad if.

Nikki: You ended the segment and didn't talk about NASCAR.

Salina: Don't you worry.

Salina: We're going to talk about Nas.

Salina: Out of the two of us, I guarantee you I spent more time in a racetrack than you did, okay?

Salina: Whether I wanted to or not.

Salina: So bootleggers modified their cars to make them faster so they could outrun federal agents and local police while transporting liquor.

Salina: The efforts continued past Prohibition because making and bootlegging illegal whiskey and moonshine meant no taxes and no regulations.

Salina: And, I mean, I think it really also predated Prohibition because we was always trying to skirt those taxes.

Salina: And, I mean, no wonder they're high.

Nikki: I hate taxes.

Salina: I'm not a huge fan, but I'm sure they have a rhyme and reason.

Nikki: I pay them, just for the record.

Salina: Audit.

Salina: So it took pretty skilled drivers as well to transport these illegal goods on back roads in the dark of night and pretty skilled mechanics to make those cars do what they could do.

Salina: These drivers would race on their days off, and eventually it would be a moonshiner who gave seed money for NASCAR to founder Bill Frank.

Nikki: Come on, man.

Salina: Come on.

Salina: The very first NASCAR race winner, red Byron.

Salina: He was a former moonshine runner, and hall of Famer Junior Johnson ran corn mash hooch before his debut in 1955.

Nikki: That's my favorite kind of hooch.

Salina: Well, I mean, is there anything more Southern sounding than corn mash hooch?

Salina: Give me some of that corn mash hooch out of the gasoline cane.

Salina: It just doesn't even sound good, to be honest.

Nikki: But okay, the word hooch is just not a pretty word.

Salina: Hooch.

Salina: Prohibition changed law enforcement as well.

Salina: wiretappings constitutionality is cemented during the height of prohibition.

Salina: And because the judicial system is so overrun with cases, the plea bargain became common practice for the first time.

Salina: You're all plea bargain and then this is really what's finally getting around to what you were referring to earlier.

Salina: Prohibition still lingers depending on where you live.

Salina: So the first thing, dry counties, these are your classic example.

Salina: So one sociologist has estimated that dry counties and municipalities make up 10% of territory in the continental US.

Salina: I mean, that's a pretty sizable amount.

Nikki: It's not insignificant.

Salina: No.

Salina: In Arkansas, for example, and I did refresh these data as at least of a few weeks ago, 31 of their 75 counties are still dry.

Salina: That's almost half.

Nikki: Oh, my gosh.

Salina: I mean, I'm not great at math, but I'm almost sure that's almost half the state governments in Mississippi, Kentucky, and Oklahoma allow their respective counties to outright prohibit the sell of alcohol or allow municipalities within those counties to make it illegal for residents to drink in public establishments.

Salina: Here's an interesting one.

Salina: I think they call this in between dry and wet counties.

Salina: I swear, I think they call it moist.

Salina: Moore County, Tennessee, is technically dry, but ironically, it's also home to the Jack Daniels distillery.

Nikki: That's crazy.

Salina: So it's not available in nearby restaurants, and the only place you can purchase it is from the distillery's gift shop as a commemorative gift only.

Salina: And you cannot legally consume it anywhere in the county.

Salina: I'm sure no one is, you know what I'm saying?

Nikki: I mean, if you're a lawmaker, this stuff doesn't sound dumb to you, right?

Salina: So dry counties are problematic, which I think is the next thing, really, that this is naturally leading to because, well, they promote binge drinking and they promote drunk driving.

Nikki: Right.

Salina: So research has also previously shown a higher concentration of meth labs in Dry, Kentucky counties oh, gosh.

Salina: And more frequent drug related crimes in Texas, counties where you can't purchase alcohol.

Salina: While on the other hand, counties who went from dry to wet saw a 14% drop in drug related deaths.

Salina: So just something for all our dry counties to consider.

Salina: Blue laws.

Salina: That's really what you were referring to earlier.

Salina: Now, these are another way that some places continue to curtail alcohol sales and consumption.

Salina: In case anybody doesn't know, if you weren't lucky enough to grow up here, blue laws are religiously motivated and restrict or ban certain activities on specified days, usually Sundays.

Salina: We tend to think about them as alcohol laws, but it can really be any activity, including work.

Nikki: Oh, I didn't know that.

Salina: I didn't either until I read something.

Salina: It's really interesting, but extra sugar.

Salina: Not sugar, coma.

Salina: So we're very familiar with blue laws here in Georgia.

Salina: We banned alcohol cells on Sundays until do you remember what year it was when it came off the books?

Nikki: I mean, it would have been early 2000s, right?

Salina: 2011.

Nikki: 2011.

Salina: Making us the last Southern state with this law on the books.

Salina: And then, as you said earlier, we still can't buy it before 1230.

Nikki: It is the craziest because you can buy it up till midnight on Saturday, and then you got a twelve and a half hour window where you can't buy it.

Salina: This is just a dumb church.

Nikki: It's the dumbest thing.

Nikki: Kroger at Kroger, they actually have the lights off in that section, and they have to put up signs every Sunday morning that says you can't buy alcohol till 1230.

Salina: I remember being a kid, like a really little kid, because we didn't even have a Kroger yet where I was.

Salina: It was like a local grocery store.

Salina: It was called Sachs.

Salina: And I remember being in there and looking up and all the lights would be off in that section.

Salina: And I specifically remember asking my mom why.

Salina: And I was probably like five or six years old.

Salina: So if you think we're excessive, this is harkening back to something you said earlier.

Salina: Prohibition lasted in Mississippi until 1966.

Salina: Holy, 33 years after the federal ban ended.

Salina: Surely no one in Mississippi was drinking.

Nikki: I would have moved just out of sheer annoyance.

Nikki: Like, I don't even care.

Nikki: I just think dumb laws for no reason about things like that are just dumb.

Salina: Especially if you're still enforcing them.

Salina: I mean, right?

Salina: You did your extra sugar on, like, laws that are on the book.

Salina: But I mean, this is real deal stuff, right?

Salina: So initially I had these really grand plans to talk about really fascinating women during the temperance and Prohibition time period on both sides of the law.

Salina: But like, again, extra sugar, sugar, coma, two different things.

Salina: But I will be looking for other opportunities for us to dig into their contributions.

Salina: What I will say is that you can learn about them in the articles that we'll link to, and I cannot recommend this enough.

Salina: The Ken Burns documentary on prohibition called Prohibition is so good.

Salina: I bought it.

Salina: It's only $16 on prime.

Salina: I'm just saying, like, I was going to buy a book and that was $15.

Salina: So I was like, I can just watch this while I work out.

Salina: And then I was like, this is amazing.

Salina: So it's really good.

Salina: It's five parts, or maybe it's three parts.

Salina: I don't know, guys.

Salina: It's been a couple of weeks, but it's the fastest 5 hours that I can recall.

Salina: I'm just saying.

Salina: Really good.

Salina: The other thing I'll say is that this time period showed how formidable women can be when they seek change.

Salina: And they weren't just seeking change on alcohol.

Salina: They were seeking to make life better all around.

Salina: Anyways, you all should look into it.

Salina: It's really cool.

Salina: Prohibition ended with the ratification of the 21st Amendment, repealing the 18th amendment on December 533.

Salina: As I researched this one, I found it also terribly familiar.

Salina: The push and pull between old and new, dividing the country over a single issue, weaponizing our fears and prejudices under the guise of patriotism, demonizing the supposed other, and just an outright inability to compromise.

Salina: But I was also reminded about the power of the collective, about grassroots activism, peaceful protests in this country, our ability to unite for the common good, to break through the barriers and then reach back for those who came behind us.

Salina: And my hope, sincerely, is that we can continue to carry the good parts forward and please leave the rest in the history books where it belongs.

Salina: And I think we can all cheers to that.

Salina: You know the drill.

Salina: DM us, email us, or contact us from the website.

Salina: Find us all over the socials.

Salina: And that's this week's.

Salina: Extra sugar.


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