Good Morning Gentle Readers,
Taking the tone of a tent revival preacher, John Kramer, the first Prohibition Commissioner declared that.....
This law (Prohibition) will be obeyed in cities, large and small, and in villages, and where it is not obeyed it will be enforced. The law says that liquor to be used as a beverage must not be manufactured. We shall see that it is not manufactured. Nor sold, nor given away, nor hauled in anything on the surface of the earth or under the earth or in the air.
Shortly thereafter, Grandma's fiance got himself erased in a fire fight with US Customs at the Canadian border while importing some high dollar whiskey.
Though the murder rate rose during the teens, it soared to almost ten murders per hundred thousand people during Prohibition. Note the dramatic plunge in the murder rate that began on Repeal Day 1933.
Prohibition also decimated the wine industry in California, pushing the evolution of high quality wines out for a half century and changing forever our cultural views toward alcohol. Many wineries collapsed because there wasn't enough market for Sacramental wine to make it profitable. Other wineries ripped out wine grapes and replaced them with juice grapes, resulting in a glut of low quality grapes that far outlasted the demise of Prohibition.
Some growers, like the Mondavis, grew Zinfandel and shipped the grapes back east to Italian Catholics who were permitted to make their own wine for sacramental purposes. Guys like Ernest & Julio Gallo hooked up with the Chicago mob to sell wine made in clandestine wineries in Central California, shipping the finished product in tanker cars to Chicago. Prohibition made the Gallo family wealthy. That wealth and power carried through for generations, and today, Gallo controls a huge market share as a resuslt.
What America Needs Now Is A Drink
Tip of the glass to Polyticks for the awesome chart
Check out the L.E.A.P website for some good documentation and information on America's longest war.