View Full Version : Bottled in Bond = Building on Fire

03-09-2012, 00:39
Hello All,

I was doing some dissertation research in the Library of Congress and came across some interesting bourbon-related newspaper articles from 1954 that I thought I'd share.

The stories concern an eleven year-old boy named Marion Gregory. In June of 1954, Marion set fire to an apartment building in Chicago, killing 7 people. The press and authorities made much of the fact that the boy was reading a comic book called "The Human Torch" before he set the fire. National newspapers picked up the story, and it contributed to a growing movement against comic books, which people blamed for inciting juvenile delinquency.

So what does this have to do with whiskey? Well, in addition to reading comic books, The Chicago American reported that the boy also drank "a lot" of bourbon furnished by his father, "to keep him from turning into a sissy."

And according to the July 16, 1954 issue of the "Daily Calumet,"

"The father, Lewis Gregory, admitted furnishing Marion with 'at least a pack of cigarettes and a lot of 100 proof whiskey every day.' Gregory said he found out his son was drinking and 'I figured if he was gonna drink and there was nothing I could do about it, it might as well be good whiskey. So I got him 100 proof. That's the best there is,' the father said."

Reading these articles, I was surprised that reporters and authorities seemed more concerned about young Marion's comic book reading habits than his consumption of bourbon and cigarettes.

Oh, and if anyone's interested, I have digital pictures of the newspaper clippings.

03-09-2012, 04:45
What a strange (and sad) story. Giving cigarettes and whiskey to a child.

Bourbon Boiler
03-09-2012, 18:10

If you don't mind me asking, how did you stumble on to this story?