View Full Version : The Politics of Prohibition

12-04-2004, 14:23
Before I joined this learned and cordial group, all I knew about Prohibition came from a scant mention during my history classes in school plus watching the TV shows, "The Untouchables" and "The Roaring 20's". In fact, I had little interest in the phenomenon, except for its role in fostering organized crime.

Now I find myself wondering how such a stupid idea ever gained sufficient public support to become law -- and not just a statute, but an amendment to The Constitution.

Do you realize what a high barrier must be surmounted to amend The Constitution? To originate in Congress a proposed amendment must be approved by a 2/3 majority in both houses. Then it must be approved by the legislatures or specially convened conventions in 3/4 of the states. When was the last time our society achieved such an overwhelming consensus? On anything? (In today's environment, even a resolution in support of motherhood, the flag and apple pie would certainly go down to defeat.)

In an actual case those requirements proved sufficient to thwart an attempt to establish as the law of the land the truth of a proposition that is obviously true based on all historical precedent, both legal and social -- except that in this matter a few pinhead judges have chosen to ignore it. But I digress.

How, then, did Prohibition achieve the necessary support to become the law of the land? In spite of my political leanings, I find myself idly wondering whether there is any parallel between the outcome of the past election and the conditions that led to Prohibition.

Does anyone know of a history of Prohibition that addresses my question in a pragmatic way?

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

12-04-2004, 15:37
Ya know...I can't answer your question cause it really baffles me that it "actually happened".

Here is "my opinion" on this stupid bunch of Historical crap...

Things, like "Carrie Nation" and that preacher man---whatever his name is...(escapes me now)..."things" kinda fits! I know those are just two names but two that were the leading force in this act of crap that gave birth to "alot more than babies" in our great Nation http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

In the early years of the KFB Festival, I ran the booth for Heaven Hill. This woman came in our booth dressed as Carrie Nation...Preaching the "bible" and the "Hells of Drinkin"...

Hmmmmmmmm...good thing she caught me on HH's time...I told her to move on or I will have her moved out immediately http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif I assume, she judged the look in my eyes and the tone of my voice, she knew to leave and leave quickly...

I am "ashamed" that this woman is a Kentucky Native.

Prohibition, nearly destroyed my family. In the early years right before Prohibition my great Grandfather Joseph L. Beam invested (42 shares at $100 each) with Jim Beam (his cousin) in the F.G. Walker Distillery on Jan. 9th, 1917...This act shut the place down and they lost it all...That's a incredible amount to loose in the dark days.

Prohibition forced my grandfather to dismantle a entire distillery, move it to Mexico and distilled there for three years to make money...He worked for Pappy VanWinkle in the late 20's---I have a letter (posted on these forums) from Pappy addressed to my family at Pop Beam's death...Pappy wrote, he was the "Dean Distiller of his Age"...

He came back to Kentucky and ran for Jailer of Nelson County http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif He ran a second term unopposed...I have posted a picture on his forum with my entire family of Beams (it's in the new HH Visitor center now) in front of the Jail house in Bardstown. At the time of that picture he (Joseph L. Beam) was Master Distiller for the newly formed Old Heaven Hill Springs Distillery...

I can nearly bet that during all those years he dreamed that someday the tables would turn and he could someday Distill "legally" again http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif He made a come back and was nearly "lost" in History.

My job...and a promise to my late Aunt Jo was to keep the "Spirit of our Beam Heritage alive"...I am keeping that promise to her http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif She started it and I'm gonna complete it http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

I would have loved to been around to hear the exciement in his voice when he learned that Prohibition had ended...I bet ya...he hollered "Katie lets go start that distillery"!!

On June 22, 1935, the incorporation papers were filed at the Nelson County Court house in Bardstown...The four names listed are Nolan, Muir, (Gary) Shapira and (Joseph L.) Beam http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif ...

Well, enough of that http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif I'm venturing way, way, "Off Topic" http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Bettye Jo http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

12-04-2004, 16:33
Prohibition grew out of a 19th century philosophy that human beings were "perfectable." It's not hard to see the religious sources of that belief. The three great movements spawned by this belief were the abolition of slavery, universal suffrage, and temperance. The leaders and participants in these three movements were often the same people. Its leaders were predominantly protestant ministers and their female parishioners.

The "temperance" movement started out as just that, an assault on drunkenness but not absolute prohibition. This movement began at about the same time as the abolitionist movement. They were often two sides of the same coin. Throw in universal suffrage and you have a three-sided coin. Of the three movements, universal suffrage was the least popular, but I digress.

So, you have the vanguard of the anti-alcohol movement acting on a deeply held religious belief that alcohol is simply evil, the work of the devil, and a major source of evil in the world. Preventing its abuse (and, ultimately, any use came to be viewed as abuse) was considered God's work.

When you consider that drinking and getting drunk was something that men did, often in cities to the point of drinking up their wages and leaving their families destitute, and going to church and praying about it was something that women did, you can begin to see how a women's rights movement was a natural outgrowth, but I digress again.

The temperance movement began in the mid-19th century, so what happened to ultimately make it successful in the early 20th? The answer is massive immigration by alcohol-using Catholics, including wine-drinking Italians, beer-drinking Germans, and ale- and whiskey-drinking Irish. (We don't usually think of Germans as Catholics, but as the German principalities became more generally protestant, it was often the German Catholics who immigrated.)

The majority of these immigrants lived in cities, worked in factories and were often drunk on the job, especially after lunch. This led the owners of the factories, generally Americans of English descent who either didn't drink or drank moderately and didn't think their access to alcohol would be impeded, to also favor prohibition. In the general public, prohibition also came to be viewed as a way of taming, if not fully Americanizing, those scary immigrant hoards with their weird habits and scary religion.

The success of passing prohibition becomes a little easier to understand when you view it as a nativist protestant initiative aimed at immigrant Catholics. The immigrants had political power in the cities, but were largely powerless on the larger state and especially national stages.

Are there parallels to the country's divisions today? Not parallels, perhaps, but certainly similarities, in that the divisions are often as much about race, class and culture as they are about the surface issues they seem to be about.

12-04-2004, 18:22
I would say there is a parallel to today's politics in that deeply felt religion - "values" in today's parlance - periodically asserts itself as a force to be reckoned with in American national life and (therefore, ultimately) politics. Sometimes that is for the good, e.g., the abolition of slavery, women's rights. Sometimes others' rights get caught up in these movements, e.g., those who wish to take a drink when they want, or who earn their livelihood in the beverage alcohol industry (as Bettye Jo said), were brushed aside by Volstead.

Today, the drink issue is a closed one, but we see the same attitudes at play in related areas, recreational drug use is one. Still, this is a different time, can one imagine for example that the wife of a senior proponent of alcohol abolition in the early 1900's would have stated publically, "What happens in Vegas [or whatever the sin city of the time was] stays in Vegas". I mean, times have changed..

A factor not mentioned in terms of sealing the decision to adopt Prohibition was the abandonment of alcohol by physicians. For centuries alcohol was regarded as therapeutic or at least benign by medicine. By the early 1900's the scientific establishment largely abandoned that attitude and henceforth viewed alcohol as a health threat plain and simple (the medicinal exemption in Volstead notwithstanding). H.L. Mencken said alcohol's fate was sealed when doctors gave up on alcohol as a tonic for health. Today, that attitude has been modified by studies showing moderate alcohol use is good for the heart, and that likely will help stop any fundamentalist attempt to bring back alcohol prohibition (itself unlikely, though).

Withal, we live in a different world today, but the attitudes that brought Prohibition to America are still very much with us: they simply operate on a different terrain than in the years leading up to Volstead. IMO.


12-04-2004, 21:09
Prohibition grew out of a 19th century philosophy that human beings were "perfectable." It's not hard to see the religious sources of that belief.

I'm veering a little off topic here, but my simple Protestant upbringing makes it very hard to see the religious sources of that belief. According to my religious learning, one of the tenets of Christianity is the acknowledgement that men are NOT perfectable (on earth, anyway). Thus, I don't think it's the so-called 'conservative' religionists of today who are the modern parallel -- but, rather, the often non-religious 'fairness' police who also seek to 'perfect' societal outcomes.
Anyway, back on topic -- Prohibition was repealed Dec. 5, 1933. Tomorrow (Sunday) is the anniversary. Happy Repeal Day!

12-04-2004, 21:14
It is true and perhaps ironic that this notion of human "perfectability," which sprang in the early to mid 19th century from protestant theology (though in the context of that time, terms such as "conservative" and "fundamentalist" are somewhat meaningless), has during most of the 20th century been promoted by Communists and others on the political left.

12-04-2004, 22:19
Prohibition forced my grandfather to dismantle a entire distillery, move it to Mexico and distilled there for three years to make money...

That's what Pernod did when absinthe became illegal in France. He moved his distillery to Spain.

So what happened in Mexico? Was he distilling bourbon or something else? If it was bourbon, was he selling it in Mexico? Why did he stop distilling in Mexico?

12-04-2004, 22:53
So what happened in Mexico? Was he distilling bourbon or something else? If it was bourbon, was he selling it in Mexico? Why did he stop distilling in Mexico?

He distilled whiskey for Waterfill and Frazier...I don't know for certain the exact reason he left but I would suspect "family roots" guided his way back home to Kentucky. My grandfather (the youngest of the seven sons), Harry Beam was with him at the time http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

My Great Uncle Otis (Otis was ten years older than my grandfather), was with them too...he took Katie Lou, his daughter with him. His young wife died giving birth to Katie Lou. I spoke with with her about this subject. I asked her could she remember anything about being Mexico during Prohibition? She remembers very little. She is coming to visit me in a short while. I am hoping that after alot of thought she can remember a few more things http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Bettye Jo http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

12-05-2004, 00:10
Good point. It is not just religion, or any one of them, that can be characterised as promoting values, and in fact, humanism and secularism can in many cases be seen as another form of value-driven thinking (take the environmental movement for example, especially in its more extreme forms). Maybe it is better to say, not that religion periodically asserts itself as a national force, but rather the spirit of perfectability (which entails the desire to control social behavior) does, which can manifest in a variety of ways. It seems in fact an inherent part of America's temper, alongside the values of tolerance and individual liberties. All Western countries in fact experience such phenomena and Prohibition or a version of it was a force in Europe too for many years, especially Scandinavia and other parts of Northern Europe.


12-05-2004, 08:40
The "alchohol is evil" concept still resonates in American society, which I didn't fully appreciate until I visited the UK, where neighborhood pubs are (to my experience, anyway) wholesome places in a way that no American bar could ever achieve. (I'm sure there are vile dives in the UK, but the pubs I visited were all pretty nice.) Although on one level it's fairly universally accepted, on another level Americans have never quite been able to shake the "alcohol is evil" mindset, alas.

12-05-2004, 09:17
...I find myself wondering how such a stupid idea ever gained sufficient public support to become law -- and not just a statute, but an amendment to The Constitution...

Even more remarkable when you consider the extent to which the federal government (and, likely, state and local governments, too) was reliant on excise-tax revenues, the bulk of which came from spirits.
Prior to the enactment of the income tax in 1914, fully 90 percent of government revenue came from excise taxes -- most commonly (as is the case today) levied against alcohol and cigarettes. I recently read (but have not yet again found the reference) that alcohol/spirits accounted for nearly 75% of that revenue, but, in any case, it is widely reported that those taxes were still nearly half of federal income at the onset of Prohibition in 1919.
It's certainly arguable that the loss of excise tax revenues at least hindered the governmental response to the stock market crash and the Depression which began a decade later, if not that it was an actual cause of it.
Furthermore, it seems ironic that it was economic necessity -- the need for further revenue -- as well as the utter failure of Volstead to actually 'prohibit' anything, that drove repeal, not a reversal in the attitudes of the temperence reformists.

12-05-2004, 10:28
I agree with you as regards many English pubs today but this was not always the case. They evolved slowly to become urban and country resorts for both genders of all social backgrounds and all ages (above drinking age for those imbibing). However not so long ago the pub was the haunt largely of working men. Not until well after World War II would many women enter a pub and even then (and to this day) usually accompanied. Britain never had Prohibition as in America but there were times, especially during the two wars, when pub hours were controlled and patronage was discouraged. The famous afternoon closing rules persisted until 15 years ago or so. That control era contributed to dim, rather mechanical drinking places not unlike many American bars today. The American bar scene reflects both the kind of pubs Britain used to have and the modern urban bar of central London, Edinburgh, Dublin. The latter type in New York, say, are bright urban classless pubs that would be familiar to many Britons. The Gingerman in New York is a very London pub-type of place, so is (in its own way) the Berghof in Chicago, and one can multiply examples particularly amongst the brewpubs and beer-aware bars. The low-built older type of bar on suburban and rural roads in America, or in the grimmer parts of its cities, still finds its counterpart in modern Britain, however. These are pubs where decor and food are not the focus and usually are male-frequented (not family- or young professionals-oriented). I've been to a couple of these in Manchester, Leeds and east London, and they are interesting in their own right, certainly for me as a foreign observer interested in drink and its customs - apart from which the beer in those places is usually better than anywhere else.


12-05-2004, 10:33

I didn't have a "direct" answer to your question. I know alot about prohibition but your question proved that, I need to know more on this...I decided to do a more in depth research on your question http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif...Although, I will say that Chuck's explanation is excellent http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif as usual http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif...

I found this web page (http://www.mcwilliams.com/books/aint/402.htm) provided some laughter in the Boone homestead this morning http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif Please don't misinterpret...that comment as a sneer to this site...It was very informative http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Me and Pat, literally rolled over laughing at some of the stuff written there...The part with grape juice and grape jelly instead of wine at the last supper was hilarious!!!!!--- "quotes" by famous people---As you know, I have been married to "Pat Boone" for nearly 30 years...the Dean Martin quote gave both of us a "barrel laugh" http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smilielol.gif

In a small section on that page...I quote this...

and what about the people who owned the breweries, distilleries and wineries? Many had invested their entire lives and savings in equipment......Overnight through no fault of their own their businesses were destroyed....

A partial answer to that quote is in my post about the life of my Great grandfather Joseph L. Beam...

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Bettye Jo http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

12-05-2004, 17:19
... -- Prohibition was repealed Dec. 5, 1933. Tomorrow (Sunday) is the anniversary. Happy Repeal Day!

Thank you. Happy Repeal Day to you, too. (Should be a national holiday.)

Today is also the first anniversary of my membership among this fine community.


12-06-2004, 09:30
Today, the drink issue is a closed one...


Perhaps so, but when I left Kansas in 1973, opponents of liqour by the drink (aka, "the open saloon", which was forbidden, as I recall, by the State Constitution) were still a visible force in State politics.

Of course restraunteurs and the tourist industry (yes, a few tourists go to Kansas) were on the other side.

At that time, in order to procure a drink of hard liquor, I sometimes joined a so-called "private club" for one dollar and then bought a virtual bottle, from which the proprietor would then dispense drinks on my behalf. In some places I could even pay for it on the installment plan, with one payment due each time I wanted another drink. Such foolishness.

It was truly a magical bottle, in that it could dispense bourbon, rum, brandy, vodka, gin or any other liquor of my choosing. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

12-06-2004, 14:22
Here's a link (http://cjonline.com/stories/042901/kan_aggieville.shtml) to a current story regarding sale of alchoholic beverages in Kansas. You will have to register with The Topeka Capital-Journal to access it.

The thrust of the story is to describe problems of certain establishments that have not complied with a Riley County (which includes the city of Manahattan, the location of Kansas State University) law by maintaining the level of their food sales volume as at least 30% of total sales.

Incidentally, the article mentions that the State Constitution was amended in 1986 to allow liquor by the drink.

However, under a local-option provision, today 41 counties still outlaw the practice outright, and 51 counties have the 30% food requirement. Only 13 counties allow liquor by the drink with no food-sale requirement.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

12-06-2004, 16:25
You are asking some pretty complex questions here. Prohibition is the result of many factors and can not be explained in a few paragraphs. Chuck and others have hit on some of the more popular reasons, but it is more complex than what they have said. When I teach my class on Distilling History at Bellarmine University, I spend a full night of the four night course just on prohibition.

Prohibition is a religious issue, but more importantly it is a social issue of rural America versus Urban America. In the 19th century cities in America were growing in population and as a result political power. Most of the growth was from immigrants and these people drank. More importantly they usually gathered in their nieghborhood tavern or saloon where political bosses could meet with them and organize their voting block. These "foriegners" were becoming a political force in the United States. Prohibition was one way the rural people saw to break this power.

This is not to say that saloons were all good places and were attacked simply to stop the political bosses. There were many saloons that were full of vices and crime. Most of the saloons in the United States at that time were actually owned by the beer companies. They held off prohibition for many years by saying that to attack the saloon and beer was to attack German culture. This is the primary answer to your question as to how prohibition came about because in 1917 we went to war with Germany and attacking things German was considered good, thus prohibition passed in places where it would not have in times of peace with Germany.

As I said there are many other reasons and there are whole books written on the subject. If you are interested I could look a few titles and authors of books I found interesting.
Mike Veach

12-06-2004, 17:25
One of the things I find fascinating about whiskey is that its traditions survived (ultimately, despite Prohibition and associated attitudes) most strongly in Nelson County, KY and that happens to be an area of significant Catholic influence contrary to the usual pattern in the South and Southwest of following the Protestant denominations.

Catholic populations traditionally have had more forgiving attitudes to alcohol than Protestant populations (why, is another question). Mainly one sees the effects of the benign Catholic attitude to alcohol in urban centers where Italian, German and Irish immigrants settled, not in the rural hollows of the South - Nelson County, KY is a signal exception.

Putting this a different way, would any real tradition of straight whiskey have survived in America but for largely Catholic Bardstown and Nelson County?


12-06-2004, 19:16

I would like to take you up on your offer to identify reference material.

As I mentioned, I am mainly interested in the "how" and "why", not the "what" and the consequences. For example, I only recently learned that many states had enacted prohibition many years in advance of national prohibition. From my limited perspective that knowledge significantly advanced my understanding, but raised new questions at the same time.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

12-07-2004, 07:35
While Nelson County and the Catholic population therein played a very important role in Kentucky's distilling tradition, I think the tradition would have survived without it. Simply look at the companies that were selling medicinal alcohol and their distilleries in Kentucky and you will see they were neither Nelson County or Catholic on the top level. These companies were:
A. Ph. Stitzel Distillery - Owned by A. Ph. Stitzel, Louisville; I don't think he was Catholic, but could be wrong there.
W.L. Weller And Sons - Owned By J.P. Van Winkle nad Alex Farnsley, Stitzel did their distilling in 1928 when the government allowed distilling again, neither were Catholic.
Brown-Forman - Brown family, Stitzel did their distilling in 1928, Not Catholic.
Frankfort Distillery - Jones family, Stitzel did their distilling in 1928, not Catholic.
James Thompson and Bro. / Glenmore - Thompson family, not Catholic, distillery in Owensboro.
Schenley Distilleries - Louis Rosenstiel, Jewish, Geo. T. Stagg distillery in Frankfort and James E. Pepper distillery in Lexington.
National Distilleries - Multiple owners with a mixture on Jewish and Christian people in charge, Sunnybrook Distillery, Louisville, Old Taylor Distillery, Frankfort.
I think it is safe to say that they would have kept the straight whiskey tradition alive without Nelson County and the Catholic population.

Where Nelson County did play an important role was on the next level down as many of the people who worked in the distilleries had ties to Nelson County and were Catholic. The Beam and Dant families played a large role on that level, but there were others (the Bartons and Medley families in Owensboro and the Ripy Family in Lawrenceburg). More importantly many of the brands sold during prohibition originated in Nelson County.

The way business was done during this period is as follows:
War time prohibition pretty much shut down the distilleries in 1918 and Congress extended this until prohibition took effect in 1920. There stocks of whiskey were then consolidate into "Consolidation Warehouses" to be stored and guarded by the government. The original owners still owned the whiskey but the companies who had licenses (listed above) would sell this whiskey for the owners for a small fee. When whiskey ran out for a particular brand, they would often buy bulk whiskey from an owner of whiskey in their warehouse to put into that brand to keep it alive. For example if National ran out of Old Taylor whiskey made at Old Taylor, they might buy some whiskey from the Ripy family and label it Old Taylor. That is why you will see a multitude of DSP Numbers on the same brand during prohibition. It was not until 1928 that government allowed any distilling and then only in limited amounts. Nelson County provided much of the bulk whiskey being sold during this time.
Mike Veach

12-07-2004, 08:58
Thanks, Mike, most interesting and informative. I knew that many of the companies active in Nelson County before and after Prohibition were not owned by Catholic families, what I had in mind more was whether the presence of a largely Catholic population in the County, who as you said worked in the industry but also might supply support in terms of consumers, licensed bar owners, retail vendors and generally a more tolerant attitude, assisted the survival of the industry there when it withered in so many other areas. E.g., in Europe in the South, alcohol was never viewed with the high degree of concern shown in Northern Europe, and indeed from everything I have read, people in the Southern European countries had a much saner and less moralistic view of alcohol than in the North of Europe. Also, I believe alcohol never caused the degree of social problems in, say, Italy that it did say in parts of Scandinavia. Anyway I was just speculating here and your thoughts (as always) are most valuable.


12-07-2004, 09:34
The Catholic community played an important role in the areas of Kentucky that are wet versus dry, but they were not the only factor. There were economic as well as social factors that helped keep areas wet. Still, you theory provides some good food for thought. Thanks for bringing it up.

I am going to look up some books on prohibition and post their titles and authors later. I hope you might find them interesting.
Mike Veach

12-07-2004, 11:03
Much appreciated!


Ken Weber
12-27-2004, 11:07
Bettye Jo, being a life-long fellow Kentuckian (and Baptist to boot), when a wet/dry vote is about to be called, do you know who the 2 primary forces are that form an uneasy alliance to defeat the initiative? Traditionally, it has been the Baptist women's group and the local bootleggers. The ladies don't want liquor served because of their religious convictions and the bootleggers don't want liquor legally served because they would be out of a job!


12-27-2004, 17:39
The third leg of this particular stool usually is the local sheriff or police chief, who doesn't want to lose the income he gets from looking the other way.

12-28-2004, 06:46
Just on the point about potato spirit, Byrn in his 1870's book on practical distillation (Byrn was based in Philadelphia, PA) has a full chapter on distilling spirit from potatos. He talks about particular methods of mashing them and other very detailed points. White lightening was originally made from corn, wheat, barley and maybe other grains but by the mid-19th century a very large quantity of alcohol was being made from potatos.


12-28-2004, 07:57
The "Dry's" have been active in Texas since the 1840's. In 1843, the Republic of Texas passed what is thought to be the first local option measure in North America. In 1887, the "Dry's" engineered a state prohibition referendum and lost.....but did get a state prohibition amendment passed in 1919. Texans repealed the state prohibition amendment in 1935.....two years after the national repeal. Texas currently has 254 counties and over 1000 precincts. 51 counties are completely dry.

Here's an interesting tidbit.....possession of more than 1 quart of liquor or a single case of beer in a dry area is prima facia evidence of intent to sell. I can only imagine how many times I could have been charged with intent to sell on my return trip to Houston from Bardstown. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif


12-28-2004, 09:01
Here's an interesting tidbit.....possession of more than 1 quart of liquor or a single case of beer in a dry area is prima facia evidence of intent to sell.

I've heard anecdotes from cruise ship passengers out of Galveston and/or Houston who've witnessed the effect of this law -- citizens of other states are allowed to debark at cruise's end with whatever liquor U.S. customs allows, but Texas residents have had any in excess of a quart poured out on the spot.