Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Prohibition and Hudson

Back in January, Gossips published its first post about Prohibition and Hudson. It was published three days after the one hundredth anniversary of the ratification, on January 19, 1919, of the 18th Amendment, which banned the manufacture, transportation, and sale of intoxicating liquors. In that post, I promised "to comb the available newspapers regularly, from now until the anniversary of the day Prohibition actually began on January 19, 1920, searching for news or comment about Prohibition." In the past months, my search hasn't yielded much of interest, but today, in the Columbia Republican for July 1, 1919, I discovered two items.


A little background is required. After the United States entered World War I, President Woodrow Wilson instituted a temporary wartime prohibition in order to save grain for producing food. That temporary prohibition was to end when the war was over, and the prohibition imposed by the 18th Amendment wasn't to take effect until January 1920, but on June 30, 1919, a bill was introduced in Congress to "stop the gap" between wartime prohibition and constitutional prohibition. An article on the front page of the Columbia Republican for July 1, 1919, with the dateline June 30, reported the bill "would make prohibition continuous beginning to-morrow"--tomorrow being July 1. The two items of interest appeared on page ten of the same paper. 

The first reports an action that seems surprising given the impending crisis for the brewing industry.



"Checona" was a soft drink "with a twang and body all its own." The promotional piece below extols Checona in this way: "This 20th-century non-intoxicating beverage never had to pass through an experimental period, the foundation of its success was laid by the founder of the Evans' Brewery in 1786. In all characteristics it is as closely allied to the original Evans' product as conditions permit--and has won its way upon its merit and family resemblance and reputation."



A column over from the report on the strike at C. H. Evans & Sons Brewery, there was a report on the reaction of saloonkeepers in Hudson to developments in Washington.


We know from the scandal that happened in Hudson in March 1922 that many saloonkeepers in Hudson did not stop selling liquor, beer, and wine, "continue to do business along restaurant lines," or "sell soft drinks, cigars, sandwiches, etc.," but on this day a hundred years ago, that's what they told the newspaper.
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