WuToWu #60: Prohibition and those Friday Nights

Hi Curtis!

Thank you for telling more about your classes. I’m harboring ~a tiny bit~ of jealousy but I’m sure I will also get to take some cool classes in the future. I wanted to write about a rather off-topic topic.

Inspired by APUSH (I know, I know, I just have to slip it into every conversation so I have reason to complain about it) I recently spent a Friday evening watching Ken Burn’s 3 part documentary on Prohibition. Our history teacher has a penchant for showing clips of these types of videos at the end of units and while trying to figure out which one would be the closest to the current time period that I’m studying, my interest got the best of me and so I ended up on Prohibition.

One of the interesting things about the way that these videos are formatted is that it doesn’t just cover the specific event, but starts before with a wider scope to allow for a more complete understanding of the causes of certain actions. (Sounds scarily like what you’re supposed to do for a DBQ amirite?) Anyways, I was rather confused when the video started at the end of the civil war because as you know, the 18th Amendment which was the legal document for prohibition wasn’t passed until 1920.

One of the biggest ideas in the first video (which actually ends with the passing of the 18th amendment) was that many saw alcohol as a catch-all way to solve all problems. As if the eradication of one thing would help to solve the lawlessness of the West, corruption of big business, and bring peace to family lives. Sounds very similar to some political figures today in regards to immigrants.

Another interesting fact that I learned was about how often most think of Prohibition as a time when all forms of alcohol was banned. In fact, the amendment only prohibited the creation not the consumption so the actual drinking wasn’t where people ran into the law. Of course when telling us this Mr. Burns illustrates his point with pictures of obscene amounts of bottles piled high in large cellars. Along with this, it is simply astounding how weird medicine was compared to modern day’s. Many medicines included super high amounts of alcohol and this lead to my pharmacies essentially becoming bars while keeping their legality.

I will not ruin the rest of the series for you if you choose to give it a watch ;). And so it is on to your challenge for a late post.

I gave you this challenge last year but it’s been a while and I have a feeling your schedule has changed a bit. So here is the challenge: To document one day in your life. Please try and include as many pictures as possible. (Mom says to include some greens in your meals)



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