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Temperance Tantrum

Miamians have always had trouble turning down another drink, even during Prohibition. Three years after the 18th Amendment banned “intoxicating liquors” in 1919, a Miami ship headed for New York was raided of its 36,000 bottles of hooch. Fed up with the Magic City’s enterprising alkies, Uncle Sam sent an imposing Coast Guard fleet to stop up the country’s most gaping influx of booze. Finally, in 1927, police shut down dozens of Miami Beach speakeasies. But what led the United States to outlaw alcohol, even before cocaine? Daniel Okrent, the first public editor of the New York Times and former editor of Time and Life, has written Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, exposing the roots of Prohibition and revealing the many ways Americans still drank, whether openly on the congressional floor or via doctor-prescribed whiskey scored at a pharmacy. He’ll discuss his new book at the Wolfsonian.
Fri., May 21, 7 p.m., 2010


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