(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘temperance

“Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water”*…

 

prohibtion

 

Americans tend to have a pretty jaundiced view of Prohibition…

… driven by extremists, the country was pushed into an extreme experiment — to ban the sale, production, and transportation of alcohol in the US in 1919 through a constitutional amendment, the 18th. The policy was a political failure, leading to its repeal in 1933 through the 21st Amendment.

There’s also a widespread belief that Prohibition failed at even reducing drinking and led to an increase in violence as criminal groups took advantage of a large black market for booze.

“‘Everyone knows’ that Prohibition failed because Americans did not stop drinking,” historian Jack Blocker wrote in the American Journal of Public Health. He summarized what’s now the conventional wisdom: “Liquor’s illegal status furnished the soil in which organized crime flourished.”

But there’s a lot wrong with these present-day assumptions about Prohibition.

People like [Carry] Nation, as extreme as they were, were driven by real problems caused by excessive drinking, including alcohol-induced domestic violence and crime as well as liver cirrhosis and other health issues. This was perceived as a widespread problem, at least in popular media: George Cruikshank’s 1847 series of drawings, The Bottle, portrayed a father spending all his family’s money drinking and, eventually, killing his wife by attacking her with a bottle. And as historian David Courtwright documented in The Age of Addiction, per capita alcohol consumption increased by nearly a third from 1900 to 1913, largely due to advancements in brewing that helped make beer much cheaper.

Contrary to the conventional wisdom, the evidence also suggests Prohibition really did reduce drinking. Despite all the other problems associated with Prohibition, newer research even indicates banning the sale of alcohol may not have, on balance, led to an increase in violence and crime.

It’s time to reconsider whether America’s “noble experiment” was really such a failure after all…

America’s anti-alcohol experiment cut down on drinking and drinking-related deaths– and it may have reduced crime and violence overall.  Vox takes a sober look at the an episode in American history clouded in received ideas that may not be altogether accurate, making the case that: “Prohibition worked better than you think.”

* W.C. Fields

###

As we muse on moderation, we might recall that it was on this date in 1894 (after 30 states had already enshrined the occasion) that Labor Day became a federal holiday in the United States.

labor day

The country’s first Labor Day parade in New York City on Sept. 5, 1882. This sketch appeared in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.

source (and source of more on the history of Labor Day)

 

Written by LW

June 28, 2019 at 1:01 am

“Life is a highway”*…

 

28242668477_23c3fde26a_z

62 years ago, there was no Interstate Highway System. Now, the system covers nearly 50,000 miles in the US. The growth of the US interstate is stunning to behold when you chart it through time…

A quick and fascinating history at “The Evolution Of The US Interstate Through Time, Mapped“; explore Geotab‘s interactive timeline here.

* Tom Cochrane

###

As we hit the road, we might send healthy birthday greetings to Sylvester Graham; he was born on this date in 1794.  A presbyterian minister, he is better remembered as a  dietary reformer who preached vegetarianism, supported the temperance movement, and emphasized eating whole-grain bread.  Though he neither invented nor profited from his legacy, his sermons inspired his followers to create graham flour, graham bread and the graham cracker.

43061686532_32ea6a930f_o source

 

Written by LW

July 6, 2018 at 1:01 am

“Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese”*…

 

Americans eat 35 pounds of cheese per year on average—a record amount, more than double the quantity consumed in 1975. And yet that demand doesn’t come close to meeting U.S. supply: The cheese glut is so massive (1.3 billion pounds in cold storage as of May 31) that on two separate occasions, in August and October of last year, the federal government announced it would bail out dairy farmers by purchasing $20 million worth of surplus for distribution to food pantries. Add to that a global drop in demand for dairy, plus technology that’s making cows more prolific, and you have the lowest milk prices since the Great Recession ended in 2009. Farmers poured out almost 50 million gallons of unsold milk last year—actually poured it out, into holes in the ground—according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. In an August 2016 letter, the National Milk Producers Federation begged the USDA for a $150 million bailout…

There exists a little-known, government-sponsored marketing group called Dairy Management Inc.(DMI), whose job it is to squeeze as much milk, cheese, butter, and yogurt as it can into food sold both at home and abroad. Until recently, the “Got Milk?” campaign was its highest-impact success story. But for the past eight years, the group has been the hidden hand guiding most of fast food’s dairy hits—a kind of Illuminati of cheese—including and especially the [Taco Bell] Quesalupa

Amid an historic glut, a secretive, government-sponsored entity is putting cheese anywhere it can stuff it: “The Mad Cheese Scientists Fighting to Save the Dairy Industry.”

* G.K. Chesterton, Alarms and Discursions

###

As we opt for the stuffed crust, we might spare a thought for Charles Elmer Hires; he died on this date in 1937.  A Quaker pharmacist, introduced root beer to the world at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876.  A committed member of the Temperance Movement, Hires saw his drink (the original formula included sarsaparilla, sasafras, ginger, pipsissewa, wintergreen, and juniper, among other flavoring ingredients) as an alternative to alcohol, and dubbed it “the temperance drink” and “the greatest health-giving beverage in the world.”  Hires was inspired by root tea, but thought that “beer” would be a more attractive name to “the working class.”

 source

 

 

Written by LW

July 31, 2017 at 1:01 am

“Too few people understand a really good sandwich”*…

 

From @matttomic

* James Beard

###

As we reach for the mayo, we might recall that it was on this date in 1876, on the opening day of the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, that Quaker pharmacist Charles Elmer Hires introduced root beer to the world.  A committed member of the Temperance Movement, Hires saw his drink (the original formula included sarsaparilla, sasafras, ginger, pipsissewa, wintergreen, and juniper, among other flavor ingredients) as an alternative to alcohol, and called it “the temperance drink” and “the greatest health-giving beverage in the world.”

 source

 

Written by LW

May 10, 2017 at 1:01 am

Where’s a cop when you need one?…

Canadian IT consultant and author Sean Power had his laptop stolen in New York just before he had to leave for Ottawa.  But as Sean uses Prey (a freeware tracker) he was able to locate it remotely.  Sean called the cops… who responded that unless he (physically) filed a report, NYC’s Finest were unwilling to take any action…  He put out the word on Twitter…

… and a flash-crew of civilian crime-fighters recovered the stolen property.  Watch the story unfold in Brandon Ballenger’s recap.

As we appreciate the now-deeper resonance of “neighborhood watch,” we might recall that it was on this date in 1866 that Charles Elmer Hires formulated his eponymous “root beer” Hires was inspired by root tea, but thought that “beer” would be a more attractive name to “the working class”– for whom Hires, a supporter of temperance, saw it as an alternative to alcohol.

source

%d bloggers like this: