Prohibition was a job-killer for Kentucky's bourbon makers






....The idea that Kentucky — a state which takes so much pride in being the birthplace of bourbon whiskey and the home of many distilleries — could vote to ban alcohol seems almost unthinkable today. But historians say it was typical of a period in which anti-alcohol fervor ran strong and dry forces successfully promoted Prohibition as a solution for many societal ills.

"There is something of a perception that the dries kind of pulled the wool over the eyes of the American people all of a sudden in 1919 and 1920," says Thomas Appleton, a professor of history at Eastern Kentucky University. "But that's not true. It was a movement that lasted a full century, and here in Kentucky it began in the 1830s and moved steadily forward."

Lexington churches celebrated when Prohibition went into effect, but the liquor ban didn't go over any more smoothly here than in other cities across the country.

Lexington newspapers soon were carrying stories of liquor seized by police at private establishments and of increasing acts of lawlessness, like the theft of whiskey from the James E. Pepper Distillery on Old Frankfort Pike by gun-wielding bandits.

Clinton Fugate, a "bespectacled and scholarly looking" student working his way through law school by bootlegging, was jailed after police raided his apartment on South Limestone.

In Louisville, agents raided the prestigious Pendennis Club, confiscating champagne, whiskey and gin, according to James Klotter, a history professor at Georgetown College.....



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