The US Government has done some strange things over the years but this is one of the strangest by far. Warning: if you like a beer – this will make you say ‘Wait a minute’
On 16 January 1919, the President was Woodrow Wilson. We had just ended The Great War (WWI) and the ‘Anti-Saloon’ league was determine to have it’s way. On 29 January 1919 the 18th Amendment had been ratified. Now the reason that I bring this up is the wonderful fact that the 18th Amendment is the one that said it was against the law to make, sell or transport of intoxicating liquors. Prohibition had come.
Now you may be wondering, what does this have to do with today, I will let you know later. By the 1920’s there was a early success of about a 30% drop in arrest for alcohol consumption. However there were some problems, the first was bootlegging. Bootlegging is ‘make, distribute, or sell illegally’ made items.
The second problem was the Gangsters. Now these aren’t like the ones we have today. People like Al Capone were coming into power. There were several days where there were major shootings. Shootings like St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago in 1929 where the people who did the shooting were dressed as police officers.
A third problem was the US Government themselves. The 18th Amendment doesn’t prevent people from drinking what they had at home they just couldn’t get anymore when it ran out.
This is the scary one: thousands of people died from tainted alcohol. Alcohol could still be sold but it had to have certain chemicals in it that made it undrinkable. Well the bootleggers had chemist who knew how to get rid of these chemicals and we ended up with a war of the chemist. So the US government got an idea: wood alcohol or methanol, methyl alcohol – this is where things get nasty. Because wood alcohol is a form of alcohol they distill and burn off at the same temperature.
So the chemist could get all the other stuff out of the ‘industrial alcohol’ and sell it as cheap low end alcohol but they couldn’t get the wood alcohol out. Wood Alcohol is deadly. In total it is figured to have killed 10,000 people.
Now you may be wondering why this is important – it shows that the government is willing to do things that are underhanded to get their way. This has been done with other things as well.
If you look at the wordplay that is going on since the 20 century began you will find that there is one that is repeatedly used to make people not think but react in fear. The word is war. Sounds strange right but let’s think about it for a minute. If you hear that we are at war against terrorist, you inadvertently start to wonder if the person who is of a different nationality, could they be one? What about the cab driver, could they?
The government knows how to do this. The government is wanting to play on that fear. It is a subconscious reaction reaction to a word.
Information for this post is from: http://www.history.com/news/10-things-you-should-know-about-prohibition