Speaker Joseph Oldenburg will present a talk entitled "Bath Tub
Gin and Rum Running: Prohibition in
Detroit and Michigan."
The New York Times labeled Detroit
the Rum Capital of the Nation during Prohibition. Rum running, smuggling,
illegal stills, and blind pigs sprang up within hours of the start of
Prohibition in 1920 and thrived for the next 14 years. Corruption reached high
points that were never seen before and a criminal gang called the Purple Gang
took over. The booze trade was so strong they could tell Al Capone to stay out
of Michigan, and he did!
Joseph Oldenburg retired from being a librarian
at the Detroit Public Library, having worked in the Burton Historical
Collection for 10 years. He also taught Michigan History at Oakland Community
College for 12 years.
Event Type(s): Adult
Presenter: Joseph Oldenburg
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