Bath Tub Gin and Rum Running: Prohibition in Detroit and Michigan

6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Event Details

     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
(313) 943-2330

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