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bootlegging

Courtesy of The Detroit News

One hundred years ago, in the aftermath of World War I — and, of course, a deadly pandemic — the United States was well into its experiment with national temperance. Michigan wasn’t a stranger to Prohibition — the state banned alcohol in 1918, about two years before Prohibition went into effect nationwide. Despite restrictions, thirsty Michiganders still found ways to get their hands on booze. And before long, alcohol smugglers in the Toledo-Detroit-Windsor region developed a thriving trade, due in part to an increasingly popular tool for transporting the sauce to the speakeasies: the automobile.

Detroit police inspecting equipment found in a clandestine underground brewery during the prohibition era
Wikimedia Commons - U.S. National Archives


   

Last week, the Board of State Canvassers approved a ballot petition that might end the prohibition of recreational marijuana in Michigan

 

Meanwhile, this week marked the 100th anniversary of another important social experiment: Prohibition. 

Dept of Homeland Security

Three federal border agents who died during the Prohibition era in Michigan will be honored Thursday.

Border Patrol Inspectors Franklin Wood and Earl Roberts were killed by bootleggers near Detroit in the late 1920’s. Inspector Charles Inch was killed by a train as he pursued two people trying to enter illegally from Canada in 1932.