Saturday, January 26, 2013

January 26: Tennessee and Prohibition

On this date in History .... 1838:

Tennessee passes the first prohibition law.  No longer could “spirituous liquors” be sold and those who did would be fined “at the discretion of the court” with the monies going to support schools.  In 1919, the state’s General Assembly voted almost unanimously for the 18th Amendment (Prohibition).

However the terrain in Tennessee made it ideal for making moonshine and with easy untaxed money to be made, law officials were easily bribed. This type of corruption (which was not limited to Tennessee by any means) made it fashionable to flaunt the law. 

Although Prohibition was repealed in 1933, Tennessee remains in a minority of states that still prohibit the Sunday sale of whiskey, tequila and other distilled spirits. Moore County, the home of the Jack Daniels distillery, is located in a dry county, prohibiting this whiskey from being sold in the county in which it is made. However, a state law was passed to permit a distillery to sell one “commemorative” product and the Jack Daniels Distillery has one blend of whiskey in a commemorative bottle which can be sold locally.

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