December 21 - 1924: Prohibition-era booze washes ashore

Prohibition didn't even work in the Garden of Eden. Adam ate the apple. 1620: Pilgrims land on Plymouth Rock, maybe
In a typical scene from this era, a sheriff is shown dumping bootleg booze. Photo courtesy Orange County.

1924: Prohibition-era booze washes ashore

15 miles of booze from Provincetown's Woods End to Truro's Pamet River

On this day in 1924, the Lowell Sun reported the following:

PROVINCETOWN - From Wood End to Pamet River, more than 15 miles of the sandy shore of the tip of Cape Cod, five-gallon cans of alcohol in wooden cases came bobbing ashore yesterday (Dec. 21) or floated alongside the surf.

Coast guardsmen located and destroyed many of them, the Race Point station accounting for more than 40 cases.

Santa's gift?

The absence of wreckage indicated, the Coast guard officials, that the cases were thrown overboard when a run-rummer was pursued by revenue agents rather than risk destruction of any craft.

They denied that Santa Claus had any responsibility for the appearance of liquor in the holiday season.

"There'd never been a more advantageous time to be a criminal in America than during the 13 years of Prohibition. At a stroke, the American government closed down the fifth largest industry in the United States - alcohol production - and just handed it to criminals - a pretty remarkable thing to do." - Bill Bryson.

1620: Pilgrims arrive in Plymouth

On this day in 1620 one hundred and three Mayflower pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock [OS=Dec 11].

According to Wikipedia "The Plymouth Rock (more specifically, Dedham granodiorite, a glacial erratic), had lain at the foot of Cole's Hill from generation to generation until the century after the Pilgrims' landing in 1620. When plans were afoot to build a wharf at the Pilgrims' landing site in 1741, a 94-year-old elder of the church named Thomas Faunce, then living 3 miles from the spot, declared that he knew the precise boulder on which the Mayflower pilgrims first stepped when disembarking..."

Many others, including novelist Bill Bryson, disagree. He writes contrarily in Made in America, "The one thing the Pilgrims certainly did not do was step ashore on Plymouth Rock. Quite apart from the consideration that it may have stood well above the high-water mark in 1620, no prudent mariner would try to bring a ship alongside a boulder on a heaving December sea when a sheltered inlet beckoned from near by..."

Read about "Everything Else Which Happened Today" here.


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