Thursday, January 18, 2018

Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Rumrunners During Prohibition

Rumrunner at St. Pierre (Jean Pierre Andrieux)

The tiny islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, are the last piece of French territory in North America. Thanks to quirks of geography, history and law, the French archipelago served up much of the booze that Prohibition was supposed to keep Americans from drinking.
The remote islands imported a total of 98,500 liters in all between 1911 and 1918. That was before Prohibition began on January 16, 1920. A decade later, with the ban on the production, importation and sale of alcohol in full swing, more than 4 million liters in whiskey alone flowed into the islands’ warehouses—along with hundreds of thousands of cases of wine, Champagne, brandy, and rum—and then flowed right back out. Almost every drop went aboard rumrunners—smugglers’ ships sailing south with their costly cargo to quench an insatiable American thirst for the prohibited booze.
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(BTW we're returning to Newfoundland this summer and a trip to Saint Pierre and Miquelon is part of the plan)

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