Speakeasies In Northern Kentucky


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A brief look at Speakeasies in Northern Kentucky

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Speakeasies In Northern Kentucky

  1. 1. Speakeasies in Northern Kentucky Rebman, 1999
  2. 2. <ul><li>Prohibition did very little to stop the sale and consumption of liquor in Northern Kentucky. </li></ul><ul><li>Newport, KY became known as the “Oasis of the South” because of the easy availability of liquor. </li></ul><ul><li>Cars with Cincinnati license plates lined Momouth Street in Newport on the weekends looking for easy liquor sales. </li></ul>Purvis, 1996
  3. 3. <ul><li>The Weidemann Brewery (pictured) in Newport, KY was accused of illegally supplying speakeasies with alcohol. The brewery was seized by the government in 1927. It did reopen and restart production at the end of Prohibition in 1933. </li></ul>Purvis, 1996
  4. 4. <ul><li>Most speakeasies would look like innocent restaurants like the Yorkshire Club on York Street, but they were really a front for the illegal business taking place in back rooms and basements. </li></ul>Purvis, 1996
  5. 5. <ul><li>The Cleveland Syndicate headed by Moe Dalitz, Sam Tucker, Louis Rothkopf and Morris Kleinman kept a steady flow of alcohol coming into the clubs in Northern Kentucky. </li></ul>Purvis, 1996
  6. 6. <ul><li>Another person famous for supplying alcohol to speakeasies was the “Gentleman Grafter” George Remus. He was a pharmacist who bought bonded liquor and sold it on the black market. </li></ul><ul><li>Remus was sent to prison in 1922 after being raided by federal agents that weren’t on his payroll. </li></ul><ul><li>Remus bribed the warden and guards while in prison to make his stay more pleasant, much the same as he had while on the outside. </li></ul>Rebman, 1999
  7. 7. <ul><li>Federal agents were brought into Newport to help with the great unrest caused by the Steel Workers’ strike in 1921. </li></ul><ul><li>Places that were scheduled to be raided to search for weapons used in strike violence were usually places that were reported to participate in the illegal liquor sale or trade. </li></ul>Rebman, 1999
  8. 8. <ul><li>The subsequent raids left the public distrusting law enforcement agencies. </li></ul><ul><li>The local law enforcement agencies quickly cut ties to the federal agencies and the speakeasies were back up and running in no time with payoffs going to the police and judges. </li></ul>Rebman, 1999
  9. 9. <ul><li>Most of the speakeasies were started as clubs that allowed drinking, entertainment and gambling. </li></ul><ul><li>This opened the doors for organized crime to move in. </li></ul><ul><li>Illegal casinos continued to operate in Newport, KY until 1961. </li></ul>
  10. 10. REFERENCES Behr, E. (1996). Prohibition. New York, NY : Arcade Publishing. Laudeman, J. (1997). Newport, the Real Sin City. Canoga Park, CA : JSL Publishing. Purvis, T. (1996). Newport, Kentucky : A Bicentennial History. Newport, KY : Otto Zimmerman & Son Co., Inc. Rebman, R (1999). Prohibition. San Diego, CA : Lucent Books. Schroeder, D. (1992). The Oasis of the South. Cincinnati, OH : McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.