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tv   [untitled]    April 22, 2012 2:00pm-2:30pm EDT

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problem. and the breweries started shipping in food, usually sausages, cheese. are you getting hungry? i notice they didn't provide food. and so, the tradition of providing a free lunch in the back room really became synonymous with saloons and it was so powerful not only would guys go have a schooner of beer and go back to the back room and have lunch but lots of respectable women would actually go, just to the back room only have lunch and they literally did have a free lunch. >> sounds like there was a free lunch. >> there was. >> not -- >> until prohibition. >> not according to the temperance forces. having encouraged saloons to serve lunch they came up with the slogan, there is no free lunch. and they used that to underscore the price that workers were paying for that so called free lunch. the price in drunkenness, et cetera. >> thank you for asking a question i could answer.
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>> since he's your brother. >> not really. on the other side. >> hi, i'm from the university of california. >> i see trouble. >> no. >> you're not from uc davis, are you? >> this is a question for 18th century guy and 19th century guy. >> i love it. bring it on. >> the question is about the regulation of alcohol and slavery and the regulation of alcohol and interaction between whites and native americans. i know that those two were the focuses of early focuses of the regulation of alcohol. >> that's a great question and it's absolutely true. if you want to see the state begin to operate effectively, whether it's through the regulation of indian trade and trade and alcohol, you see it with groups perceived to be dangerous and ungovernable and this is where the state and i
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think i'm actually going to bring brian in on this, too, it's where the state is largely invisible in the 19th century but in precisely these areas. as i think ed has mentioned before, there is a tight regular of alcohol among slaves. it's seen as incentive for holiday festivities. but it's again tightly regulated. >> yeah. the real problem comes for white south after the end of slavery. and people often don't know that the south had an even more active movement toward prohibition and local control. they adopted the main law. and the abc stores developed in south carolina in the 1890s as ways to do two things, one, get state revenue from alcohol, a major reformers getting rid of these illicit forms of distribution, a major concern was that they were selling
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directly to african-americans and they were concerned about interestingly, the marketing of these forms of alcohol by using white women on the labels and it became an explicit concern and in the atlanta race riot one of the reasons that the white people put forward for the reason for the riot is this irresponsible use of advertising that inflamed. so it becomes a major reason. one reason i think that the south has been at the forefront of control of alcohol just for the reasons that you say. you know, the twitter sphere is going crazy. someone said you didn't answer my question so i don't know whether to -- i think it's going to be short. >> i attributed the question to the wrong person. >> okay. >> in fairness, and i'm sorry for you humans standing here live in person, but dog and tap did not ask question you attributed to him.
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he did ask, was part of the reason for the income tax loss revenues from prohibition? part of the reason for the income tax lost revenues from prohibition. well, no. chronologically we have things a little backwards there. weed that income tax first. but there is no question that lost revenues from prohibition were really hurting the federal government and there is no question that one of the reasons that roosevelt, franklin roosevelt, wanted to end prohibition was to restore that $5 tax, federal tax, on crates, on barrels of beer. so yes. >> we haven't talked about sin taxes, that's an interesting
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topic because it suggests the close connection between the federal state and alcohol. >> it's a -- it's a symbiotic relationship and we know it's from tobacco as well. so good question. sorry i screwed up. >> another human. >> yes. we don't screw up with humans, though. >> thanks. i'm from indiana. my question is a literary question. you know when you think about the 20th century's greatest writers, they are like a pack of pickled scoundrels, drunks. i guess my question was who was the first i guess american writer who kind of would write about drinking as a literary asset? and my second question would be as in the last 30 years where people are working more and going into more debt, where did the trends with drinking, people drinking less or more? >> who booked this gig? i'll answer the second question.
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if you look at alcohol consumption, it actually corresponds with income. so that the people with the greatest disposable income or the wealthiest drink the most, people who make less than $25,000 a year drink the least. >> i think on the first question it has something to do with that era of sensational literature in the antebellum period in which temperance reformers produced what you might call a pornography of intemperance, and since one of the rituals in the temperance movement was to enact a kind of conversion experience and tell your story, is sort of anticipating alcoholics anonymous. i answer not with one of the authors or some obscure author but with a general trend in literature, toward a kind of sensational pornography and confessional literature of the
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30s and 40s. >> i think it is. it skips until the earliest 20th century. the idea that an author is supposed to reveal as terms heavily gendered male, all about himself, the literature is real and true. and if you can enact it as well as convey it, it becomes sort of an expectation we see acted out in the rock 'n roll era as well f. what you are telling me is so powerful and true it should be killing you. so i think alcohol and drugs become part of that. >> the notion of demon rum is deeply attractive to some tormented and tortured soul and i think it's a romantic response to the whole culture of regulation, prohibition and temptation. >> one of the things you can see as there in the antebellum period and skipped several generations i think you had that bohemian, but i think to answer your question i do believe it's in the culture celebrity in the 1920s. we received a question i feel i
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need to answer from twitter. want to know if i could say more about why women were in the forefront of these movements against alcohol. and peter referred to the fact that it's easy, kind of an americanistic. if you had seen what was the most corrosive force on violence against women, to have seen abuse against children, it would have been alcohol. so, you know, i think prohibition retrospectively discredited efforts against drinking earlier and we inherited that from the 20s and sort of drinking's cool and stuff. but you go back and actually read in the 18th and 19th century with no safety net, just what alcohol did to families, you can understand why this was the most persistent and most powerful impulse of female reformers. >> and coincides with the gendering of alcohol production. and --
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>> and consumption. beer advertising today. we think always of the restrictive nature of temperance, the fight against this male preserve which led to so many true evils. but there's the constructive efforts, too. they went on here in milwaukee. the beer gardens, they were the attempt to make -- to -- >> domesticate. >> and embed drink in a family friendly setting. i went to the brewers game last night, unfortunately they lost. but i -- it was a good game. i was really struck -- >> they lost because you left early. >> i had to prepare for back story. i was really struck by the efforts at least to create a family setting. beer was being sold. beer was being consumed. but there was a play area for kids, there were lots of young people there. and these beer gardens late
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19th, early 20th century were an effort in a constructive way to domesticate drink within a larger set of family values. if you will. >> though i never want you to think that i'm not an american exceptionalist, americans have thought that the french have a real advantage and other sophisticated europeans, not the scotts, it's family centered. it is domesticated. and it's precisely because drink takes place in dangerous places outside the home, and the great normalization and regularization of alcohol intake in america has been television, couch potatoes and all of those commercials are devoted to you guys particularly but even you -- >> this commercial is for you. >> to give you a chance, that's why they have commercials, to enable you to go get another
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one. >> and in the restroom later. yes. >> hi, guys. >> makes me nervous when you look at your iphone and suggest that you might be looking for hard questions. >> not allowed to twitter a question and ask one. >> are there any live twitters here? tweeters? >> don't want to forget what i want to say so. first of all i spent the entire weekend coming up with tough historical questions in panel after panel so it's a relief to be at the really important -- >> all right. >> quick question. then perhaps one that you might not have the answer to. where does in his cup or in my cups come from. and the second question is, the word beer, i seem to have heard at some point when i did a lot of beer drinking -- >> sound likes he's reformed. >> temperate. >> that beer was one of the terms like pilsner and lager that represented a type of brew so i wonder if that's true and if it is, when did beer become
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the overall umbrella term? >> thank goodness we have lucy here. yeah! >> should we give her -- we need give her a microphone? >> mine's on. i wanted to say you would think of beer as being the overall arcing term for that fermented beverage, and then under very close to it, though, is ale because for the longest time beer that was consumed was the top fermenting ale. and so beer and ale were sort of synonymous. as other forms of fermentation through cultured yeast became part of the practice in brewing, and brewing became more commercialized and offered more beer styles, now you see beers
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that are wild fermented with variations that include -- >> free range. >> exactly. and those are the -- some of the belgian styles. and wild yeast beers, sour ales that are now being brewed and barrel aged a lot in the united states. then you also have you know, the various sub styles that then become attempts to brand a beer and attempts bay commercial brewer to make their style uniquely theirs. there has been some effort at that too. >> i was going to say but i'm glad that lucy, especially the latin names for the yeast. >> what do you think, the cubs question? >> well, i mean, suggests it comes from a period when they had cups.
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>> we have two humans, we'll take these two questions. and then we will wrap up. we invite people to stay if you're interested to talk about sort of the public history component of this. >> we'll step out of character or into character. we'll find out. >> we'll stop being characters. >> we can talk about the show and perhaps what we learned and what horrible mistakes we made. >> i'm jonathan from madison, wisconsin, so my question is, andrew jackson, when he was inaugurated, there is this huge raucous crowd that follows him back to the white house and proceed to trash the place. the way the white house staff tries to get everyone out from like standing on chairs and swinging from chandeliers and stuff is they take barrels of orange punch and put it out on the lawn. my question is how do i make orange punch? [ laughter ] >> i would say two things. one, they actually spilled the orange punch on the carpets of
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the white house. and it was one of the endearing stains. sorry. it was. step one, become elected president of the united states. the way to make that kind of orange punch. >> i guess was it was not russia's weak punch. it was russia's strong punch. >> kidding aside, that did -- that was seen as a symbol of just how out of control and the way it was polluting american politics even in the white house was a sign, predates right before the great effort of temperance. >> we haven't talked about this but of course heavy drinking was associated with jackson and the democrats and wig middle class types such as myself most times, not tonight, certainly our latter day wigs that is a cultural cleavage then that has
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had a lot of significance in our politics ever since that time. >> i think you'll see it played out in the upcoming presidential election perhaps. our final question. >> thank you. >> i'm jasmine. i live in milwaukee, wisconsin. my question is about the role of religion and when religion was or was not invoked to justify temperance when this became a moral issue. and then maybe more specifically during prohibition were there exemptions so if wine plays an important role in communion or passover, what happened? during prohibition. >> there were exemptions. >> yeah. i'm pretty sure there were exemptions for, in prohibition. there were huge fights as ed can tell you about it, all throughout it the -- especially the late 19th century about the use of liquor in religious ceremonies. it really drove politics in many ways.
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what peter was saying is many of the divisions between the republicans and the democrats turned on catering to catholics who were more inclined to -- who did use drink in their ceremonies and the protestants who were -- the protestants who were not as happy with the use of alcohol. >> and so today, in many churches you will find the use of grape juice because it's seen as a pollution of ritual. >> we were talking about some of the distinctions between drinkers and those who abstain today. and ed mentioned one of them which is income. and people with low incomes are absolutely the most likely to abstain from drink absolutely. but the other difference is religion and of course some of these snap on to each other. people who attend church regularly are absolutely the most likely to abstain from
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alcohol completely. >> the connection is very strong of course between the conversion experience of a new birth as a kind of an effective technique to control behavior. and to make the absolute commitment. we talked about the end of a moderate temperance of benjamin rush and this embrace of the absolutism of yes or no, and that's very much in the sigh codynamics of the conversion experience, it's been a resource for those heavy drinking, there's a lot of heavy drinking in the lower income strata, and that's precisely why a commitment not to drink is so powerful and so appealing, it's the privileged types at the top who have always from the beginning imported wine and drunk moderately, well not always. >> what we call social drinking. >> exactly right. social drinking is really class coated. >> so it is all tangled in with american politics and religion.
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i think as we think about an issue that we might be privileged to have a chance to talk with fellow historians and fellow at least temporary milwaukeeans here, actually to have been a good choice. >> alcohol explains everything if i'm not mistaken. the expansion of the federal government. >> and that it's bankrupting. >> it does. but, as always, we'd love to keep the conversation going. pay us a visit and let you know what you think the history of drinking reveals in american society in general. you'll be able to find those of you in the tv audience, find this on our website soon and to understand exactly what peter was laying out here. but you'll get a chance to look ahead about what shows they were doing, give us ideas and send us questions. so one of the things we say is don't be a stranger. >> today's episode of back story produced by tony field and anna pinkert with help from neil bourbonstein, jamal minger,
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julie carlowitz and our executive producer andrew windham. [ applause ] >> not quite done. we want to -- several times. special thanks today to nancy mclean, kathleen france, amy stark, lucy saunders and elliott nichersik, to ben franklin stand-ins and thank for your questions, chris nichols and mary burke, and last but not least, to our live audience here in milwaukee at the 2012 meeting of the organization of american historians and the national council on public history, you have been terrific. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> one more.
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work you up so you can't stop clapping. major production support provided by the national endowment for the humanities, the cornell foundation, the university of virginia weinstein properties, the history channel and an anonymous donor. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> now we go out of character. you can go now. >> you can ask as many questions as you want. you just have to do it while the music's playing. buffalo place distillery in kentucky is one of the nation's oldest operating distilleries, we visited last summer and
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talked with freddy johnson. to learn about kentucky's biggest industry and how prohibition impacted the state and nation. >> it produces some of the highest rated bourbons in the world. it is internationally known. and when you look at the base, there are about 310 employees who work here year round. what most people don't realize are the number of distilleries that were around prior to prohibition. and many people don't realize that prohibition was designed to do away with alcohol. before prohibition, over 2,000
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distilleries were making product in kentucky. by the time prohibition was done in 1933, doctors had stepped in and they were the saving grace for whiskey. to get your whiskey during prohibition, you had to have a doctor's prescription. however, if you look at this chart, you get an idea of the distilleries that were closed. mom and pop distilleries. very small batch bourbons and whiskeys, over 2,000. by the time prohibition is done, only 30 survive what the government put them through. ten distilleries produced 95% of all the bourbon in the world. to get your whiskey during prohibition, required a doctor's prescription.
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one of those would get you one of these every ten days. you were allowed three pint bottles a month with your doctor's prescription. an epidemic broke out. every member of the family got sick. even the babies needed it for their gums while they were teething. by the time prohibition was done in 1933, doctors had written over 6 million prescriptions just for whiskey. and in states that allow it the 21st amendment allowed states to control the distribution of whiskey. so, in states like kentucky it became privately owned and that's how drug stores are able to sell whiskey and alcoholic beverages today. in other states they are state-controlled, and the state basically retains all the revenues associated with the product. this gives you and idea of the
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type of political atmosphere that existed back during the time of prohibition. so, as you can see here on this bottle of whiskey, in order for it to be sold, it had to be distributed through a drugstore, the apothecary and had to carry the label that it was for medicinal purposes only. it was during this period of time that al capone and eliot ness exploded in the market. because of this restriction and elimination of so many stills around the country, the underworld started to make their own product and that became an entirely different nightmare for the government because instead of eliminating whiskey it created a black market for whiskey, alcoholic beverage, spirits, gins, vodkas, all without the control of the
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government and so a lot of money that normally would have been going into the revenues or the coffers for the states and the federal government went directly into the hands of the underworld. >> when did that stop or has it? >> legally prohibition ended in 1933, and supposedly the formal product came back into existence. however, moonshiners are still in existence today as we all know, and some of them brag about the fact that they are still able to make their hooch the way they made it back in the good old days. let's take a look over here. a lot of people don't realize the impact of the settlers on kentucky. the original settlers coming in were fleeing the whiskey rebellion in pennsylvania. they were scottish, irish and welch descent. notice the features.
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you can see the different features associated with scottish, irish and welch. notice the dog. the first dogs to race in kentucky were not horses, they were dogs. look at the african-americans. notice their features. because they came over as part of slavery. different parts of different countries and they came into this area. what is so special all during the revolution, all during the civil war, all during the skirmishes with the government there were two places that never got attacked. one was hospitals, because they took care of the injured from both sides. the other, distilleries, because they sold whiskey to both sides.
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take a look at these folks again and notice, look at their eyes. those are not the kind of people that you want to upset. no. they made whiskey and they made a darn good product and for kentucky it was one of the main revenue sources for the state of kentucky. >> why is that? >> because 20% of what you're paying for is nothing but tax. 120% of a bottle of 1-year-old bourbon is nothing but tax. that tax goes out at the state, county and federal level. it also goes for school taxes, and for local operating taxes for the local governments. so, you pay tax on a barrel of whiskey. you pay a tax on every barrel of whiskey you store in your warehouse. for this distillery we're
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warehousing somewhere between a quarter of a million of whiskey and a million. my grandfather was here for 42 years. dad was here for 47 years. he was away for five years while in the service in world war ii. and in this picture he is leak hunting. one of the jobs at the distillery is to try to locate leaky barrels and repair them in place. the amazing part of him is he was the only living person to have personally handled every millionth barrel to come through this distillery. and at 92 years old, he rolled out the six millionth barrel at butler trace distillery.


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