Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pelican Rum Runs Complicate Tough Summer for Prohibition

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pelican Rum Runs Complicate Tough Summer for Prohibition

Article excerpt

From Parliament to the pig stand, 1926 already had been a rocky

summer for Prohibition.

And then came the pelicans.

In London, the British were joshing the Prohi Poobah, scoffing

at tries to stem the tide of His Majesty's Hooch flowing to the

colonial shore.

In Jacksonville, management at the Sawdust Trail mocked the law

to hawk beer with barbecue, as nature intended.

From bonded whiskey from abroad to rotgut from the radiator

shop, strong spirits washed America. The most stringent national

law enforcement effort ever mounted was coming a cropper.

Even before the pelicans.

Duval County reveled in the climactic years of law enforcement

temporarily bewitched, bothered and bewildered; the sheriff

would eventually go to jail.

From pitched tents at Camp Johnston to the Jacksonville Beach

boardwalk, from the piney woods of North Main Street to Skimp

Tillman's downtown social club, bootleg booze lubricated cafe

society, often before noon.

Even before the pelicans.

President Calvin Coolidge, noted sport, insisted Brig. Gen.

Lincoln C. Andrews was no stodgy prig, despite what the British

said, and what did they know, anyhow.

The Brits were having great sport with Andrews, America's top

Prohibition officer, because he insisted on ice in his water and

was spending more time in London than the English thought

necessary, to implore Great Britain to stop forcing strong drink

upon America.

In Washington, a "super army" of Prohibition agents was

organized to swoop down on Los Angeles, off whose coast a fleet

of rum runners operated with impunity, and on New York City,

where the entire population operated with impunity.

Organization of the "super army" coincided with the trial of 16

Coast Guardsmen on charges of escorting rum-runners past Ambrose

Light off New York City and with the less-celebrated but equally

colorful Great Raid on the Little Cat by serious officers of the

law in Duval County. …

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