80 years ago today the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was
ratified, ridding the United States from Prohibition. In
celebration, ReasonTV brings you an encore look at the incredible
story of George Cassiday, the bootlegger to Congress who helped
bring down the 18th Amendment.
Here is the original text from the Dec. 5, 2012 video:
In honor of Repeal
Day, which celebrates the end of America’s “noble experiment”
in banning alcoholic beverages, Reason TV is happy to introduce you
to George Cassiday, a man whose life and work should be taught to
every schoolkid – and to every member of Congress hell-bent on
legislating the nation’s morals.
From 1920 through 1930 – the thick of the Prohibition era –
Cassiday supplied illegal liquor throughout the halls of Congress.
Known as “The Man in the Green Hat,” Cassiday was the Capitol’s
highest-profile bootlegger, with a client list that included senior
members of the Republican and Democratic Parties. How instrumental
was he to the D.C. power elite? He even had his own office in the
House and Senate office buildings.
Cassiday gave up the liquor trade after his arrest in 1930, but
gained notoriety by penning a series of front-page articles
for The Washington Post about his days as
Congress’ top bottle man.
Though he never named names, Cassiday’s stories detailed every
aspect of his former business – and the depths of hypocrisy in
Washington. By his own estimation, “four out of five senators and
congressmen consume liquor either at their offices or their homes.”
Appearing days before the 1930 mid-term elections, Cassiday’s
revelations caused a national stir and helped sweep
pro-Prohibitionist - and ostensibly tee-totaling –
congressmen and senators out of power.
Today, with the rise of cocktail culture and prohibition-vogue
in full swing, Cassiday’s life and legacy are being
re-discovered. Through books such as Garrett
in Washington, D.C.: How Dry We Weren’t to New
Columbia Distillery’s Green
Hat Gin, the remarkable story of George Cassiday – “The Man in
the Green Hat” – is again being told.
Reason TV spoke with Cassiday’s son, Fred, author
Garrett Peck, and New Columbia Distillery’s John Uselton to discuss
George Cassiday and the end of Prohibition.
Shot, edited, and produced by Meredith Bragg. About
from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/05/happy-repeal-day