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Category Archives: Booze

Lowell Daily Citizen, February 10, 1879. A reminder that The Onion is nothing new under the sun, this mock temperance lecture (which is really pretty funny in a Twain-derivative fashion) is firmly grounded in reality: Temperance people and prohibitionists were squarely in the anti-mince camp, primarily though not exclusively owing to its alcoholic content. And as we’ve seen, they weren’t exactly wrong in regarding mince as a loophole in the enforcement of interdiction. Read More »

Kansas City Times, August 7, 1919. “One half of one percent” was the allowed alcohol content of “near-beer” under Prohibition. Mince at 14.12 % would definitely be more efficient.

Baltimore Sun, March 26, 1892. Taking the uneasy way out.

whiskyKansas City Times, May 3, 1918. She was all like, “Single malts are for the birds,” and he was all like “To blend is to adulterate,” and things just escalated from there.

Chicago Tribune, 11 18 13Chicago Tribune, November 11, 1913. I mourn this lost Chicago, a city where a well-read, shotgun-wielding spinster lady could squat, farm and defend the boundaries of her river island for a decade before attracting the attention of the authorities. Read More »

kc star 12 29 86Kansas City Star, December 12, 1886. Mince pie, as we’ve seen, was known to cause bad dreams, but in particularly susceptible folk it seems to have induced clairvoyant hallucinations as well. Read More »

mills minceCleveland Plain Dealer, December 12, 1922. A poignant note of special pleading on behalf of the booze-less mince pie. Perhaps it was Prohibition that killed mince: The dephlogisticated version just didn’t do it for mince fans, and by the time the booze came back, the brand had been fatally undermined.
By the by, I did a search on the phrase “as American as apple pie” in both the Proquest and America’s Historical Newspapers archive. The earliest use that I found was from 1921, but the phrase doesn’t seem to really come into its own until the 1940s. Just coincidence? I think not.

wapo 1 12 08wapo 1 12 08 2Washington Post, December 12, 1908. Okay, now we’re moving onto the deep historical structures undergirding the scandalous aura of mince pie. The first thing to note is that present-day cultural conservatives who fret about the “war against Christmas” (e.g. Bill O’Reilly, Michelle Malkin) have got it all wrong. This great nation of ours was founded by Christmas-hating Puritanofascists, and a conservatism worthy of the name would return to that agenda. Death to Rudolph! Read More »

af am 2 15 08 Baltimore Afro-American, February 2, 1908. Daffy as this sounds, mince pie was subject to regional prohibition at certain times in American and British history. More on that later. But who knew that mince pie was a breakfast food? Cold water was a “Georgian” beverage in the sense that the state of Georgia had just enacted statewide Prohibition. The laws stayed on the books until 1935, two years longer than national Prohibition. And that’s why citizens of Georgia are even today the soberest in the Union. Bwa ha ha ha ha ha! Read More »

free lunchChicago Tribune, November 20, 1894. What if everything you’d ever heard about free lunch was wrong? Read More »