Henry Virkula was out for a drive with his wife and kids when customs agents leapt out of the bushes and riddled their flivver with buckshot the night of June 8, 1929. This was during Dry Hope Herbert Hoover’s Administration under the Five and Ten law making beer a chain-gang felony 2 days before his Inauguration. Like today, the Methodist Board of Temperance, Prohibition and Other People’s Morals bellowed that the killing was “justified” under the eugenicist tenets of Positive Christianity. Dry Killers was the exact technical term used by citizens and newspapermen alike.
First Responders were, as always, justified in murder, according to the experts on what Jesus would have done:
“The second case was that of the De King killing in Aurora, Illinois. That seemed perfectly horrible until the facts were ascertained and broadcast. Now the most intelligent people know what happened and see considerable significance in the fact that the grand jury refused to indict the officer involved. (…) On the Rouse case, the Board said Officer Rouse “killed a rum-runner in the act of committing two felonies,” adding: “The rum-runner had made an assault upon him by the use of poisonous gases produced by a smoke-screen device. Officer Rouse was completely exonerated by the grand jury. (…) (LA Examiner 6/17/1929)
Does this sound like a Minnesota cop union mouthpiece waving an “official” medical examiner’s report?(link)
There were no throwdown guns, throwdown beer or throwdown medical examiner documendacities or rumors of active warrants to get overeager ambush murderers off the hook. In fact, the International Falls City Council promptly gave notice to Republican President Herbert Hoover on 18JUN1929:
Dear Mr. President: The International Falls City Council voted and passed upon the following resolution:
“Whereas at an open meeting of business men and city officials of this border city last June 14 an informal appeal to the President was drawn up, asking him to end the terrorism inflicted upon our citizens and neighbors by Federal customs patrolmen, engaged in prohibition enforcement;
“and whereas, our appeal has remained unanswered, even though the vicious and unlawful conduct of said government agents have continued unabated‑‑except that there has been no fresh murder of our innocent neighbors;
“Therefore, be it resolved that we, the City Council of the City of International Falls, in regular session assembled, do hereby remind the President that the memorialization of the citizens’ appeal was and is the articulate pleading of the community:
“And be it further resolved that the City Council of the City of International Falls does hereby join its official voice in requesting from our President an urgent response to the pleas for help from our people. (Hoover 1929 1974 195)
Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland was at the time compiling a list of prohibition murders, naming names and giving particulars for publication in “Before and After Prohibition,” so politicians encountered tough sledding trying to ignore over a thousand slaughters.(link)
None of this mattered. It was only late in 1929 that statistician Clark Warburton began pointing out that the black market in banned beverages amounted to 5% of the entire U.S. economy, an amount larger than the entire budget of the federal government tasked by the 18th Amendment with killing, confiscating, libeling, padlocking, jailing and murdering every man woman and child in These States if that’s what it would take to force people to drink what the Prohibition Party ordered them to drink.(link) The Prohibition Party averaged 1.4% of the vote in 11 electoral campaigns. There was no Libertarian Party, but there was a Liberal Party demanding repeal.(link)
By January of 1930, no religious fanatics dared debate the Association Against the Prohibition Amendment, armed with Warburton’s exhaustive reports and calculations on consumption of every possible ingredient used in the production of recreational beverages.(link) Women came out for repeal and financial collapse, unemployment, burgeoning prisons, Hoovervilles, riots, blockades, arson, cop-killings, hunger and economic contraction got the voters’ attention.(link)
The Democrats copied the Liberal Party plank demanding repeal of the Prohibition Amendment.(link) Hoover promptly became a repeal advocate, but Republican National Socialism was into coercive eugenics and helping Hitler to power, and wouldn’t listen.(link) By March 4, 1933, with every bank in the nation already closed down, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was sworn in and the Dems–who had not yet become communists–ruled the roost for 20 years.
Does any of this sound familiar? like it rhymes? Why not compare the short and simple Libertarian Party Platform?
Are you surprised to learn how the repeal of prohibition began? Buy my book, Prohibition and The Crash, for a month-by-month examination of how President Hoover’s enforcement of the Jones Five and Ten Law crushed the U.S. economy.
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