It's good to be the king, but if you were a U.S. congressman during Prohibition, you might have felt like royalty as well. Although a constitutional amendment banned alcohol nationwide from 1920 until 1933, Capitol Hill wasn't so hard hit. Thanks to an alcohol distributor named George Cassiday, nicknamed "the Man in the Green Hat," congressmen didn't have to stay dry if they didn't want to. The delivery service started as a favor to two representatives who wanted some private stock, despite voting publicly for Prohibition. Demand quickly followed, and soon Cassiday was making dozens of daily deliveries, unrestrained by the Capitol Police. In fact, Cassiday was so warmly welcomed that he was given his own storeroom for his bootleg liquor. Sure, Cassiday was arrested twice, but that didn't prevent him from supplying alcohol to what he claimed was approximately four out of every five members of Congress. Cassiday supposedly kept a ledger of his clients, but his wife covered his tracks by burning the records after his death in 1967.
A dry time in America:
- Although you couldn't make or buy alcohol during Prohibition, if you already had it on hand -- or if a doctor prescribed it -- you were free to drink as much as you liked.
- Black market alcohol was blamed for the deaths of approximately 3,000 Americans every year during Prohibition.
- Speakeasies were underground alcohol establishments that proliferated during Prohibition. They got their name from the requirement to whisper a password in order to be allowed to enter.