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100 years ago: Prohibition enforcer describes difference between moonshine in Eastern and Western Washington

Donald A. McDonald, the federal prohibition director for Washington, estimated that there were 8,000 to 10,000 illegal stills in the state, The Spokesman-Review reported on Aug. 22, 1920
Donald A. McDonald, the federal prohibition director for Washington, estimated that there were 8,000 to 10,000 illegal stills in the state, The Spokesman-Review reported on Aug. 22, 1920
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

Prohibition had been in effect for years in Washington – but whiskey-distilling remained a robust, if secretive, industry.

The federal prohibition director estimated there were between 8,000 and 10,000 illegal stills operating in the state.

Most were in western Washington, where dense forests provided hiding places and fuel. But Eastern Washington had plenty of stills, too.

“Eastern Washington is partial to corn ‘moonshine,’ while western Washington manufactures principally ‘grapo,’ ” said the paper, perhaps referring to grape-based brandy.

From the highway beat: “Terror” had been removed from the road over Fourth of July Pass near Coeur d’Alene, reported local motorists.

The sharp curves, steep grades and “hard plunges” had all been eliminated.

It was now “almost a boulevard,” and allowed motorists to ascend “on high” (high gear) all of the way, a Kellogg store manager who recently drove the route said.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1972: President Richard Nixon was nominated for a second term of office by the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach.

1992: On the second day of the Ruby Ridge siege in Idaho, an FBI sharpshooter killed Vicki Weaver, the wife of white separatist Randy Weaver. The sharpshooter later said he was targeting the couple’s friend Kevin Harris, and didn’t see Vicki Weaver.

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