The Thirsty First and the Fourth of July

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By Christina Knott. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

What was the Fourth of July like in the early 1900s? In a word, raucous. Injuries, destruction and even death were not uncommon.

An article in the Watertown Daily Times on July 13, 1903 reported 52 killed and 3,665 injured in 200 cities, including a 10-year-old boy and a 9-year-old boy in Kingston, who were shot in the hand with toy pistols and developed Lockjaw. A

n article in the paper from June 10, 1910, pleaded with readers to stay "safe and sane" on the Fourth.

But Independence Day in 1919 attempted to change all that, with the introduction of the first dry Fourth of July. The Wartime Prohibition act enacted at the stroke of 11 p.m. June 30, introduced the Thirsty First.

This week, Kelly and Christina talk about the Thirsty First and how communities across the north country played out the end of alcohol in their own way, with gatherings that ranged from soberly sedate to wildly rowdy.

Episode edited by Olivia Bellanger. Music is by Podington Bear. You can follow us by searching for Second Look on Instagram and Facebook.

88 episodes