Hart Crane, Ford Maddox Ford, and Zelda Fitzgerald. Among the most famous are F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and John Dos Passos. F. Scott Fitzgerald shared many characteristics synonymous with “The Lost Generation”. He was a heavy drinker and partier, rebellious and questioned traditional values and beliefs, and sought Paris to gain a perspective on himself and his country. (“What is the Lost Generation?”)
On January 16, 1920 the 18th Amendment became law, enforced by the National Prohibition Act. Liquor, beer, and wine were illegal throughout America. However, although alcohol was banned, Americans continued to manufacture and drink it; men and women actually drank more of it. They created new ways of transporting it without getting arrested. One method was using a hip flask; another was hiding it in books and coconut shells, or by filling hot-water bottles and hiding it under their clothing. (“The Jazz Age – The 20s,” 20-132)
Bootlegging became big business. In 1921 federal agents seized 96,000 stills and pieces of distilling equipment; in 1925 they seized 173,000; in 1930 it had reached 282,000. Some bootleggers stole alcohol from manufacturing plants, smuggled it from abroad, or made it themselves. One famous bootlegger, Al Capone, was said to have controlled the entire business from Canada to Florida. (“The Jazz Age – The 20s,” 20-132)
Since saloons became the target of Prohibition enforcers, Americans frequented underground drinking facilities known as speakeasies. In 1925 there is believed to have been 100,000 speakeasies in New York City alone. Speakeasies were “protected” by bribing federal agents. One of the most famous owners of a speakeasy was Texas Guinan, named “Queen of the Speakeasies”.... [continues]
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