1920Prohibition was enacted.Events & Anniversaries, National Events

A boat that sunk in some fog while rum-running, December 1924. Courtesy of Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Photo 19094
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The feelings about Prohibition on Cape Ann were diverse, just like throughout the country. Drinking alcohol was ingrained in local society, and rum-making was a common practice originating in the colonial era. However, the temperance movement was also strong on Cape Ann, especially for religious institutions. Starting in this period, local religious organizations, such as the Fishermen’s Institute, felt more secure with the ban on alcohol and saw their focus shift away from religious influences to more social and recreational activities. However, illicit activities such as bootlegging arose. The area’s ready supply of sea-worthy vessels, experienced mariners who knew the coastline and surrounding waters in great detail even in the dark of night, and dire economic conditions all combined to create opportunities for rum running.

Oaks, Martha. The Gloucester Fishermen’s Institute, 1891-1991 : “A Social Center for Men of the Sea.” Gloucester Fishermen’s Institute, 1991. “Rum Running on Cape Ann.” Cape Ann Museum, http://www.capeannmuseum.org/rum-running-cape-ann/.
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