Thursday, December 6, 2007
During Prohibition (1920-33) Stearns County produced a brand of illegal liquor that quickly became popular throughout the Midwest and beyond. It even had a brand name: Minnesota 13. "Minnesota 13 – ‘Wet’ Wild Prohibition Days," by Professor of Management Elaine Davis, details the history of a product whose high quality, favorable taste and safe composition made it a high-demand product during Prohibition. Davis’ book, with more than 70 photos, graphs, maps and cartoons, covers the facts and the impact of Prohibition in the county, including how Minnesota 13 was made; how producers, bootleggers and local speakeasies concealed their operations; how local and federal law enforcement operated; and the crucial role German ethnicity and area Catholic churches played in the local industry. The history also provides details about how federal raids, Leavenworth prison, Prohibition-related violence and the repeal of the 18th amendment affected moonshine producers.