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Event Details

Writers LIVE: Michael T. Walsh: Baltimore Prohibition: Wet and Dry in the Free State

Enoch Pratt Free Library – Light Street Branch

There was perhaps no region more opposed to Prohibition than Baltimore and Maryland. The Free State was defiant in its protest from thoroughly wet Governor Albert Ritchie to esteemed Catholic Cardinal James Gibbons, and was the only state to not pass a "baby" Volstead enforcement act. Journalist H.L. Mencken, known as the "Sage of Baltimore," drew national attention criticizing the new law.

Author Michael T. Walsh presents a colorful history of the state in which speakeasies emerged at Frostburg's Gunter Hotel and at Baltimore's famed Belvedere Hotel, whose famous owls' blinking eyes would notify its patrons if it was safe to indulge in bootleg liquor. He describes rum runners who were frequent on the Chesapeake Bay as bootleggers populated the city streets.

Michael Walsh, a native of Baltimore, is a historian who specializes in both twentieth-century U.S. history as well as local history. Michael majored in history and received his undergraduate degree from Loyola University, Maryland. He obtained a master's degree in historical studies at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and subsequently earned his PhD at UMBC in public policy with a concentration in policy history. Michael currently teaches U.S. history as an adjunct professor at the Community College of Baltimore County and is also a grants and contracts manager at UMBC. He lives with his wife Jennifer, daughter Elizabeth and pet Australian Shepherd Mugsy in the Parkville community in Baltimore County.






Event Details

Saturday, April 21, 2018 - 3:00pm


Enoch Pratt Free Library
1251 Light Street
Baltimore, MD 21230

by Dr. Radut