Over seventy percent of voters in the state of Washington voted to repeal Prohibition on August 29, 1933. That vote was later ratified at a special convention on October 3rd. The stories below tell a great deal about Prohibition era Washington, a time characterized by violence, corruption, and murder.

  • The Centralia Daily Chronicle ran a story in 1930 about two corrupt officials, accused of taking protection money from bootleggers. In court a bootlegger testified that he had given the men money.

  • mccarthy.jpgIn 1924, a former prohibition officer committed suicide after being accused of “illegal sale of liquor and assault on a prohibition agent.” After having been jailed, the man asked if he could get some possessions out of a steamship on which he used to reside. Although accompanied by a guard, he managed to slip away while on the ship and take poison.

  • A 1929 newspaper story told of a rum chase in which the driver of the rum-running vehicle was shot and killed.


ACCUSED EX-DRY AGENT KILLS SELF BY POISON, New York Times (1857-Current file); Sep 21, 1924; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2004), pg. E1

RUM PLOT UNFOLDED, Centralia Daily Chronicle; Aug.27, 1930; Newspaper Archive, pg. 1

RUM RUNNER SLAIN FROM POLICE CAR, Los Angeles Times (1886-Current File); Sep 25, 1929; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Los Angeles Times (1881 - 1986), pg. 6

Newspaper clipping courtesy of The New York Times, accessed via ProQuest.