On Monday January 14 the Cowgirls of the West are set to host a luncheon at Little America. The program begins at 11:30 am and the small cost is $16.00. Reservations are a must and may be made to Stacy at 307-421-2062.
Guest speaker Mike Kassel will be talking about the prohibition period in Cheyenne.
Here's a preview of Kassel's lecture:
At the stroke of midnight on July 1, 1919, Wyoming went dry. For years, the state had been an oasis of alcohol in an increasingly dry region. One after another, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Utah turned their back on John Barleycorn leaving Wyoming alone in its magnanimity to moonshine. As a result, money was to be made as saloons just inside Wyoming's border served anyone old enough to cross the threshold from surrounding states. Bootleggers ran whiskey and other spirits into the heart of Colorado from Cheyenne using daring do – and sometimes gunfire to get the goods delivered.
With the troops away in Europe during World War I, the Anti-Saloon League and the Women's Christian Temperance Union convinced the Wyoming population to give up alcohol too in the elections of 1918. When the date of dryness arrived, Cheyenne tied one on, one last time in one of the wildest weekends in our state's history.
But this wasn't the end! Just as before, booze could be had, if you were willing to risk it. Ordinary citizens of Cheyenne began to look for ways to secure libation, and frequently ran afoul the law as a result. Local businessmen sold it, local ranchers brewed it, almost everyone who could, drank it. From hidden stills to the biggest anti-alcohol busts West of the Mississippi River, the citizens of Cheyenne took part. My presentation will offer a glimpse of the Wild West of Prohibition in Cheyenne from 1919 until 1932.