Michael Lewis: The Coming of Southern Prohibition

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Michael Lewis: The Coming of Southern Prohibition

Michael Lewis

The Horry County Museum and the AVX Foundation present a lecture by author Michael Lewis on his book, The Coming of Southern Prohibition: The Dispensary System and the Battle over Liquor in South Carolina on July 22nd, at 1:00 PM. The Coming of Southern Prohibition examines the rise and fall of South Carolina’s state-run liquor dispensary system from its emergence in 1892 until statewide prohibition in 1915. The dispensary system, requiring government-owned outlets to bottle and sell all alcohol, began as a way to avoid prohibition and enrich government coffers.  The book focuses on the Aiken County dispensary located at the foot of the bridge connecting Augusta Georgia to the border town of North Augusta, South Carolina. Aided by Georgia’s adoption of dry laws in 1907, Aiken County profited from alcohol sales to Georgians crossing the state line to purchase liquor legally. The North Augusta dispensary ultimately sold more liquor than any other store in the state, and the money resulting from dispensary sales helped build parks and schools, pave roads and keep county and municipal taxes the lowest in South Carolina.  The power of this revenue led to a rejection of prohibition laws by rural Protestants in Aiken County, a sentiment that diverged from their peers in other parts of the state.

Michael Lewis is an associate professor of sociology at Christopher Newport University in Virginia. He studies southern history, especially the period between Reconstruction and World War I. A native New Yorker, raised in Colorado, Michael currently lives in Williamsburg Virginia, but thinks of North Augusta as his home away from home.

The program will be held in the Museum’s McCown Auditorium located at 805 Main Street, Conway, SC 29526. For more information, call 843-915-5320 or email hcgmuseum@horrycounty.org. The view a full list of scheduled programs for 2017, visit the museum website at www.horrycountymuseum.org.

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