In 1922, Wichitans consumed over two hundred gallons of bootlegged liquor each day and spent over $2 million a year to do so. Illicit liquor could be obtained in all economic strata, from the Ideal Shining Parlor to the (members only) Wichita Athletic Club. Court dockets show that alcohol related arrest totals were often quite low: from November 1923 to August 1924, Wichita police made just nine arrests for alcohol related offenses. Was there a fix here?
This talk will explore Joshua Yearout’s research into bootlegging in Wichita in the 1920’s and 1930’s, published in his book “Wichita Jazz and Vice Between the World Wars.”