A summer convention in Atlantic City running up to the 1912 presdential election.
By the summer of 1912, Atlantic City had established itself as a premier vacation resort.
Its sun, surf and Boardwalk, along with adult offerings of alcohol, gambling and prostitution, could satisfy a variety of appetites.
It was against this backdrop that the Prohibition Party came to the seaside resort for its quadrennial convention from July 10-12 and choose its presidential ticket. Held at the Steel Pier, the gathering featured delegates from across the nation, which now stood at 48 states with the admission of Arizona and New Mexico earlier that year.
The convention, the 11th in the party’s history, was welcomed by hotel owners, who provided lodging for more than 1,000 delegates. Local newspapers provided extensive coverage of the event.
“What more appropriate than the Party of the Water Wagon should make its nominations and adopt its platform out at sea,” the Atlantic City Daily Press observed in its July 8 edition. Under the headline “Convention Points,” the Press sought to reassure its readers: “Remember, Prohibitionists are both humans and citizens.”
Formed in 1869, the Prohibition Party had sought to ban the sale, consumption and transportation of alcoholic beverages in the nation, citing the physical and social damage they inflicted. Daniel Okrent, author of the 2010 book, Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, noted consumption of alcohol continued to rise in the early 1900s.
“In the first years of the 20th century,” Okrent wrote, “average consumption of pure alcohol rose to 2.6 gallons per adult per year, the rough equivalent of 32 fifths of 80-proof liquor or 520 12-ounce bottles of beer.”
As the delegates gathered on July 10, they remained steadfast in their beliefs. “There is no defeat; no call of retreat can be blown from the bugle of right,” declared J.M. Fisher, of Massachusetts in a convention-approved telegram delegates sent to Lillian M.W. Stevens, president of the National Women’s Christian Temperance Union, in Maine.
Getting down to business, the delegates needed four ballots to choose a chairman on July 11, and finally elected Virgil G. Hinshaw, of Oregon, as a compromise choice.
The nomination of the presidential and vice presidential candidates went a little smoother. Eugene W. Chafin, 59, of Arizona won out over four other candidates, including Andrew Jackson Houston, son of legendary Texas leader Sam Houston, on the first ballot. Chafin had also been his party’s presidential candidate four years earlier.
A lawyer and scholar on Abraham Lincoln, Chafin had written a book on the life of the 16th president in 1908 (Lincoln, Man of Sorrow).
For Chafin’s running mate, the delegates selected Aaron S. Watkins, 48, of Ohio, the party’s vice presidential candidate in 1908.
One of the world’s most respected poets had a passion for the people and places along the Jersey shore.
Groundbreaking is tentatively set for early spring 2013 and the project will take roughly a year-and-a-half to complete.
The Atlantic City Experience could cost anywhere from $14 million to $51 million. Profits, however, could easily reach $300-400K per year by the third year with the city aiming for more non-gaming attractions in the future.
Atlantic City hosts tattoo expo, antique show, and the 5th annual A.C. Cinefest, plus more.
The Atlantic City Free Public Library will now be operating the Atlantic City Historical Museum located across from Revel on the Garden Pier.
They never could enforce it, not really. In Atlantic City, the ban was a boon. The Amendment went out with the next tide.
According to the Hollywood insider publication Variety, HBO "will bring back the 12-episode third season of Boardwalk Empire on Sept. 16 while New Orleans saga "Treme" is back for 10-episode third season on Sept. 23.
In the 10th episode of this ongoing web video series, hear the panel of Atlantic City historians tell stories about the Atlantic City Boardwalk. Tune in next Friday, Dec. 10 for part two.
A multi-part video series on Atlantic City's rich history in relation to HBO's Boardwalk Empire. Learn about the stories behind several facets of the resort's history such as the real Nucky Johnson, the African-American Experience, the Boardwalk and more.
"You know what's great about drama? You can make shit up."
"The book is the book, the show is the show, the book is what inspired the show and the show, with the benefit of some really creative people, is going to re-tell the story of Prohibition through the eyes of criminals. And the focal point of that is Nucky."
Think about it — our nation was still engaged in the Civil War when Renault first opened its doors in Egg Harbor City. By 1870 he had introduced his New Jersey Champagne. Renault Winery soon won prizes for its wines and became the largest distributor of champagne in the United States.
Matchless documentarian Ken Burns captures this volatile, surreal scene in his new miniseries Prohibition, which premieres Oct. 2, 3 and 4 at 8pm on PBS. The three-part, five-and-a-half-hour film explores both the forces that produced the U.S. Constitution’s 18th Amendment and ...
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