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Explore the fasciniating history of Prohibition in one of the places where it was most defied-- Baltimore, Maryland.
There was perhaps no region more opposed to Prohibition than Baltimore and Maryland. The Free State was defiant in its protest from thoroughly wet Governor Albert Ritchie to esteemed Catholic Cardinal James Gibbons. Maryland was the only state to not pass a "baby" Volstead enforcement act. Speakeasies emerged at Frostburg's Gunter Hotel and at Baltimore's famed Belvedere Hotel, whose famous owls' blinking eyes would notify its patrons if it was safe to indulge in bootleg liquor. Rumrunners were frequent on the Chesapeake Bay as bootleggers populated the city streets. Journalist H.L. Mencken, known as the "Sage of Baltimore," drew national attention criticizing the new law. Author Michael T. Walsh presents this colorful history.