By Jane Feehan
Some link the rollicking Spring Break days on Fort Lauderdale beach in the 1960s and 70s with the city’s nickname, “Fort Liquordale.” Others associate it with the city’s partying reputation among some tourists today.
In fact, the name came about during Prohibition (1920 -1933) when bootlegging – carrying liquor by boat from the Bahamas, Cuba and other places to Florida – was a way to earn a living during the mean days of the Depression.
Rum raids were conducted periodically in Broward County to
enforce the 18th Amendment (in effect January 16, 1920, repealed by the 21st Amendment December 5,1933). One such raid netted Broward Sheriff Paul Bryan, his deputies, the assistant chief of police Bert Croft, and his men - 32 in all. The arrests grabbed headlines throughout South Florida (Miami News, January 27, 1927). The sub-heading to the article above declares: Every Dry Enforcement Agency in the U.S. Takes Part in Huge Mopping Up Drive in Fort Lauderdale District.
The officers, including Bryan, were cleared in a 1929 trial. News accounts of the era describe “fruitful rum raids” and “rum sleuths” ... and thus we have the name, Fort Liquordale. Rum Runners, anyone? Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved. Jane Feehan.
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Gillis, Susan. Fort Lauderdale: The Venice of America. Charleston: Arcadia (2004).
Weidling, Philip J. and Burghard, August. Checkered Sunshine. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1966
University of Houston - http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/database/article_display.cfm?HHID=441
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