On this day in 1420, Venetian troops capture Udine, ending the independence of the Patriarchal State of Friuli. (see our April 3rd post "Free Friuli" - perhaps my worst written post of this blog - but I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Friuli)
On this day in 1832, the second Asian cholera epidemic (1827-1835), brought by Irish immigrants reaches , Canada.
At first read, I didn't understand the correlation between alcohol (Ardent Spirits) and Cholera until I realized that one of the major symptoms of Cholera is extreme diarrhea and vomiting which can lead to rapid dehydration (and possibly death) which alcohol would certainly not help. I do appreciate the nod to those who may not be able to go cold turkey..."if habit have rendered them indispensable,...take much less than usual". Which leads me to the next event.
On this day in 1899 – American Temperance crusader Carrie Nation starts her campaign against alcohol-serving establishments by destroying the inventory in Dobson's Saloon by throwing rocks at the bottles, while announcing "Men, I have come to save you from a drunkard's fate."
The story goes that Nation was the recipient of a divine visitation asking her to "Take something in your hands, and throw at these places in Kiowa (Kansas) and smash them." After destryoning Dobson's and two other bars in Kiowa, a large tornado hit eastern Kansas, which according to her memoirs she took as divine approval of her actions. Later in her saloon killing career she took up a hatchet against the bottles containing demon drink.
The Historical Inebriant: Temperance Punch
On a local note, on this day in 1965, The Supreme Court hands down its decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, legalizing the use of contraception by married couples. I had to read that one three times to make sure I was not missing anything!
Connecticut had on it's books a law from 1879 that prohibited the use of "any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception." Since it was rarely if ever enforced, it was never really challenged. Until Planned Parenthood wanted to move into the neighborhood.
In a 7-2 decision the court ruled the law was unconstitutional in regards to violating the unwritten but implied right to privacy as conveyed in the bill of rights.
In writing his dissenting opion, Justice Potter Stewart described the Connecticut statute "an uncommonly silly law" but argued that it was nevertheless constitutional.
While I am a firm believer in alcohol being an anti-contraceptive, I did find this silly drink of equal parts
of Rye and Gin.
The Historical Inebriant: The Birth Control