Return to Sender: The Saga of the U.S. Post Office & Booze

In the early 1910s, some years before Prohibition, a farmer walked into the post office in Owensboro, Kentucky, to mail a holiday package to his son in Arkansas. It contained an assortment of Christmas treats, including chewing tobacco, homemade cakes and some warm yarn socks. Into the box the farmer also slipped in a pint of “fine old whiskey” knowing his son’s fondness for Eggnog.

The postmaster inquired if there was any liquor in the package. The farmer said, “no.” The postmaster informed him about the Webb-Kenyon Act, recently passed by Congress, that made it a crime to ship to booze to a dry country, which included the one in which his son resided. The farmer repeated answer.


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Yes. Let’s add a flammable liquid inside mail trucks that are catching fire almost daily. Brilliant idea.