Meet Congress' Favorite Bootlegger: Prohibition, Hypocrisy, and "The Man in the Green Hat"





The interactive transcript could not be loaded.



Rating is available when the video has been rented.
This feature is not available right now. Please try again later.
Published on Dec 5, 2012

In honor of Repeal Day, which celebrates the end of America's "noble experiment" in banning alcoholic beverages, Reason TV is happy to introduce you to George Cassiday, a man whose life and work should be taught to every schoolkid - and to every member of Congress hell-bent on legislating the nation's morals.

From 1920 through 1930 - the thick of the Prohibition era - Cassiday supplied illegal liquor throughout the halls of Congress. Known as "The Man in the Green Hat," Cassiday was the Capitol's highest-profile bootlegger, with a client list that included senior members of the Republican and Democratic Parties. How instrumental was he to the D.C. power elite? He even had his own office in the House and Senate office buildings.

Cassiday gave up the liquor trade after his arrest in 1930, but gained notoriety by penning a series of front-page articles for The Washington Post about his days as Congress' top bottle man.

Though he never named names, Cassiday's stories detailed every aspect of his former business - and the depths of hypocrisy in Washington. By his own estimation, "four out of five senators and congressmen consume liquor either at their offices or their homes." Appearing days before the 1930 mid-term elections, Cassiday's revelations caused a national stir and helped sweep pro-Prohibitionist - and ostensibly tee-totaling - congressmen and senators out of power.

Today, with the rise of cocktail culture and prohibition-vogue in full swing, Cassiday's life and legacy are being re-discovered. Through books such as Garrett Peck's Prohibition in Washington, D.C.: How Dry We Weren't to New Columbia Distillery's Green Hat Gin, the remarkable story of George Cassiday - "The Man in the Green Hat" - is again being told.

Reason TV spoke with Cassiday's son, Fred, author Garrett Peck, and New Columbia Distillery's John Uselton to discuss George Cassiday and the end of Prohibition.

Shot, edited, and produced by Meredith Bragg. About 4:30 minutes. For downloadable versions and links to the resources cited above, go to http://reason.com/reasontv/2012/12/05...


Uploads from ReasonTV

  1. 691

    Sex, Lies, Jazz: Feb. Reason Preview w Matt Welch and Kennedy

  2. 692

    Craig Whitney on Living With Guns: A Liberal's Case for the Second Amendment

  3. 693

    I, Tomato: Morning Star's Radical Approach to Management

  4. 694

    Busting Bikinis and the Cop Who Wants to Fine Cursing! (Nanny of the Year 2012)

  5. 695

    Check out Reason's New LA Headquarters!

  6. 696

    Remy: I Saw Daddy Pat Down Santa Claus (A Very TSA Christmas Song)

  7. 697

    The Fall Of Tam's #6: How LA Regulated A Burger Stand Out of Existence

  8. 698

    Grover Norquist on Fiscal Cliff, Tax Pledges, & Being the GOP's "Rasputin"

  9. 699

    How Indianapolis Fixed Its Parking Problems

  10. 700

    The Best and Worst Christmas Films (Libertarian Edition)

  11. 701

    A Great Year For Pot, Freedom, and Ending the Drug War: Q&A with MPP's Rob Kampia

  12. 702

    Marijuana Is Legal in Colorado...Now What?

  13. 703

    Why Copyright Law is so Mickey Mouse - And How to Fix It: Q&A with Jerry Brito

  14. 704

    Judge Napolitano: How Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson Destroyed Constitutional Freedom

  15. 705

    Can an Undocumented Immigrant Become a U.S. Lawyer? California High Court Will Decide

  16. 706

    How Dewey Bartlett Balanced Tulsa's Budget without Raising Taxes

  17. 707

    James Payne on Six Political Illusions

  18. 708

    Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard: Making City Government Work

  19. 709

    Guns, Football, Macho Culture Didn't Kill Jovan Belcher's Girlfriend. Jovan Belcher Did.

  20. 710

    Censorship and "Unlearning Liberty" at College: Q&A with FIRE's Greg Lukianoff

  21. 711

    Reason Webathon 2012 w Nick Gillespie, Matt Welch, Kennedy, and more!

  22. Meet Congress' Favorite Bootlegger: Prohibition, Hypocrisy, and "The Man in the Green Hat"

  23. 713

    Reason Mag Preview w Matt Welch & Kennedy: APOCALYPSE 2013!

  24. 714

    "I escaped a North Korean prison camp" - Shin Dong-hyuk's Survivor Story

  25. 715

    LP Candidate Bruce Majors vs. D.C.'s One-Party System

  26. 716

    Texas Schools Track Students with RFID Chips! (Nanny of the Month, Nov '12)

  27. 717

    1000 Wrongfully Convicted and Counting: New Registry Checks Justice System's Power

  28. 718

    "The idea that you could openly sell things that help women achieve orgasm is pretty new."

  29. 719

    David Friedman on How to Privatize Everything

  30. 720

    The Future of Financing the Arts: An Interview with Adam Huttler of Fractured Atlas

  31. 721

    Fixing Chicago's Traffic Gridlock: Reason's Adrian Moore and Sam Staley

  32. 722

    Greg Gutfeld: The Joy of Hate, Liberal Speech Police, & Conservative Punks

  33. 723

    3 Reasons to Kill The Dept. of Homeland Security: It's Unnecessary, Inefficient, & Expensive.

  34. 724

    Philadelphia: No Love for the Homeless

  35. 725

    Roderick Long on Race, Gender, Equality and Libertarianism

  36. 726

    Athens of the Prairie: How Columbus, Indiana Got Great Architecture

  37. 727

    Lance Armstrong Cheated to Win. Is that Wrong?

  38. 728

    Media Manipulation and Unconventional Marketing: Author Ryan Holiday on "Trust Me I'm Lying"

  39. 729

    Watch Ron Paul's Farewell Address!

  40. 730

    Oklahoma Doctors vs. Obamacare

  41. 731

    Ladies, We're Screwed: Why Obama's Re-election is Bad for Choice

  42. 732

    Gary Johnson, Benghazi, and Free Speech: Reason's December Ish!

  43. 733

    What Writer Most Turned You on to Freedom? Or, What We Heard at Reason's Bastiat Prize Dinner.

  44. 734

    One Veteran's Story: "You Come Back And You Just Don't Feel The Same."

  45. 735

    Khan Academy Founder Talks Radical Education Reform and The One World Schoolhouse

  46. 736

    The Fallacy of Net Neutrality: Thomas Hazlett on the FCC & Consumer Protection

  47. 737

    3 Reasons Mitt Romney and Republicans Lost Big in Election 2012

  48. 738

    Obama Wins and Nothing Changes; The Wildly Unpopular Status Quo Is Ratified!

  49. 739

    Bronco Bama and Mitt Romney Aren't the Only Things to Cry Over

  50. 740

    Remy: Romney, Obama, and Binders Full of Chicks (The Election 2012 Rap)

  51. 741

    The Anti-Science Left: Author Alex Berezow on Why Both Parties Fail at Science

  52. 742

    Gas Lines, Gouging, and Hurricane Sandy: Keeping Prices Low Means Nobody Gets Fuel

  53. 743

    Q&A with Libertarian Vice Presidential Candidate Jim Gray

  54. 744

    LA to Pet Stores: You Can't Sell Animals Unless They're Rescued (Nanny of the Month, Oct. '12)

  55. 745

    Three Reasons U.S. Drone Policy Is Really Freakin' Scary

  56. 746

    Crowded Prisons, Unions, and CA Three Strikes: Why We Can't Just Build More Cages

  57. 747

    Eugene Jarecki on His Drug-War Doc The House I Live In and Why Prohibition is Doomed

  58. 748

    "I Pledge to Serve Barack Obama" (Urgent 2012 Election Update)

  59. 749

    Condoms, Porn, and L.A.'s Measure B: The Most Bizarre Ballot Initiative of 2012

  60. 750

    Tom Bevan Talks Real Clear Politics and Election Polling

  61. 751

    Steve Chapman on Election 2012, Chicago and Pot Smoking Presidents

  62. 752

    Liberty Fund's Chris Talley on Freedom, Dialogue, and Ama-gi Tattoos

  63. 753

    The Knockoff Economy: How Copying Benefits Everyone

  64. 754

    Hayek Institute's Barbara Kolm on the Eurozone Crisis

  65. 755

    Why Expanding America's Military Strength Puts The U.S. at Risk

  66. 756

    Reason-Rupe Poll on Fixing California, Prop 30 and Rolling Back State Spending

  67. 757

    Do the Cops Know Your Info? A Conversation with the ACLU of Illinois's Adam Schwartz

  68. 758

    Are We In the Final Days of Marijuana Prohibition?

  69. 759

    Capitalist Pig on Why Hedge Funds and Ayn Rand are Great for the Economy

  70. 760

    How Romney and Republicans Can Appeal to Libertarians

  71. 761

    How Obama and Democrats Can Appeal to Libertarians

  72. 762

    The Exonerated: True Stories of Innocents Sprung From Death Row

  73. 763

    Short Skirts and Bear Markets: An Interview with Stock Market Analyst Robert Prechter

  74. 764

    Damon Root on 3 Supreme Court Cases to Watch in 2013

  75. 765

    Journalist Andrew Malcolm on Embracing New Media

  76. 766

    John Goodman on Curing the Health Care Crisis

  77. 767

    Russ Roberts: Why Keynesians Always Get it Wrong (and Most Economists Too)

  78. 768

    Ai WeiWei, Pussy Riot and the Power of Punk Art: An Interview with James Panero

  79. 769

    Marginal Revolution University: Q&A with Alex Tabarrok

  80. 770

    The Cast of Atlas Shrugged Part II Talks Film's Impact

  81. 771

    Really Good Reasons to Skip College: Q&A with Blake Boles

  82. 772

    Freedomain Radio's Stefan Molyneux on the Inevitable Growth of the State

  83. 773

    Helicopter Parents vs. Free Range Kids: Q&A with "America's Worst Mom" Lenore Skenazy

  84. 774

    Why U.S. Health Care Costs More Than Canada's: "A Mercedes Costs More than a Corolla"

  85. 775

    After Debate Hangout

  86. 776

    Citizenship Denied: DOMA, Immigration, and Gay Marriage

  87. 777

    Atlas Shrugged Part II: What We Saw at the World Premiere in D.C.

  88. 778

    Reason-Rupe Poll: Obama Leads Romney, 52-45 Percent; Gary Johnson Pulls 6 Percent

  89. 779

    Obama vs Romney: Special Interactive Nanny of the Month!

  90. 780

    Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore on the 2012 Election

  91. 781

    Too Big To Regulate: Barron's Gene Epstein on Dodd-Frank

  92. 782

    Wake the F*ck Up! - A Rebuttal (NSFW!)

  93. 783

    Steve Horwitz on Austrian Economics, Bleeding Heart Libertarians, and Family

  94. 784

    Rachel Carson's Silent Spring at 50 Years

  95. 785

    Immigrants DREAM on: Neither Obama nor Romney will help you

  96. 786

    Remy: Imagine (There's No YouTube)

  97. 787

    Boob Over Bottle: Mike Bloomberg's Latest Nanny State Dictate

  98. 788

    David Simon on Treme, New Orleans, the Drug War, Obama, The Wire - And Disappointing Libertarians

  99. 789

    Why Your Vote Doesn't Count, Obama's Failed Narrative, Four More Years of War

Sign in to add this to Watch Later

Add to