Daniel Okrent's Last Call
May 6, 2010 7:30 AM Subscribe
"Women and men drink together in a bar? Well, then, you have to have bathrooms for the women.
posted by geoff. (30 comments total)
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That's the invention of the powder room. That's a phrase that actually comes from Prohibition. They could tuck a tiny little room with a toilet and a sink underneath a stairwell or in a corner. Table service in bars can also be traced to Prohibition, because men and women together, they're not bellying up the bar, but sitting at a table. And the dance band: if you have only men in a bar, you're never going to have a five-piece jazz band there; but you are going to if you have men and women who might dance together." Daniel Okrent and the history of Prohibition.
"And that was even more remarkable, because it's the only time that a part of the Constitution was repealed. There were a number of factors that played into the reversal. There was a growing concern about the loss of respect for law in the U.S. -- a lot of concern. If you are seeing a tenet of the Constitution and a series of laws that come out of it being broken on a daily basis -- an hourly, minute-by-minute basis across the country -- as was the case by the late twenties, then how can anybody have respect for law? There was a very strong conservative movement that wanted to get rid of Prohibition for this reason."