Alcohol Liquor and Saloons

Alcohol Liquor and Saloons 1850-1966

Ordinance No. 14, June 22nd, 1850

“That the City Marshall be and is hereby authorized and required to call upon The Keepers of all Bar Rooms, all vendors (sic) of Spirituous Liquors and all Store Keepers for the amount due… for License….”

Regulations, licenses and communications relating to the sale and consumption of alcohol have been a common theme in American cities since the 1630s, and San Diego is no exception.  Governments licensed and regulated alcohol in order to mold the behavior of its citizens to create a revenue stream to fund governments.  In 1920 the 18th amendment prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcohol until its repeal in 1933, but the speakeasy and smuggling emerged during the roaring 20s.  By WWI, over 30% of the federal governments’ revue derived from the alcohol tax.  The passage of the federal income tax in 1913 created source of revenue and allowed the prohibition of alcohol sales.

Researchers note; this section is word searchable.  The following historical documents pertain to various San Diego public interests including some of the records related to Saloons, the Stingaree District and the regulation of alcohol.