Run the Rum In was a fun book to write. It started with an obscure and somewhat humorous article tucked away in a file on Roads in the Boca Raton Historical Society. In the article a boat filled with illegal booze accidently came ashore in front of a surveyor the rummie thought was his signal man.
I figured there were probably a lot more stories like that up and down the South Florida coast so I did a little research. The end result was Run the Rum In–a fascinating look at the events and characters associated with running illegal booze into the U.S. through Florida during the Prohibition era.
Lots of interesting people – William McCoy (known as the “Real McCoy”), Captain Knight (Cap’s Place), Al Capone, James Horace Alderman (infamous rum runner), Carry Nation (Prohibition advocate known for chopping up bars with a hatchet), Grace Lythogoe & Marie Waite (two beautiful and savvy female rum runners), the Ashley Gang (bank robbers and murders), Elizabeth Friedman (Coast Guard cryptologist), Mabel Walker Willebrandt (asst. attorney general), and many more.
Since the book came out I have participated in a National Geographic documentary on Gangsters, and I’m currently working on a documentary for WLRN (PBS Miami) on Prohibition and the South Florida Connection. It will air in January 2012 and run after Ken Burns documentary on Prohibition.
Run the Rum In is a fun read filled with many South Florida events and personalities, many of which were unknown until now.
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Click here to go to the Bimini Museum and view some interesting photos and footage from the Prohibition era.
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