August 21st 1861 – Alcoholism comes to Cripple Creek

There were many vices in the wild west, but Cripple Creek was originally a dry town that did not allow the sale or consumption of alcohol. After a vote in July 1861, the town decided to lift the ban on alcohol on August 21st, 1861. The day they did, over a dozen bars and saloons set up shop and opened in the town.

Only 14 hours later a state of emergency was declared after the town had been driven into alcohol-fueled chaos. Horses were running through the streets dragging drunken riders, men and women were jumping off roofs trying to fly, and even the dogs got a little tipsy. Several dozen drunkenly wandered into the wilderness and were never seen again.

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