Rum Runners on History channel right now.
Its the same "need for speed' bit.
Last edited by TexomaPowerboater; 12-08-2007 at 12:37 PM.
Just caught the end of it. Id like to see the whole show.
I like the guy at the end. God bless the moonshiners.
Saw some of it, the Purple Gang here in Detroit were some bad dudes
I watched that show on Saturday. Great show, great history. Those prohibition era runners were some bad-ass dudes!
Did you see the part about the boat builder - reminded me of Aronow - Supplied the coast guard with their interceptors, but supplied the rum-runners with the same boats, only with twin allison V-12s (Army surplus aircraft engines) so they could outrun the coast guard. Forget his name, though.
Also, learned where the term "the real McCoy" comes from, And the birth of NASCAR.
Last edited by CigDaze; 12-10-2007 at 09:41 AM.
Maybe one of these days I'll get cable. It's shows like this that make me wish I had it
"the real McCoy" comes from a guy that got kicked out of Kentucky and moved to Texas right? I think he became mayor of a town or something? Or I may be completely wrong and misremembering my history classes.
"During the U.S. Prohibition era, it was common for rum-runner captains to add water to bottles to stretch their profits, or to re-label it as better goods. One American rum-runner captain and boat builder, William S. McCoy, became famous for never watering his booze, and selling only real top-quality products. Because of this, some accounts place McCoy as the source of the term "the Real McCoy.""
William Frederick McCoy (died December 30, 1948), also known as "Bill" McCoy, was an American sea captain and rum runner smuggler during the Prohibition in the United States.
McCoy was born in Syracuse, New York in 1877. He had a brother Ben, five years older, and a sister Violet, five years younger. His father, also William McCoy, was a brick mason who had been in the Union Navy during the American Civil War, serving on the blockade of Southern coasts. Bill McCoy attended the Pennsylvania Nautical School on board the USS Saratoga in Philadelphia, graduating first in his class. He later served a mate and quartermaster on various vessels including the steamer Olivette, which was in Havana, Cuba when the USS Maine exploded in 1898.
Around 1900 the McCoy family moved to Holly Hill, Florida, a small town just north of Daytona Beach. Bill and his brother Ben operated a motor boat service and a boat yard out of Jacksonville, and in Holly Hill, Florida. By 1918 he had gained a reputation as a skilled yacht builder, having constructed vessels for Andrew Carnegie and others.
During Prohibition (1920-33), the McCoy brothers fell on hard times. Their excusion and freight business could not compete with the new highways and buses being built up and down the coast and across Florida. Needing money, the two brothers made a decision to go into rum-running. They sold the assets of their business, traveled to Gloucester, Massachusetts, and bought the schooner Henry L. Marshall.
After a few successful trips smuggling liquor off the coast of the United States, Bill McCoy had enough money to buy the schooner Arethusa. Placing the ship under British registry, in order to avoid being subjected to U.S. law, Bill had to change the name from Arethusa to Tomoka (after the name of the River that runs through his hometown of Holly Hill).
McCoy made a number of successful trips aboard Tomoka and along with the Henry L. Marshall, and upwards of five other vessels, hauling mostly Rye, Irish and Canadian whisky as well as other fine liquors and wines, McCoy was becoming a household name, and an enemy of the U.S. Government and organized crime. McCoy's legend grew as his quality liquor and fair-dealing perpetuated the phrase, "it's the real McCoy."
McCoy smuggled whisky into the U.S., traveling from Nassau and Bimini in the Bahamas to the east coast of the United States, spending most time dealing on "Rum row" off Long Island. When the Coast Guard discovered McCoy, he established the system of anchoring large ships off the coast in international waters and selling liquor to smaller ships that transferred it to the shore. McCoy also smuggled liquor and spirits from the French islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon located south of Newfoundland.
On November 23, 1923, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Seneca, had orders to capture Bill McCoy and Tomoka, even if in international waters. A boarding party boarded Tomoka but McCoy refused to surrender. The Tomika tried to flee, but the Seneca placed a shell just off the hull, and Bill McCoy's days as a rum-runner were over.
Instead of a long drawn out trial, Bill McCoy pleaded guilty and spent nine months in a New Jersey jail. He returned to Florida and invested his money in real estate. He and his brother continued the boat building business and frequently traveled up and down the coast.
And for those from NY, you all know Claudio's.
There a great segment about the Claudio's. At low tide, there was enough room underneath the restaurant to pull in boats and they would smuggle booze up through an elaborate series of trapdoors and hidden compartments. Neat.
The beginning was the best part. Basically showed what the first go-fast boats were. There were some great stories of boat chases.
You may remember a part of that show talking about the "Black Duck." That boat was the thought behind my Dad naming his bar/restaurant. There is a story about it here:
www.blackduckcafe.net Just hit the "Tales" tab on the left. Here is a pic:
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