Were Portland City Workers Really Allowed “Rum Breaks” During The Day?
My how things have changed over a hundred or so years. In a video on YouTube posted by the Smithsonian Channel, a brief story is told about how certain things were, shall we say, a bit more relaxed in Portland right around the turn of the century. The narrator in the video tells the story of how a famous Portland politician once ran for president on a Prohibition platform, but failed miserably. Back then, Portland loved to drink, maybe even more than it does today. City workers were apparently allowed to take "rum breaks" throughout the day.
How did they ever get anything done around here, if everyone was drunk most of the time? Can you imagine if today, a business (let alone a city) allowed this? I just can't picture it happening.
Of course, I had to search around and see if I could find other sources to verify this, and I did in fact find a few, including this article from the Portland Press Herald, which says that a bell rang every day at 2 and 4pm, signalling that it was time for rum.
Times certainly have changed.