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tv   Lectures in History Reconstruction Moonshine NASCAR  CSPAN  April 8, 2018 12:01pm-12:56pm EDT

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he describes how after the civil war, particularly in the south, moonshiners became antigovernment folk heroes. this mythology continued into the 20th century. many of the moonshine drivers would compete to see who had the fastest car. this led to the creation of professional stock car racing. his class is about 50 minutes. >> all right. i'm going to tell you about nascar today. i wanted to go over quickly what we talked about on monday. what i told you about, or what i hope you took away from monday's lecture, were key ideas that are going to be fundamental to what i'm talking about today. the first of those is how whiskey making came to the american colonies, mainly in the persons of scotch/irish immigrants.
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how they moved into the backcountry or the frontier of what was then the american colonies. they are the group of people who precipitated the first real crisis of washington's presidency in the form of the whiskey rebellion. this begins this relationship between illegal distillers and the government that is going to trace through, right up until they go into nascar. the thing i want you to think about is this idea of what we once called anti-federalism. it morphs into antigovernment. this idea is very much part of the whiskey rebellion. it becomes a part of the illegal whiskey distillers, moonshiners, and the whole region. the mountain south. that identity may spread to the
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rest of the south as time goes the mountain south. on. that is something i want you guys to think about. the one thing i did not ask you on monday was, why is moonshine illegal? does anybody know? the big issue that we did talk about on monday is tax. what else? the health issues with moonshine are totally unclear. this is not moonshine, it were, i would not be drinking it. if you buy something like this, would you buy something like this on the street? if there was a guy on the quad with a cardboard box selling these? you have no idea what is in it. it could be water. as this is. the major issue, from the
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government standpoint, is tax. health becomes much more the issue and we are talking about the reading you are doing. revenue agents in the 20th century. it is less about tax that it is about people drinking live, paint thinner, gasoline, all the things they would mix moonshine with. the main thing i want to talk about only get to nascar is what is going on after the civil war and the mountain south. there is a lot of resentment and the mountain south. there is a lot of resentment about taxation, a lot of bitterness over the loss of the civil war. there is this sort of healthy dose, as there is in most of the south, of racism towards african-americans.
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they were recently freed or emancipated. all of these things combined into an incredible hostility to the republican party. this is the thing that confuses people. i don't have much time to get into it today, but what we call the republican party today traces back to 1854, the party of lincoln. but these parties switch affiliations vary drastically in the 20th century. the people i referred to as democrat and republicans are the opposite groups of people who are voting for those parties in the immediate postwar period. republicans were about lincoln, prosecution, winning the civil war. there was a lot of resentment towards the republican party across the south. the democratic party, which includes every person from the confederate party. every former confederate is in the democratic party. they are going to capitalize on white opposition to the idea of the federal government.
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the idea of the federal government in the body of republican politicians in the south. particularly, the way this matters to what i am talking to you about today, in terms of liquor. who is coming in to tax them? republicans. republicans are thought of as the party of emancipation, negro rule. that is another sort of thing that is associated with the republican party after the civil war. this is all a way that white democrats, former confederates in the south, drum up opposition. they tried to convince people that they should hate black people because they are coming in to take your government, your job, your freedom. they're going to tax your liquor. in the process of this, groups that were basically the paramilitary wing of the democratic party, which was the ku klux klan, it essentially put this line between whites and blacks. it was even more firm than it was in the antebellum era when there was slavery. this was an effort to establish home rule. home rule means, can anybody guess? we are in charge again. the we in this is white
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southerners. there is this huge move by democrats against the republican party to bring power back to the same people who just lost this war to preserve the institution of slavery. very confusing and chaotic time and also very violent. one of the byproducts of this entire process is that a moonshiner becomes a folk hero of the antigovernment, anti-republican rights. the political spectrum does not work in the same way. they are outlaws were standing up for white southerners and home rule. protecting the community from oppressive national government. it is not a coincidence that this story about moonshiners. these are people who are just turning their corn into whiskey. the story that they start to tell about themselves is a story that fits very neatly with what former confederates in the
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democratic party are trying to argue about the entire south. why the entire south needs to take the stance of, opposition to the federal government, to reconstruction, to the changes that were brought by the civil war and preserved by things that were coming after. moonshiners themselves, encouraged by democratic politicians -- some of these groups overlap a lot -- start to adopt this language that is going to become very popular in the south in the postwar. have any of you seen this phrase before? states rights becomes a concept. not before the war. but after the war. you have this incredible amount of tension, hostility and bitterness that are all trying to find a way to breathe and continue to fight.
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moonshiners themselves begin adopting this language of natural rights and local power. continue to fight. this is a quote by moonshiners that was in her right -- interviewed by the atlantic monthly. this is how interesting these people were to northern audiences of this time. a farmer should have the same rights to boil his corn into the -- into sweet mash, the key ingredient of moonshine as to boil it into hominy. does anybody know what that is? how can you call yourself southerners? it is like a corn kernel soup. you like it? do you like it? it is an acquired taste. i do like it but a lot of people do not. hominy is this food staple alcohol distillers and their supporters are arguing that the government has no right to interfere in the things that they are doing. federal revenue was the thing
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they were most opposed to. they believe that federal revenue as a concept was violating their constitutional rights. what you have is a really -- that is a great articulation of what anti-federalism meant in the 1770's, in the early republic. these people in the mountain south after the civil war articulating this particularly well. moonshiners and their supporters view liquor taxation as a tool of the federal government to prevent them from restoring home rule. all of this is treated as an organic whole. liquor taxation reaffirms fear that the democratic party is constantly stoking about yankee centralization, the government taking rights away from the people. the confederate vowed never to pay the liquor tax. it is like a cartoon southerner. why in tarnation should i share
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my yield with washington? this is the american revolution that these moonshiners are articulating their unhappiness with the state of affairs. resistance to the liquor laws grows. much is coming about as a result of the new racial laws of reconstruction. this is what the south look like after the civil war. it was broken into military districts. in some ways, all of the fears that i'm sure you know about now, jackbooted government soldiers coming from silent black helicopters to take your guns from your home, have their closest approximation to reality during reconstruction. when the south, former confederacy is broken up into
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these five military districts. that means federal troops are sent in to make sure that these people don't try to rise up and leave again to pursue the institution of slavery. military districts is an intense proud to be living under for the south. this is why the idea of home rule takes on an even more personal and dramatic dimension during this time period. what do they use? the language of the american revolution say why this is so bad. they condemn taxes on corn liquor. taxation without representation is not carrying out in good faith the policy by the revolutionists. the genius of our government has become wholly deformed. this is what democrats were saying. highlanders felt that liquor
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taxation in particular was the beginning. it was the opening movement of the federal government coming in to mess up their lives in all kinds of unknown ways. if you ever take my course in civil war, this is something i talk a lot about. this strain of paranoia in american politics is fundamental to who we are. it was before we were talking about the high-minded concepts of liberty and equality. we're talking about, the british are going to come and do terrible things. that conversation was going on in the 1770's before we were americans. paranoia is part of our dna. it is being channeled come in this case, in a direction that is not so great. resistance to liquor taxes grows more violent in the 1870's. moonshiners are trying to kill, or achieve murdering federal agents. in 1870, a group of 50 armed men forced revenue is release a moonshiner who had been captured and was going to be prosecuted. this just becomes a state of affairs in the 1870's in the south. this is happening alongside an absolute bonanza of kkk violence against white republicans and former slaves.
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this is a -- it is easily the most violent period in american history in terms of violence of americans against americans. in 1874 a jury is going to acquit several swing county moonshiners were charged with the murder of a federal agent. to go back to the slide, the reason why these military districts were established is because there was chaos in the immediate postwar. when you had the klan tried to forcibly intimidate or prevent people from voting. the federal government felt it was needed in these places to federal troops and federal authority on the ground. what ends up happening is, they essentially hijacked the democratic and judicial systems in the south leading up to what is going to be the restoration of home rule in 1877. the south wins.
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it doesn't take very long. it takes them 12 years to get back control of all of the southern states. the klan is ridiculously popular in the carolinas. 100% of the citizens of george county were part of the kkk. that is how it was in the mountain south. it is enormously popular. the klan is as popular as it ever was in american history. they were trying to restore white supremacy, which is another word for home rule. whites back in charge of the political, economic and social policies. they believe they were protecting their state, the community from outside influence that was going to mess things up. that is the basis of any fear that we have as domestic citizenry.
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what the klan does, like the issue of black voters is used liquor tax to get more white people enthusiastic about taking out republicans. this is how the klan and moonshiners overlap in the 1870's. in 1871, the mountain counties were under a protectorship of the secret organization called the ku klux klan. they leftthe law should never be executed in this county that we will make whiskey, sell whiskey whenever we please. that is pretty clear. the klan is intimately involved in saying, we are not going to let the federal government come into this area. whatever your beliefs, i'm sure there is a diversity of beliefs in this classroom, about the power of the federal government. regardless of what you believe, where you grew up is probably the most important dictator to what you think now. this is 100 years or more of
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this being driven into the children of these country counties. that the federal government is bad. they come to take your rights, your money, etc. no matter how hard local republicans tried to distance themselves from the issue of liquor taxation, they cannot do that. the republican party will continue to lose in the mountain south until the 1930's, which is when these parties do an entire shift in terms of their constituencies. mountain residents are resisting all of these things that the changes wrought by the war were bringing. black political agency. the involvement of the federal government to any degree in their lives. all of these things are going on to change all of the situation.
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hold on. this is an image from the time in the northern press about what white democrats were trying to convince white southerners was going on. the fear of black rule was what inspired the belief in home rule. that there was this omnipresent threat of african-americans that were going to ruin their lives and take their women. which was the premium part of what this pathology was all about. what is the upshot of all of this? it becomes impossible to discuss moonshine without the imagery that the press brings all of these articles. there is this myth of appalachia really develops during this time. one historian of liquor has described it as, perhaps with a region in the united states is subject with many misconceptions and stereotypes as has the mountain south. we have an idea.
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this is from the "atlantic monthly." from the 1870's. if you were to drive a -- draw a hillbilly, it would look close to that. as the 1870's and that we carry with us, even now. i tried to find this in google, but people just up as hillbillies, with fake teeth and overalls. it is not that there is no truth to some part of these observations. i think these are actual sketches of people from the mountain south. the problem is is what we associate with those things are what these articles are actually writing about. images of drunken hillbillies, rednecks, moonshiners, eccentric illiterate, a lazy heartbreaker. -- lazy, heart-wrenching. you could answer this way when i ask you what are stereotypes of the south? these are southern stereotypes that are created and worked on, embedded into our national imagination.
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why are they created? why do we have these images? why do they become so popular? a lot of it is economic opportunism. political creativity, or just the passing fancy of northern elites. imagining that the mountain south, this place where their sons, their fathers were dying for the last four years, is this crazy backwards place that we cannot even imagine. the imaginary appellation is a sore that cuts both ways. urban audiences want to imagine there is an exotic other out there in the mountains. it serves appalachians themselves. is being outsiders, uncouth, not so given to law enforcement or the federal government. this is a myth that is indulged in by many different groups of people. this one of the things we think is so, or that i find so crazy about this.
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this is in 1879, most carolina islanders belong to the lower class composed of poor white trash. i'm pretty sure this is the first time that this phrase appeared in print. 1879. we have an acronym for this. pwp, people know what this means. you have a rebellious -- if you see this image, one of my all-time heroes, i named my second son after this person. i'm going to play with song of his in a second that is relative to this course.
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he was discovered in eastern kentucky by a yell educated folklore name john, who took a wrong turn up a hill and found this guy playing banjo on his porch. his name was roscoe halcomb. john did not think it was hillbilly enough so he changed it to roscoe holcomb. he is absolute genius. we treated him like a commodity. this image, i think this is the coolest image ever. it is saying things to us with what is around him. the way he is dressed. his manner. does it say coastal elite? no. what does it say? hillbilly! i don't know. i'm going to play you a little bit of this song. >> ♪
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>> if you can't stand it. my wife will not let me play the song in our home.
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anybody hear that lyric? if the revenue don't get me, no money will i lose. there is a whole flavor when this guy sings of this. evoking a place, the sound of his voice, the fact you cannot understand some of the words he is saying. it is abrasive. confrontational? i don't know. all these things are going on. this idea that there is something appealing about this to many different people. especially to urban elites, such as myself. the first i heard that, i was like, oh my god, i must go to the south. it is voices, sounds, imagery that is playing into this. what harpers is covering when this term, i'm pretty sure is
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coined in 1879 comments is the moonshine war, which is moonshiners fighting against the federal government. there is not a lot of violence that was going on exclusively to moonshine production itself. it allowed middle-class americans in the western united states to project images of this region, which is still with us today. did anybody ever watch that show on mtv, the one that was in west virginia? i should show the trailer. i do not have it queued up. it is people playing the same part. let's go mudding. it is like they are playing up or cartoonishly exaggerating what it would mean to be a hillbilly. by focusing attention on these people in a cultural context, middle-class northerners
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overlooked the racial violence that was taking place. they said it was always kind of illiterate white people that were the problem. they ignored the stuff that was actually taking over the south, which is the establishment of jim crow laws. you are going to be reading about -- or if you have not read it already -- this article about a revenue agent, which is what the real legacy of reconstruction was. the only legal post that the federal government leaves is trying to police moonshine. it plays into the stereotypes. the star of that peace. who i worship as much as i worship this guy. they are all playing on imagery about the south that is going to become controversial in the establishment of nascar as well. at the end of reconstruction, what the revenue service estimates, there are more than
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2000 moon shine stills operating in the mountain south that they cannot do anything about. it is costing the treasury $2.5 million in tax money in 1879. that is a lot of money in 1879 dollars. this is connected to something i was telling you about on monday. what the market revolution creates in addition to roads and transportation and economic networks is a sense of civic life. where the north is going to build schools, libraries. what you need to do all this stuff? where does that go? you need tax revenue. i understand -- how many people here pay taxes? sales tax in new orleans, you pay as you pay. it doesn't feel good. that's my money, it is going somewhere else. that becomes a societal approach to taxes.
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in the case of the north, they start to take those taxes and reinvest. not in a direct way. schools and libraries do not pay off that well. people's stance towards taxation is we do not want to do it. all of those things are not going to be built. that starts this identity going into overdrive. these changes are going to be going in a much different way. all the revenue that the federal government couldn't get is not going to be going into building anything in the mountain south. it is going to be circulating among these people. one commissioner of the revenue service said, i found this district filled with whiskey distillers and there seem to be a spirit of opposition to the law into their enforcement. they were particularly difficult to handle as they combined to resist the officers and prevent them from enforcing the laws.
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it becomes dangerous. i was thinking about this the other day and one of my classes. the first time you lie it is like dangerous knowledge. it could be about something totally insignificant. my son says, i did not take the cookie with crumbs on his mouth. but he knows that the moment he challenges authority, he can lie to me anytime he wants, essentially. that is knowledge for the people in the mountain south and it spreads very widely in the white south. the federal government and authority. it is dangerous. we love rebels, but there are consequences to that behavior that are pretty dark. raids on moonshine still ramp up during this period. 30 men captured three stills and arrested seven moonshiners in 1874.
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arrest, another major 1000 gallons of whiskey and brandy. this is very much like the drug wars. they would show off what they had captured and it goes on and on. the raids seem to be effective except for the fact that stills are everywhere. they captured, the revenue agents captured and destroyed 122 illegal stills in western north carolina in 1877 alone. but it does not take into account all the ones still out there. moonshine violence against the revenue reaches its climax. over the course, 20 five federal agents are killed by -- 25 federal agents are killed by moonshiners. we want to think about this sort of continuity. you have the civil war going on. the confederacy is fighting against the federal government, usa.
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that ends in 1865. what follows in the 1870's is , 1877 when home rule was restored, you have the same people killing the same people. white southerners killing representatives of the federal government. ok? when this violence dies down, it is actually largely because of the democratic party. there is a weird twist. the republicans got defeated because they were trying to prosecute illegal moonshiners and because they were supporting black voting rights. democrats are actually the people who really shut down liquor in north carolina in a comprehensive way by establishing dry counties, and eventually prohibition. this is the democratic party's kind of main idea.
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the thing that transforms moon shining and what is relevant to what we are talking about today and the way that it transforms one shining is that it gives southern bootleggers and they are called bootleggers because they hid their liquor in the boot, a.k.a. the trunk. they were also called blockaders. has anybody seen "gone with the wind?" anybody know what rhett butler did? he is a blockade runner. he had rebellious qualities that are so attractive. calling moonshiners blockaders was drawing on this confederate heritage and making the connection to that. these men, who were carrying corn liquor in model ts and quickly transform into a folk hero status in the mountain
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south, carrying whiskey out of these mountain hollows where it is made, to atlanta, asheville, memphis, greenville, knoxville, charlotte, north carolina, all destinations for bootleggers and moonshiners. what happens after this, these -- after this, the model t's are replaced. these are seen to be tailor-made for this process. whiskey mechanics, that is what they were called. they would add extra carburetors to the engine, heavy tires. they would use of the suspension so that when going over mountain roads, the bottles of moonshine would not break. these cars could go over 100 miles per hour once modified by moonshiners. by midcentury, the same people driving these cars, were driving these cars in a different context.
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that is how the world of illegal whiskey making and nascar collided. i am giving a couple of cultural examples. i cannot show you this movie because i do not have it ready. this guy, we can tell he is a bad man. he has a leather jacket, police are frisking him, i don't know. [laughter] he doesn't much look like a mountain southerner that we imagine to be a moonshiner. this is robert mitchum, movie star from the 1950's in a movie called "thunder road" a famous road in north carolina which some people argue, would be the first road of nascar. moonshiners would race down the -- were driving the road at 100 miles per hour being chased by revenue agents. i cannot recommend it. i recommend hominy much more highly than "thunder road." does anybody know who this is? the dude. big lebowski. jeff bridges. a movie made on the article by tom wolfe about junior johnson in "the last american hero."
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i love this summary of this on imdb, "a young hell raiser quits his moonshine business to try to become the best nascar racer the south has ever seen. it is the hell raiser part that we like about jeff bridges, if he was selling crack, we would not be so enthusiastic about jeff bridges, but he is selling moonshine and driving fast cars, and meeting pretty ladies. [laughter] as it is usually told, when the history of nascar is explained, the sport grew up out of informal races between liquor running drivers in their souped-up cars. what you would do after you went to asheville, knoxville, atlanta, and you delivered your alcohol, you would sit with other drivers and say, who has the fastest car? and you would start to race. that is the story.
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an early nascar champion, and he explained it the same way. i know exactly how racing got started. it got started in the mid-1930's in a cow pasture, no safety equipment, just a bunch of bootleggers who had been arguing all week about who had the fastest car, and they would get together and prove it. so there is this spirit that i have been trying to talk about, mainly this stuff, that gets you -- that gets sort of channeled into a sport, that we will eventually call nascar. tim continued, 30 or 40 of these bootleggers showed up, made a track by running around and digging their wheels in the ground, betting on who had the fastest car. that night, they would be hauling liquor in the same car. that is according to early
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drivers on what the beginning of nascar actually was. there was no actual cow pasture. it is funny that you have this guy that was there since the beginning of nascar talking about this and it did not really exist. but bootleggers did race each other. it was mostly on paved roads like thunder road in north carolina. during the average race in north carolina and georgia during nascar's ascendance at least one , third of the drivers had run or were currently running illegal liquor. that is the core group of people who were driving, creating, cultivating the image of nascar, were all participating in the illegal production of corn liquor. at least twice that number, the thinking is about two thirds of the mechanics who worked on nascar automobiles during the time had worked on suping up when shen cars to escape from the police. another early driver recalled
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that at least half the people he raced against in hickory and wilkesboro were involved in bootlegging. for released 60 years, academics who are interested in this and also nascar itself basically said that this was not true, that this was all mythology that had no truth. there was no bootlegging or moonshining involved in the process. i like this quote by another nascar historian, daniel peers. there is a lot more to nascar than rednecks racing in circles. what they tried to do was disavow these hardscrabble or illegal or anti-governmental roots by talking about nascar, and this is the way nascar talked about itself, by saying that they weren't backwards hillbillies. that this was a sophisticated world of people driving cars quickly. recent historical work done by
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daniel peers has confirmed a large number of the -- daniel pierce has confirmed a large number of the myths. not that they were driving around in a mythological field in the backwoods of atlanta, but that these people who created nascar were moonshiners. they had fast cars and wanted to find out who had the fastest car. one historian of nascar has explained -- the deeper i look into southern stock-car racing, the more liquor i found. early drivers woodhall liquor -- drivers would actually haul liquor from georgia to atlanta and race at the lakewood speedway's the next morning. there is a complete overlap of these worlds as nascar is being created in the 30's, 40's and 50's. they had their initial high-speed driving experience of loaded with 120 gallons of illegal corn whiskey.
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historians discover that the apparatus of early nascar was saturated in corn liquor. early mechanics, car promoters, track owners all had investments in moonshine. it would not be an exaggeration to say, as one historian pointed out, the sport itself was built on the proceeds of the manufacture, transport and sale of hundreds of thousands, if not, millions of cases of white liquor. it is crazy to think that the sport grew directly out of moon shining. jr. johnson, who you are reading an article around -- article about one of nascar's first and , most famous champions drew a direct line in his commentary about his early experience in nascar. how tied it was to his personal experience delivering moonshine. it gave me so much advantage
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over other people who had to train and learn how to drive. when i sat down in the drivers seat the first race i ran was , things i had already been through. it made my job easier. never ever did i see a guy take a car any deeper than i could and save it as long as i raced, all because he had driven so fast getting away from the police with whiskey in his car. moonshiners and nascar fans and racers developed this identity basically based around the same set of circumstances. white, working-class if not, poor white men, whose culture valued some key things. they are all tied to stuff we have been talking about in here as far back as the whiskey rebellion.
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freedom, action and even violence, all of them combined in nascar in this wonderful and thrilling way. for many people in the inland south, involvement in the illegal white liquor business allowed them to retain family farms. it was that thing that kept them out of starving. -- right above starving. kept them out of the mills, kept them out of the northern way of life, as it was perceived, and it also gave them an adrenaline rush, this cultural belief that they were doing their part to resist the federal government. that is really the part of nascar that i think is most important to think about as we move into the modern era. the stuff i will to you a little bit about on friday is that nascar and moonshining gives people an outlet to express their independence from and this -- and distaste of the government and their authority.
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a pastime and a passion that help them express their traditional cultural values in a modern world. they had a sport developed by and for white working-class men. that is what they wanted, that is what the white democrats wanted, that is what ex-confederates wanted after the war. why do we like these images? when your parents come, for those who are not from new orleans, and they go to audubon park, what are they like? do they say, so beautiful, so amazing. i feel that way. it is like a magical, mystical place. but we have this image of the byth, of what is developed writers and what is called the moonlight and magnolia school. what is the lit up building in the background? the plantation house. it becomes this soft image of the antebellum world where everything was good for everybody. and the people indulging in this were not emancipated slaves,
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they were white people who are remembering what it was like to be permanently above somebody, no matter who you were, if you were white, there was a black underclass below you that could never move. it is not surprising why a bitterly defeated people come up with the moonlight and magnolia school. this will color how people see nascar. one historian right of -- writing about the south put it this way to distinguish , themselves from elitists, rural southerners took pride in an earthy home spun world-view. men became masters of cars, machinery and firearms. this is a quote, all of which can be operated stone drunk. i am not sure that is a good idea. gun toting and whiskey drinking became the proud traits of southern man, the southern antiauthoritarian roots that have this deep historical context gets transformed by
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moonshine and by nascar into self identifying as this. ok? i just love this shirt, it makes me so happy. beer chugging, tailgating, all the things -- i cannot take it seriously, it makes my head when -- makes my head want to explode. fans flying confederate battle flags at nascar is amazing is just this -- nascar is just this amazing historical kaleidoscope. everything is colliding from the whiskey rebellion's comment to rebellions, to the war, to imagery and stereotypes of southerners. the southerners indulging in and saying, yes, something their nose at the rest of the world. i like this guy, neil thompson. i say like in an ironic way. he captured even what yankees found romantic about this. this is a guy who has written
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about nascar. i felt disconnected and left my job and moved south to nascar country to surround ourselves with the history, the culture, the people of nascar. we now live a mile from the twisted lane used in thunder road. my sons history teacher provides moonshine from a guy named one -- one eyed ro nnie. its irish roots have taken me to the homes of aging racers and bootleggers who traversed the jacket hollows of northeast alabama, western north carolina and georgia. he is given a book called "our southern highlanders," written by this st. louis librarian in the 19th century who had a very serious taste for moonshine. the library and eventually abandons his family and moves into this exotic place in upcountry. this is what the guy writes about reading the book and
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soaking in all this awesomeness. i have settled in a charming way on my neighbor's attitude and their taste for adventure, their pickup trucks, there on clenched -- their thirst for homemade recipe, a story about fearless southern bootleggers in a sport they created. this romance that we see here is somehow translated into a romance for these guys. the overlapping people, actual human beings who were kind of participating in both is pretty striking. but there is something romantic about these people to a wide number of people, north and south. the sport they created during the 30's, 40's and 50's is a multibillion dollar industry which goes from being a law breakers past time to a working man's domain into an obsession for 80 million fans as of today. the second most popular sport in
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america. that is insane! i am not saying anything bad about nascar, it is just pretty wild. much like the mainstreaming of white supremacy that takes place, or the mystique of the moonshine, nascar translated itself from being this backwoods hillbilly past time to being a legitimate sport. this is very neatly illustrated by the sport's main corporate sponsors. the first sponsor was good old southern boy tobacconist are r.g -- rj reynolds, and then communications giant nextel. you go from rj reynolds, when i got corporate legitimacy to nextel. getting further away from this idea. when authenticity becomes marketable, nascar starts to think about this. in their current promotional
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literature, the first time they ever did this in 70 years. there is no way around it, nascar's roots are soaked in the very tips of moonshine. so there is something cool about this right now, even though we have people like this around the track. mechanics, racers, the owner of nascar himself, or all very deeply soaked in the world of moonshine. bill francis, whose family still owns nascar, this is the most valuable sports family in the world, but they do not feature in the same way. i watched mark cuban being interviewed. and i said, why does he have such an enormous profile? this family is enormously wealthy because of nascar. they originally raced for, borrowed money from and sought guidance from moonshiners. that is the origin of nascar. what nascar ran into in the
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early 2000's because of people like this was this very hard and space,lt negotiating which was how do we keep our fans and the not allow the flying of the confederate flag? it became a very controversial thing. nascar president mike helton said in the old southeastern 2006, redneck heritage that we had is no longer in existence. this actually got probably three times, four times as many confederate flags flying in nascar races after he said that. in the aftermath, he had to walk back his remarks and say, nascar is proud of where we came from. anybody here from atlanta? nobody? man! that is why you don't know what -- is -- don't know what hominy is. in 1965, it was not until 1965 that the atlanta braves come. the falcons don't come until 1966. nascar is essentially your
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cultural entertainment until the in places as big as atlanta. 1960's. so we need to think about that when we think about who junior johnson is, why tom wolfe wrote this article about him. would anyone have any questions? the microphone, so if anyone has any questions, i am happy to take some now. you guys are just settled. you have to wait for that mic. you i am not stopping her. >> where does nascar get its name from? >> you are making me look stupid now. it is like the national association of stock car auto racing. that is how it gets its name. anybody else? you are now going to be famous, that was your 15 minutes.
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five seconds of fame. >> when was it that you said republicans and democrats switched? prof. gilpin: it happened in the 20th century, roughly around the 1930's. it started to change as soon as jim crow became popular. but the parties switched affiliations. their voters would trade parties by the 1930's. good times. i will see you all on friday. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> interested in america -- interested in american history tv? you can view our tv schedule, preview upcoming programs and watch college lectures, museum tours archival films and more. american history tv at , southght on afterward
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carolina republican senator tim scott and congressman trey gowdy discuss their friendship and time in congress. they are interviewed by a former senator. withen you have dinner trade, rarely is the occasion that someone doesn't stop who is not from here and thank him for his service. it is a fun experience, but it is also meaningful and significant to take a look into his -- about the perspective he takes on the really important issues and you will find that while he may be branded a partisan at times, the truth of the matter is, his primary objective is truth. , ifhat works for you, good it works against you, he is sorry, but he is going to find
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the truth. i am thankful to have killed a great friendship with someone who is more interested in the truth than he is in winning. >> there is something really not complementary written about senator scott in a blog and frankly it was libelous. i reached the end, i said we are not going to put up with this anymore and i marched down to his office and i went right past the scheduler and said i am going in to see and we are going to do something about this. you cannot allow people to say this and do nothing about it. he said you are right, close the door. i thought this was going to be good. he said we are going to pray for him. i said tim, i love you but i am not praying for him. he said will you sit here with me while i do. byset there and he prayed
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name -- for a critic by name. tonight at 90 5 p.m. eastern on c-span two's of tv. -- book tv. idaho governor -- we our guest on the bus on washington journal beginning at 9:30 a.m. eastern. tv,ext, on american history jim gray, rancher and cowboy historian talks about the development of cattle driving and ranching in the 19th century. he discusses the impact of the railroad and other historic events that shaped the industry and by extension the west. the kansas city public library posted this event. it is one hour. welcome.


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