100 years ago Winston Churchill presented plans for the countries that would become Iraq and Israel, the first two African-American women to get Ph.Ds got their doctorates and the US formally ended its involvement in WWI (even though it ended in 1918).
At the same time B.C. was ending its prohibition; on June 14 the prohibition act ended and on June 15 the first nine government-owned and operated liquor stores opened their doors. Three of them were in Vancouver, with one each in New Westminster and North Vancouver. The rest were in Victoria, Kamloops and Golden.
None of them are still open, but by the end of 1921 there were 51 government-run liquor stores in the province. Now, the BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) is celebrating 100 years of the government selling ethanol for human consumption.
"Fewer than 100 products were available, and all were behind a counter," says LDB CEO Blain Lawson in a press release. "If you wanted to buy anything you had to be 21 years of age or older and buy an annual permit for $5, or a one-time permit for 50 cents."
That annual permit would be nearly $70 in 2021 money.
Among the options for sale were the government's own products.
"We received shipments of full-proof alcohol - scotch from Scotland, brandy from France and rum from Jamaica. The bottling department would then dilute the product with water, bottle and finally distribute to government stores for sale," Lawson said.
They didn't stop doing that until 1988. That was the same year private liquor stores were allowed.
In celebration of the opening day anniversary some BC Liquor Stores will have some one days sales of certain products.
Oh, and they'll be selling 100 bottles of Ryan Reynolds' Aviation gin signed by the Vancouver-born actor. They'll only be available at a few stores, including the Alberni and Bute streets location in downtown Vancouver and the Cambie Street and West 39th Avenue.