While the title of this article pretty much says it all, let’s go into detail about this awesome time in history, when the Sultan of Turkey introduced Americans to the art of smoking weed…
This day in History
On May 10, 1876, President Ulysses S. Grant opened the “International Exhibition of Arts, Manufactures and Products of the Soil and Mine,” or the Centennial Exhibition, in Philadelphia. While the main purpose of the exhibition was to celebrate 100 years of American cultural and industrial progress, the event was basically the first major World’s Fair held in the U.S. Not only did all of the states that were part of the U.S. at that time erect (yeah, I said erect) buildings to showcase their accomplishments and uniqueness, but so did U.S. territories, foreign countries, and other random industrial and agricultural organizations. This totally makes sense since the country was (and still is) made up of a bunch of immigrants from all over the world, all of which brought unique contributions to the progress of the nation.
The Turkish Empire of the Time
So anyway, as you may or may not know, the Ottoman Empire (also referred to the Turkish Empire) was on its way out in the 1800s, so the Sultan of Turkey decided to set up an exhibit at the World’s Fair to take a tour down memory lane and relive a bit of its glory days. In other words, Turkish delegates gave the event’s visitors a chance to learn about the long history and fascinating culture of Turkey and its empire. Oh, and they brought a shit ton of weed to share, as well, making theirs the most visited exhibit at the World’s Fair (as if that even needed to be said).
The buttload of weed was a gift to the U.S. to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, and as you could imagine, the gift was VERY well received. In fact, Americans loved toking up so much, Turkish smoking parlors opened up all over the northeastern part of the U.S., giving people a place to smoke pot and eat candies mixed with weed.
And, just so you can get an idea of just how popular marijuana was back then… The Police Gazette estimated there were more than 500 hashish smoking parlors in New York City in the 1880s, and by the 1920s, it was estimated that 500 or more hashish parlors still remained in the city. Interestingly, there were more of these parlors than there were speakeasys, and this is the 1920s alcohol prohibition period we’re talking about!
The US’ Future
Sadly, the reign of marijuana had to end, and ironically enough, California was the first start to pass an anti-marijuana law as earlier as 1913. And, in case you are wondering now, New York passed its anti-weed law in 1927, causing all those beautiful parlors to close their doors. Personally, we can’t wait for marijuana bars to open up all across the country again… in due time, friends, in due time.