March Through the Years
1484- Columbus asks Joao II of Prtugal to back him in a westward voyage to the Indies, but Joao rejects the request.
1675- Grain crop failure in England leads to a shortage of grain, limiting gin production. As a consequence, rum gains popularity in the English market.
1733- The Molasses Act is passed by Parliament to tax British colonists, imposing heavy duties on molasses, sugar and rum imported from non-British West-Indian Islands. At this time, the average American consumes 3.75 gallons of rum per year.
1802- The world's first beet sugar factory goes into production but soon runs deep in debt.
1807- Slave trade is outlawed by Britain.
1814- French beet sugar production declines sharply as imports of cane sugar resume and undercut prices.
1852- Prohibition laws are adopted by Massachusetts, Vermont and Louisiana.
1856- Cessation of letters of marque at the convention of Paris is the first step to the abolition of privateering.
1917- United States purchases the Virgin Islands from Denmark.