We love our beer in Texas. It's just part of the culture. Go to any cookout, major event, or place where friends are gathered and you'll probably find them enjoying a cold one. It's been a part of our culture for a long time. In the days of prohibition, one Texas woman fought the law to bring booze to Hollywood stars and she became a legend.

Texas Guinan - The Lone Star Queen Of The Speakeasy

Actual speakeasies are different from the trendy establishments we see today. First, their location was kept under wraps and not blasted all over social media. You needed a password to get in; not solve a lite-beer version of an escape room puzzle. They were places where celebrities, politicians, and criminals gathered. They weren't the kind of place your girlfriend wanted to go to for brunch on a Sunday afternoon.

Mary Louise Cecilia "Texas" Guinan was a Texas-born woman who had starred in several Hollywood Westerns making her the first female Western movie star. She did dozens of movies in the silent era. In 1922, she found herself in New York City as the hostess and mistress of ceremonies at an infamous speakeasy. Her life would become a game of cat and mouse with authorities, all while she brought booze to some of the biggest names in the world.

Texas Bravado And Free Flowing Booze In New York City

Her clientele is alleged to have consisted of some of the biggest names in history. Supposedly everyone from Charlie Chaplin to Babe Ruth. Even some of the world's political elites found themselves hanging out at Texas' place. She would famously greet her customers by proclaiming, "Hello, suckers!"

KEAN 105 logo
Get our free mobile app

Over the years, cops would raid her speakeasies and she would simply move to a new location. She even got arrested once, and at trial, the jury found her not guilty. She had claimed she was nothing more than a hostess. Once, she supposedly hid the Prince of Wales by making him look like an innocent cook during a raid of her establishment.

Then Came The End Of An Era...

Texas Guinan never gave up and kept entertaining crowds. She even starred in plays and movies up until her death. She was on tour in November of 1933 when she fell ill and died. Texas Guinan left this Earth exactly one month before prohibition would end. While she lived, though, she lived a life as big as Texas.

What Is A Day Like In Texas Prisons? A View From Both Sides Of The Bars

Have you ever wondered what life inside a Texas prison is really like? I asked friends who are correction officers and folks who have volunteered at jails. I also asked former inmates, and browsed forums and articles with current and former inmates. Put all together, it paints what I hope is a fairly accurate picture of daily prison life in Texas.

Gallery Credit: Renee Raven

1561 Kirby: The Historic House That Still Haunts Houston

1561 Kirby Drive is a beautiful, historic mansion in an affluent Houston neighborhood. However, this house was at the center of one, possibly two infamous Texas murders.

Gallery Credit: Renee Raven

More From KEAN 105