Carol Doda. (via Wikipedia)

#TBT: Scandalous Moments and People in San Francisco History


For this week's installment of #TBT, we focus on some of the obscure, shady, and downright criminal goings-on of the San Francisco yesteryear.

The Barbary Coast, for instance, was full of vice. Bootlegging and gambling were commonplace in speakeasies during Prohibition, and a slew of shocking crimes—before and since—have made spines tingle all across America.

2. Where the term "Shanghaied" Comes From

Shanghai Kelly's Saloon on Polk St.

via Outgress

During the days of the Barbary Coast, James "Shanghai" Kelly would drug unsuspecting patrons enjoying a drink at his saloon, open a trap door in the floor to capture them, and then sell them as laborers to ships sailing to faraway places such as Shanghai. He is credited as being the "King of Crimps" and once Shanghaied 100 people who attended his booze cruise birthday party.

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