One of the highest taxed products was alcohol. The former Scots and other folks living in the Appalachians weren’t too fond of it, so they started bootlegging their own! This wasn’t just a big ‘F-you’ to the government though. You see, there was no way these frontier farmers could get enough money out of their crops to make a living unless they turned it into alcohol! So they did! And, whenever the tax collector showed up, he was run out of town or tarred and feathered.
Now, the word "moonshine" was originally ‘moonraker’ which refers to a southwestern county of England called Wiltshire. Apparently, the people outside of this county took the Wiltshire folks for fools and had a story that the people in Wiltshire were so dumb, when they saw the moon reflected in a pool of water, they used rakes to try to get it out because the thought it was cheese, Moonrakers!
However, the people of Wiltshire say the reason people thought they were fools was because they acted stupid every time officials or strangers came around because they didn’t want their hidden, bootleg brandy operation to be discovered. Anyway, the word moonshine is supposed to come from the ‘moonrakers,’ as well as the practice of distilling and smuggling alcohol at night to avoid being caught by the officials.
Sources also say NASCAR racing originates from moonshiners, after the invention of the automobile, transporting illegal liquor along country roads, outrunning the law!
As always, thanks for reading!