- Associated Press - Sunday, October 23, 2016

CORINTH, Miss. (AP) - Alcorn County is paying tribute to a former Mississippi judge and lawmaker who wrote a speech that’s a classic example of political doubletalk.

A portrait of the late Judge Noah S. “Soggy” Sweat Jr. is being unveiled Tuesday at the courthouse in Corinth, The Daily Corinthian reports (https://bit.ly/2etcWM9 ).

Sweat delivered his whiskey speech in 1952, his final year as a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives. Mississippi was the only state that had not legalized liquor.

Sweat said that if by whiskey, people mean “the devil’s brew… the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation,” then he was against it.

But if they mean the drink that “enables a man to magnify his joy” and that pours millions into the treasury “to provide tender care for our little crippled children … to build highways and hospitals and schools,” then he was for it.

“This is my stand,” Sweat concluded. “I will not retreat from it. I will not compromise.”

Former state Rep. Ed Perry, D-Oxford, will recite the whiskey speech during the ceremony Tuesday, as he has done several times at the state Capitol.

Sweat served two terms as district attorney beginning in 1955 and eight years as a circuit judge beginning in 1966. He died in Corinth 20 years ago.

“He was quite an individual and left his mark on the judiciary of the state,” said Circuit Judge Thomas Gardner III.


Information from: The Daily Corinthian.

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