It was known as “The Noble Experiment” or as the President Herbert Hoover, proclaimed it “the great social and economic experiment, noble in motive and far-reaching in purpose, dating from 1920 the prohibition era had begun.Prohibition in the United States was the government’s attempt to outlaw the production, sale and shipment of alcohol and intoxicating alcoholic beverages across the country.
The prohibition was viewed as the solution to the nation’s poverty, crime, violence, abuse towards women and children and other problems. It was repealed by the 21st Amendment because the ‘Noble Experiment’ simply did not work.
Bellow you can see soe some facts that you may find interesting.
1. Prohibition came into force at midnight on January 17, 1920, and the Volstead Act was passed to enforce the amendment.
Anti-Saloon League attorney Wayne Wheeler drafted both the amendment and the bill. Exceptions to the Eighteenth Amendment were made for the manufacture and sale of alcohol for medicinal and religious uses. Patients could then legally buy liquor from the pharmacy or their physician.
2. It was never actually illegal to drink during Prohibition.
The 18th amendment banned the manufacture, sale and distribution of intoxicating liquors, but not its consumption.So people certainly didn’t stop drinking, but did start buying more illegal liquor.
3. The Drys believed that alcohol is America’s national curse and a ban would lower crime rates, straighten families and improve the national character. They were soo wrong!
Prohibition not only failed to prevent the consumption of alcohol, but led to the development of organized crime, increased violence, unregulated and untaxed alcohol and massive political corruption.
4. Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was one of the major forces behind the 18th Amendment. They taught as “scientific fact” that the majority of beer drinkers die from edema (swelling of the organs or body).
5. Bootleggers: The people who illegally made, imported, or sold alcohol during the prohibition.
Bootleggers built secret breweries to make liquor and counterfeited prescriptions and liquor licenses to gain access to alcohol. Most of the alcohol was smuggled into the USA from Canada, Mexico or the West Indies.Bootlegging grew into a vast illegal empire that was rife with bribery and corruption. Prohibition Bureau agents, police, judges and politicians, received monthly bribes and retainers (up to $300,000 a month) to look the other way.
6. 3000 Americans died every year from the effects of drinking tainted illegal liquor from the black market.
7.Speakeasies got their name because you had to whisper a code word or name through a locked door in order to be allowed in.
A Speakeasy was a saloon or nightclub that sold alcoholic beverages illegally. Saloons and Speakeasy clubs claimed to sell soft drinks and coffee, but served alcohol behind the scenes. Speakeasies (speak-easies) were so named because patrons had to whisper code words to enter the illegal drinking clubs
8. New York City had nearly 100,000 speakeasy clubs. Chicago had more than 7,000
Some Speakeasies served food and had floor shows with live bands playing 1920s Jazz music and people danced the Charleston.
9. Al Capone is estimated to have made $60 million in alcohol sales in just 1927 alone.
10. Tipping became a common practice during the prohibition.
The loss in profit from alchohol sales cause proprietors to wlecome tips as a way of supplementing employes wages.
11. Dr. Seuss. was a result of the Prohibition Era.
Theodor Seuss Geisl was caught drinking alcholol with firends in college during the prohibtion era, and was asked to resign from all extracuricular activties. To continiune working on his colege’s humor magazine he used the pen name “Seuss: which later became Dr. Seuss.
12.During Prohibition, 18th Amendment supporters tried to have the Bible rewritten by removing all references to alcohol.
13.The Ku Klux Klan strongly supported Prohibition.
14. “Cruises to nowhere,” aka “booze cruises,” were an industry that sprouted from prohibition. Ships would sail out to international waters, were they could legally serve alcohol; the ship would typically cruise in circles.
American often went to Cuba, where they enjoyed drinking popular cocktails like Cuba Libre.
15. Long Island Iced Tea Was invented during the Prohibition
Long Island Iced Tea isn’t from New York at all. It first surfaced in the 1920’s in a community called Long Island in Kingsport Tennessee. It was invented by “Old Man Bishop”, a botlelager who found a way to sell and serve alchohol. Old Man Bishop disquise the gin, rum, tequile and whisky by serving it as Ice Tea.
16. Other cocktails gained popularity during this time as they offered a way to mask the flavor of poorly made alcohol. Popular cocktails included: Mary Pickford, French 75, Barbary Coast, Bee’s Knees, and the Sidecar.
In an era of secrecy, smuggling, gangsters, shootouts and undercover “dry agents” the illegal consumption of alcohol was kept very low key.
17. “Blind pig” was a term used for dive bars, where customers would pay to see an attraction (like an animal) and receive a complementary drink.
18. Prohibition became increasingly unpopular during the Great Depression and a wealthy Republican, Pauline Sabin, started a repeal movement.
19. On December 5th, 1933 the 21st Amendment was ratified and Prohibition ended. This day is known as Repeal Day.
20. After repealing the 18th Amendment, President Roosevelt quipped, “What America needs now is a drink.”
21. President Franklin Roosvelt recived a truckload of Yuengling Beer delliever to the White House the day Prohitbtion was ended.
22. Prohibition cost the federal government a total of $11 billion in lost tax revenue and cost over $300 million to enforce.
It has been estimated that during the Prohibition Era, $2,000 million worth of business was transferred from the brewing industry and bars to bootleggers and gangsters.
23. The Repeal of Prohibition dramatically reduced organized crime and corruption.
We are sure that you are happy you are not from the Prohibition Era. Cheers!