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Let’s Learn More About Prohibition on the Anniversary of the 18th Amendment

Let’s Learn More About Prohibition on the Anniversary of the 18th Amendment

On this day in 1919, the U.S. government passed the 18th Amendment that began the Prohibition Era.

The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution banned the manufacture, transportation, and sale of intoxicating liquors.  This period is known as Prohibition.  Prohibition came about as a result of the widespread temperance movement, a campaign against the evils of alcohol led by religious activists and social progressives who blamed much of the nation’s social ills on alcoholic beverages.  However well intentioned, the crusade against alcohol was rather short lived.  During Prohibition, the illegal manufacture of alcohol (bootlegging) became very popular along with the rise of secret bars (speakeasies).  In 1933, Congress passed the 21st Amendment, officially repealing the 18th Amendment.

The Prohibition era remains one of the most interesting periods in American history.  By recognizing the 18th Amendment’s anniversary, let’s understand their frame of reference with some of these interesting facts about Prohibition.

1) While the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcohol was illegal during Prohibition, it was technically never illegal to drink.  In fact, many doctors actually prescribed alcohol as medicine and people could legally buy alcohol from a pharmacy or from their physician.

2) The Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was one of the major forces behind the 18th Amendment.  Their stated purpose was to create a “sober and pure world.”

3) There are several speakeasies in New York that still operate today, including Landmark Tavern, 21 Club, and Flûte.

4) The term “speakeasy” came about because people used to have to whisper a code word in order to gain access to the secret bars.

5) Cocktails rose in popularity during Prohibition because they offered a good way to mask the harsh flavor of poorly made alcohol.

6) During Prohibition, those who supported the 18th Amendment wanted the Bible to be

re-written without any references to alcohol.

7) Many people got rich through the illegal manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcohol during Prohibition.  For example, mobster Al Capone allegedly made $60 million in 1927 alone.

8) After repealing the 18th Amendment in 1933, President Roosevelt famously said, “What America needs now is a drink.”

9)  Another anniversary this month, coincidentally, is January 25 which marks the 70th anniversary of Al Capone’s death. Better known as “Scarface Al” (a nickname Capone hated) or, as the FBI once referred to him, “Public Enemy No. 1,” Capone is considered by many to be the most famous gangster in American history.

We at  The Maria Sanchez Show invite you to enjoy these prohibition fun facts in honor of the 18th Amendment’s anniversary.  Don’t forget to check out our latest program, Shadow Politics with Senator Michael D. Brown. Tune in on Sundays at 4:00 p.m. PST/7:00 p.m. EST.

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