Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

The Eighteenth Amendment (Amendment XVIII) of the United States Constitution established the prohibition of "intoxicating liquors" in the United States. The amendment was proposed by Congress on December 18, 1917, and was ratified by the requisite number of states on January 16, 1919. The Eighteenth Amendment was repealed by the Twenty-first Amendment on December 5, 1933.

The Eighteenth Amendment was the product of decades of efforts by the temperance movement, which held that a ban on the sale of alcohol would ameliorate poverty and other societal issues. The Eighteenth Amendment declared the production, transport, and sale of intoxicating liquors illegal, though it did not outlaw the actual consumption of alcohol. Shortly after the amendment was ratified, Congress passed the Volstead Act to provide for the federal enforcement of Prohibition. The Volstead Act declared that liquor, wine, and beer all qualified as intoxicating liquors and were therefore prohibited. Under the terms of the Eighteenth Amendment, Prohibition began on January 17, 1920, one year after the amendment was ratified.

Although the Eighteenth Amendment led to a decline in alcohol consumption in the United States, nationwide enforcement of Prohibition proved difficult, particularly in cities. Organized crime and other groups engaged in large-scale bootlegging, and speakeasies became popular in many areas. Public sentiment began to turn against Prohibition during the 1920s, and 1932 Democratic presidential nominee Franklin D. Roosevelt called for the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment in his platform. The Twenty-first Amendment repealed the Eighteenth Amendment in 1933, making the Eighteenth Amendment the only amendment to the U.S. Constitution ever to be repealed in its entirety.


Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all the territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

Section 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.


The Eighteenth Amendment was the result of decades of effort by the temperance movement in the United States and at the time was generally considered a progressive amendment.[1] Starting in 1906, the Anti-Saloon League (ASL) began leading a campaign to ban the sale of alcohol on a state level. They led speeches, advertisements, and public demonstrations, claiming that banning the sale of alcohol would get rid of poverty and social issues, such as immoral behavior and violence. It would also inspire new forms of sociability between men and women and they believed that families would be happier, fewer industrial mistakes would be made and overall, the world would be a better place.[2] Other groups such as the Women's Christian Temperance Union began as well trying to ban the sale, manufacturing, and distribution of alcoholic beverages.[2] A well-known reformer during this time period was Carrie Amelia Moore Nation, whose violent actions (such as vandalizing saloon property) made her a household name across America.[3] Many state legislatures had already enacted statewide prohibition prior to the ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment but did not ban the consumption of alcohol in most households. It took some states longer than others to ratify this amendment, especially northern states, including New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. They violated the law by still allowing some wines and beers to be sold.[2] By 1916, 23 of 48 states had already passed laws against saloons, some even banning the manufacture of alcohol in the first place.[3]

The Temperance Movement

The Temperance Movement was dedicated to the complete abstinence of alcohol from public life. The movement began in the early 1800s within Christian churches, and was very religiously motivated. The central areas the group was founded out of were in the Saratoga area of New York, as well as in Massachusetts. Churches were also highly influential in gaining new members and support, garnering 6,000 local societies in several different states.[4]

A group that was inspired by the movement was the Anti-Saloon league, who at the turn of the 20th century began heavily lobbying for prohibition in the United States. The group was founded in 1893 in the state of Ohio, gaining massive support from Evangelical Protestants, to becoming a national organization in 1895. The group was successful in helping implement prohibition, through heavy lobbying and having a vast influence. The group following repeal of prohibition fell out of power and in 1950 merged with other groups forming the National Temperance League.[5]

Proposal and ratification

18th Amendment Pg1of1 AC
Amendment XVIII in the National Archives

On August 1, 1917, the Senate passed a resolution containing the language of the amendment to be presented to the states for ratification. The vote was 65 to 20, with the Democrats voting 36 in favor and 12 in opposition; and the Republicans voting 29 in favor and 8 in opposition. The House of Representatives passed a revised resolution[6] on December 17, 1917. This was the first amendment to impose a date by which it had to be ratified or else the amendment would be discarded.[7]

In the House, the vote was 282 to 128, with the Democrats voting 141 in favor and 64 in opposition; and the Republicans voting 137 in favor and 62 in opposition. Four Independents in the House voted in favor and two Independents cast votes against the amendment.[8] It was officially proposed by the Congress to the states when the Senate passed the resolution, by a vote of 47 to 8, the next day, December 18.[9]

The amendment and its enabling legislation did not ban the consumption of alcohol, but made it difficult to obtain alcoholic beverages legally, as it prohibited the sale, manufacture and distribution of them in U.S. territory. Any one who got caught selling, manufacturing or distributing alcoholic beverages would be arrested.[2] Because prohibition was already implemented by many states, it was quickly ratified into a law.[7] The ratification of the Amendment was completed on January 16, 1919, when Nebraska became the 36th of the 48 states then in the Union to ratify it. On January 29, acting Secretary of State Frank L. Polk certified the ratification.[10]

The following states ratified the amendment:[11]

  1. Mississippi (January 7, 1918)
  2. Virginia (January 11, 1918)
  3. Kentucky (January 14, 1918)
  4. North Dakota (January 25, 1918)[note 1]
  5. South Carolina (January 29, 1918)
  6. Maryland (February 13, 1918)
  7. Montana (February 19, 1918)
  8. Texas (March 4, 1918)
  9. Delaware (March 18, 1918)
  10. South Dakota (March 20, 1918)
  11. Massachusetts (April 2, 1918)
  12. Arizona (May 24, 1918)
  13. Georgia (June 26, 1918)
  14. Louisiana (August 3, 1918)[note 2]
  15. Florida (November 27, 1918)
  16. Michigan (January 2, 1919)
  17. Ohio (January 7, 1919)
  18. Oklahoma (January 7, 1919)
  19. Idaho (January 8, 1919)
  20. Maine (January 8, 1919)
  21. West Virginia (January 9, 1919)
  22. California (January 13, 1919)
  23. Tennessee (January 13, 1919)
  24. Washington (January 13, 1919)
  25. Arkansas (January 14, 1919)
  26. Illinois (January 14, 1919)
  27. Indiana (January 14, 1919)
  28. Kansas (January 14, 1919)
  29. Alabama (January 15, 1919)
  30. Colorado (January 15, 1919)
  31. Iowa (January 15, 1919)
  32. New Hampshire (January 15, 1919)
  33. Oregon (January 15, 1919)
  34. North Carolina (January 16, 1919)
  35. Utah (January 16, 1919)
  36. Nebraska (January 16, 1919)
  37. Missouri (January 16, 1919)
  38. Wyoming (January 16, 1919)
  39. Minnesota (January 17, 1919)
  40. Wisconsin (January 17, 1919)
  41. New Mexico (January 20, 1919)
  42. Nevada (January 21, 1919)
  43. New York (January 29, 1919)
  44. Vermont (January 29, 1919)
  45. Pennsylvania (February 25, 1919)
  46. New Jersey (March 9, 1922)

The following states rejected the amendment:

  1. Connecticut[12][13]
  2. Rhode Island[12][14]
Prohibition agents destroying barrels of alcohol (United States, prohibition era)
Prohibition agents destroying barrels of alcohol

To define the language used in the Amendment, Congress enacted enabling legislation called the National Prohibition Act, better known as the Volstead Act, on October 28, 1919. President Woodrow Wilson vetoed that bill, but the House of Representatives immediately voted to override the veto and the Senate voted similarly the next day. The Volstead Act set the starting date for nationwide prohibition for January 17, 1920, which was the earliest date allowed by the 18th amendment.[15]

The Volstead Act

This act was conceived and introduced by Wayne Wheeler, a leader of the Anti-Saloon League, a group which found alcohol responsible for almost all of society's problems and which also ran many campaigns against the sale of alcohol.[16] The law was also heavily supported then-Judiciary Chairman Andrew Volstead from Minnesota, and was named in his honor. The act in its written form laid the ground work of prohibition, defining the procedures for banning the distribution of alcohol including their production and distribution.[17]

Volstead had once before introduced an early version of the law to congress. It was first brought to the floor on May 27, 1919, where it met heavy resistance from Democratic senators. Instead, the so-called "wet law" was introduced, an attempt to end the wartime prohibition laws put into effect much earlier. The debate over prohibition would rage for that entire session, as the House was divided among what would become known as the "bone-drys" and the "wets". Because Republicans held the majority of the House of Representatives, the Volstead Act finally passed on July 22, 1919, with 287 in favor and 100 opposed.

However, the act was largely a failure, proving unable to prevent mass distribution of alcoholic beverages and also inadvertently causing a massive increase in organized crime.[18] The act would go on to define the terms and enforcement methods of prohibition, until the passing of the 21st amendment in 1933 effectively repealed it.

Positives and negatives



  • During the Prohibition era's first years, amendment supporters were gratified by a decline in arrests for drunkenness, hospitalization for alcoholism, and instances of liver-related medical problems. These statistics seemed to validate their campaign and to suggest that America's future might include happier families, fewer industrial accidents, and a superior moral tone.


  • The rise of mass disobedience to prohibition laws took the amendment's advocates by surprise. People who could afford the high price of smuggled liquor flocked to speakeasies and gin joints. These establishments could be quite glamorous. Whereas pre-Prohibition saloons had seldom welcomed women, the new world of nightclubs invited both the bob-haired "flapper" and her "sheik" to drink cocktails, smoke, and dance to jazz.
  • Working-class consumption largely moved from saloons into the home. "Bathtub gin" and moonshine took the place of mass-produced liquor, and hosts might use additives to turn grape juice into wine for their guests. Americans who sought to remain in the liquor business found ways to re-distill the alcohol in perfume, paint, and carpentry supplies. They continued redistilling even after learning that many of these products contained poisons meant to deter such transformations.
  • Ultimately, only a small percentage of liquor distributors found themselves arrested. But even this limited number of accused—there were approximately 65,000 federal criminal actions in the first two years of Prohibition—was enough to cripple the justice system. Prisons grew crowded, and judges tried to incentivize quick "guilty" pleas by promising very small fines. And if a liquor seller did wind up on trial, juries filled with liquor drinkers were often reluctant to find the defendants guilty; only about 60 percent of cases ended with a conviction.


The proposed amendment was the first to contain a provision setting a deadline for its ratification.[20] That clause of the amendment was challenged, with the case reaching the US Supreme Court. It upheld the constitutionality of such a deadline in Dillon v. Gloss (1921). The Supreme Court also upheld the ratification by the Ohio legislature in Hawke v. Smith (1920), despite a petition requiring that the matter go to ballot.

This was not the only controversy around the amendment. The phrase "intoxicating liquor" would not logically have included beer and wine (as they are not distilled), and their inclusion in the prohibition came as a surprise to the general public, as well as wine and beer makers. This controversy caused many Northern states to not abide by which caused some problems.[2] The brewers were probably not the only Americans to be surprised at the severity of the regime thus created. Voters who considered their own drinking habits blameless, but who supported prohibition to discipline others, also received a rude shock. That shock came with the realization that federal prohibition went much farther in the direction of banning personal consumption than all local prohibition ordinances and many state prohibition statutes. National Prohibition turned out to be quite a different beast than its local and state cousins.

Under Prohibition, the illegal manufacture and sale of liquor–known as "bootlegging"–occurred on a large scale across the United States. In urban areas, where the majority of the population opposed Prohibition, enforcement was generally much weaker than in rural areas and smaller towns. Perhaps the most dramatic consequence of Prohibition was the effect it had on organized crime in the United States: as the production and sale of alcohol went further underground, it began to be controlled by the Mafia and other gangs, who transformed themselves into sophisticated criminal enterprises that reaped huge profits from the illicit liquor trade.

When it came to its booming bootleg business, the Mafia became skilled at bribing police and politicians to look the other way. Chicago's Al Capone emerged as the most notorious example of this phenomenon, earning an estimated $60 million annually from the bootlegging and speakeasy operations he controlled. In addition to bootlegging, gambling and prostitution reached new heights during the 1920s as well. A growing number of Americans came to blame Prohibition for this widespread moral decay and disorder–despite the fact that the legislation had intended to do the opposite–and to condemn it as a dangerous infringement on the freedom of the individual.[21]

In his important study both of the Eighteenth Amendment and its repeal, Daniel Okrent identifies the powerful political coalition that worked successfully in the two decades leading to the ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment:

Five distinct, if occasionally overlapping, components made up this unspoken coalition: racists, progressives, suffragists, populists (whose ranks included a small socialist auxiliary), and nativists. Adherents of each group may have been opposed to alcohol for its own sake, but used the Prohibition impulse to advance ideologies and causes that had little to do with it.[22]

Calls for repeal

If public sentiment had turned against Prohibition by the late 1920s, the Great Depression only hastened its demise, as some argued that the ban on alcohol denied jobs to the unemployed and much-needed revenue to the government. The efforts of the nonpartisan group Americans Against Prohibition Association (AAPA) added to public disillusionment. In 1932, the platform of Democratic presidential candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt included a plank for repealing the 18th Amendment, and his victory that November marked a certain end to Prohibition.

In February 1933, Congress adopted a resolution proposing the Twenty-first Amendment, which repealed the 18th Amendment and modified the Volstead Act to permit the sale of beer. The resolution required state conventions, rather than the state legislatures, to approve the amendment, effectively reducing the process to a one-state, one-vote referendum rather than a popular vote contest. That December, Utah became the 36th state to ratify the amendment, achieving the necessary majority for repeal. A few states continued statewide prohibition after 1933, but by 1966 all of them had abandoned it. Since then, liquor control in the United States has largely been determined at the local level.[21]


Just after the Eighteenth Amendment's adoption, there was a significant reduction in alcohol consumption among the general public and particularly among low-income groups. There were fewer hospitalizations for alcoholism and likewise fewer liver-related medical problems. However, consumption soon climbed as underworld entrepreneurs began producing "rotgut" alcohol which was full of dangerous diseases.[3] With the rise of home distilled alcohol, careless distilling led to the deaths of many citizens. During the ban upwards of 10,000 deaths can be attributed to wood alcohol (methanol) poisoning.[23] Ultimately, during prohibition use and abuse of alcohol ended up higher than before it started.[24][25] The greatest unintended consequence of Prohibition however, was the plainest to see. For over a decade, the law that was meant to foster temperance instead fostered intemperance and excess. The solution the United States had devised to address the problem of alcohol abuse had instead made the problem even worse. The statistics of the period are notoriously unreliable, but it is very clear that in many parts of the United States more people were drinking, and people were drinking more.

Though there were significant increases in crimes involved in the production and distribution of illegal alcohol, there was an initial reduction in overall crime, mainly in types of crimes associated with the effects of alcohol consumption such as public drunkenness.[26] Those who continued to use alcohol, tended to turn to organized criminal syndicates. Law enforcement wasn't strong enough to stop all liquor traffic; however, they used a "sting" operations--"Prohibition agent Elliot Ness famously used wiretapping to discern secret locations of breweries."[2] The prisons became crowded which led to fewer arrests for the distribution of alcohol, as well as those arrested being charged with small fines rather than prison time.[2] The murder rate fell for two years, but then rose to record highs because this market became extremely attractive to criminal organizations, a trend that reversed the very year prohibition ended.[27][28] Overall, crime rose 24%, including increases in assault and battery, theft, and burglary.[29]

Anti-prohibition groups arose and worked to have the amendment repealed, once it became apparent that Prohibition was an unprecedented catastrophe. It is alleged that the Eighteenth Amendment failed because of its sudden, strict enforcement. It didn't allow the people to have a say or let them gradually ease into the complete ban of alcoholic beverages. Instead, the people rebelled and the introduction of speakeasies and "flappers" came about.[2]

The Twenty-first Amendment repealed the Eighteenth Amendment on December 5, 1933.[30]

Bootlegging and organized crime

Following ratification in 1919 the effects of the amendment were long lasting, leading to increases in crime in many large cities in the United States, like Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles [1]. Along with this came many separate forms of illegal alcohol distribution. Examples of this include speakeasies and bootlegging, as well as illegal distilling operations.

Bootlegging got its start in towns bordering Mexico and Canada, as well as in areas with several ports and harbors, a favorite distribution area for bootleggers being Atlantic City, New Jersey. The alcohol was often supplied from various foreign distributors, like Cuba and the Bahamas, or even Newfoundland and islands under rule by the French.

The government in response employed the Coast Guard to search and detain any ships transporting alcohol into the ports, but with this came several complications such as disputes over where jurisdiction lay on the water. This was what made Atlantic City such a hot spot for smuggling operations, because of a shipping point nearly three miles off shore that U.S. officials could not investigate, further complicating enforcement of the amendment. What made matters even worse for the Coast Guard was that they were not well equipped enough to chase down bootlegging vessels. The Coast Guard however, was able to respond to these issues, and began searching vessels out at sea, instead of when they made port, and upgraded their own vehicles allowing for more efficient and consistent arrests.

But even with the advancements in enforcing the amendment, there were still complications that plagued the government's efforts. One issue came in the form of forged prescriptions for alcoholic beverages. Many forms of alcohol were being sold over the counter at the time, under the guise of being for medical purposes. But in truth, these beverages had falsified the evidence that they were medically fit to be sold to consumers.

Bootlegging itself was the leading factor that developed the organized crime-rings in big cities, given that controlling and distributing liquor was a very difficult task to achieve. From that arose many profitable gangs that would control every aspect of the distribution process, whether it be concealed brewing and storage, or even operating a speakeasy, or selling in restaurants and nightclubs run by a specific syndicate. With organized crime becoming a rising problem in the United States, control of specific territories was a key objective among gangs, leading to many violent confrontations with murder rates and burglaries heavily increasing between 1920 and 1933.[31] Bootlegging was also found to be a gateway crime for many gangs, who would then expand operations into crimes such as prostitution, gambling rackets, narcotics, loan-sharking, extortion and labor rackets, thus causing problems to persist long after the amendment was repealed.

See also


  1. ^ Effective January 28, 1918, the date on which the North Dakota ratification was approved by the state Governor.
  2. ^ Effective August 9, 1918, the date on which the Louisiana ratification was approved by the state Governor.


  1. ^ Hamm, Richard F. (1995). Shaping the Eighteenth Amendment: temperance reform, legal culture, and the polity, 1880–1920. UNC Press Books. p. 228. ISBN 978-0-8078-4493-9. OCLC 246711905.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "User account - Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History". www.gilderlehrman.org.
  3. ^ a b c "18th and 21st Amendments - Facts & Summary - HISTORY.com". HISTORY.com.
  4. ^ "temperance movement". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  5. ^ "Anti-Saloon League". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  6. ^ 40 Stat. 1050
  7. ^ a b "Understanding the 18th Amendment". Laws.com. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  8. ^ David Pietrusza, 1920: The Year of Six Presidents (NY: Carroll & Graf, 2007), 160
  9. ^ "Prohibition wins in Senate, 47 to 8" (PDF). New York Times. December 19, 1917. p. 6.
  10. ^ 40 Stat. 1941
  11. ^ The dates of proposal, ratifications and certification come from The Constitution Of The United States Of America Analysis And Interpretation Analysis Of Cases Decided By The Supreme Court Of The United States To July 1, 2014, United States Senate doc. no. 108-17, at 35 n.10.
  12. ^ a b Cohn, Henry S.; Davis, Ethan (2009). "Stopping the Wind that Blows and the Rivers that Run: Connecticut and Rhode Island Reject the Prohibition Amendment". Quinnipiac Law Review. 27: 327, 328. [I]t took until 1922 for the forty-sixth state, New Jersey, to ratify, and Connecticut and Rhode Island would never do so.  – via HeinOnline (subscription required)
  13. ^ New York Times: "Connecticut Balks at Prohibition," February 5, 1919, accessed July 27, 2011
  14. ^ New York Times: "Rhode Island Defeats Prohibition," March 13, 1918, accessed July 27, 2011
  15. ^ "Woodrow Wilson - U.S. Presidents - HISTORY.com". HISTORY.com.
  16. ^ Smentkowski, Brian P. "Eighteenth Amendment." Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., 22 Aug. 2017, www.britannica.com/topic/Eighteenth-Amendment
  17. ^ "The Volstead Act". History, Art & Archives, U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  18. ^ "Congress enforces prohibition." History.com, A&E Television Networks, www.history.com/this-day-in-history/congress-enforces-prohibition.
  19. ^ "Prohibition and Its Effects". The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. 2012-03-03. Retrieved 2017-11-20.
  20. ^ https://constiution.laws.com/american-history/constiution/constituional-amendments/18th-amendment
  21. ^ a b "18th and 21st Amendments - Facts & Summary - HISTORY.com". HISTORY.com. Retrieved 2017-11-20.
  22. ^ "The 18th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution". National Constitution Center – The 18th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Retrieved 2017-11-20.
  23. ^ Rothman, Lily (January 14, 2015). "The History of Poisoned Alcohol Includes an Unlikely Culprit: The U.S. Government". Time. Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  24. ^ http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/prohibition/unintended-consequences/ PBS: The Unintended Consequences of Prohibition] and Government, http://time.com/3665643/deadly-drinking/%7Cwebsite=TIME%7Caccessdate=14 November 2017
  25. ^ Blum, Deborah (18 February 2010). The Poisoners Handbook. New York, New York: Penguin Books. p. Ch. 2.
  26. ^ https://object.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa157.pdf
  27. ^ https://object.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa157.pdf — Cato Institute Policy Analysis No. 157: Alcohol Prohibition Was a Failure
    The homicide rate increased from 6 per 100,000 population in the pre-Prohibition period to nearly 10 per 100,000 in 1933. That rising trend was reversed by the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, and the rate continued to decline throughout the 1930s and early 1940s
  28. ^ "Prohibition = Violence". January 29, 2003.
  29. ^ Histeropedia - The Eighteenth Amendment’s Contribution to Increased Crime and Societal Disobedience in the 1920s (Fall 2012)
    Rather than reducing the crime rates within the United States, prohibition resulted in an increased crime rate of 24% including increased assault and battery by 13%, homicide rates by 12.7%, and burglaries and theft by 9%.
  30. ^ Roosevelt, Franklin (December 5, 1933), Proclamation 2065 - Repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment 
  31. ^ "Prohibition and the Rise of the American Gangster". January 17, 2012.

External links

Beer in the United States

Beer in the United States is manufactured by more than 7,000 breweries, which range in size from industry giants to brew pubs and microbreweries. The United States produced 196 million barrels (23.0 GL) of beer in 2012, and consumes roughly 28 US gallons (110 L) of beer per capita annually. In 2011, the United States was ranked fifteenth in the world in per capita consumption, while total consumption was second only to China.Although beer was a part of colonial life in the United States, the passing of the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1919 resulted in the prohibition of alcoholic beverage sales, forcing nearly all American breweries to close or switch to producing non-alcoholic products. After the repeal of Prohibition, the industry consolidated into a small number of large-scale breweries. Many of the big breweries that returned to producing beer after Prohibition, today largely owned by international conglomerates like Anheuser-Busch InBev or SABMiller, still retain their dominance of the market in the 21st century. However, the majority of the new breweries that have opened in the U.S. over the past three decades have been small breweries and brewpubs, referred to as "craft breweries" to differentiate them from the larger and older breweries.The most common style of beer produced by the big breweries is American lager, a form of pale lager; small breweries, most of which were founded since the 1980s, produce a range of styles. Beer styles indigenous in the United States include amber ale, cream ale, and California common. More recent craft styles include American Pale Ale, American IPA, India Pale Lager, Black IPA, and the American "Double" or "Imperial" IPA.

Double Birthday

Double Birthday is a short story by Willa Cather. It was first published in The Forum in February 1929.

Eighteenth Amendment

The Eighteenth Amendment may refer to:

Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which established Prohibition

Eighteenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland, which permitted the state to ratify the Amsterdam Treaty

Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan, which reduced the powers of the President of Pakistan

Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment, an episode of the television series The Simpsons

George A. Williams (Nebraska politician)

George Arthur Williams (August 17, 1864 – July 7, 1946) was a 20th-century politician who served as Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska from 1925 to 1931.

Born in La Fayette, Illinois, Williams attended school in Galva, Illinois, though didn't graduate from high school. In 1888, he married Mabel L. Grubb, with whom he would eventually have eight children, and moved to Fairmont, Nebraska where his wife's family owned a farm. Raised a Baptist, he and his wife joined Seventh-day Adventist Church after attending a meetings held by William Byington White, president of the Nebraska Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Becoming missionaries, they moved their family to Citronelle, Alabama, where a new congregation was successfully organized under William's leadership, before moving first to Battle Creek, Michigan in 1901, then to Franklin, Kentucky, running successful mercantile businesses in each city. In December 1903, Williams assumed management of the store at the Southern Training School (today Southern Adventist University) in Graysville, Tennessee, where he also completed his formal education, and in 1908, took over management of the Adventist-sponsored Atlanta Sanitarium.Returning to Nebraska in 1909, Williams began farming in Harlan County before becoming business manager of the Nebraska Sanitarium in Hastings and continued farming north of the city. In 1914, he and family moved back to the Grubb farm in Fairmont and became involved in community affairs, managing an American Red Cross fund drive and serving on the Fillmore County Council of Defense during World War I. A Republican, he was elected to the Nebraska House of Representatives in 1918 and reelected in 1920. As a legislator, he focused on road and farming issues and supported ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. After running unsuccessfully for nomination for Secretary of State, he was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1924 and was reelected in 1926 and 1928.Williams ran for Governor in 1932, placing third in the Republican primary, and again for Lieutenant Governor in 1936, losing to incumbent Democrat Walter H. Jurgensen. He served as president of the Nebraska chapter of the Anti-Saloon League until 1936 and remained active in church activities, working for the Religious Liberty Department of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and writing for Liberty, the church magazine. He served on the boards of numerous church institutions and, in 1942, he served as interim pastor of the Lincoln City Seventh-day Adventist Church.Williams was a member of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and honored as a Nebraska Admiral. He was a friend and ally of the state's longtime U.S. Senator George W. Norris. He died at Boulder Sanitarium in Boulder, Colorado and was interred at Fairmont Cemetery.

Jefferson Davis County, Mississippi

Jefferson Davis County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 12,487. Its county seat is Prentiss. The county is named in honor of Mississippi Senator and Confederate President Jefferson Davis. The county was carved out of Covington and Lawrence counties in March 1906. Governor James K. Vardaman signed the bill creating the county on May 9, 1906.

Lambert v. Yellowley

Lambert v. Yellowley, 272 U.S. 581 (1926), was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that reaffirmed the National Prohibition Act's limitation on the dispensation of alcoholic medicines. The five-to-four decision, written by Justice Louis D. Brandeis, affirmed the dismissal of a suit in which New York City physician Samuel Lambert sought to prevent Edward Yellowley, the acting federal prohibition director, from enforcing the Prohibition Act so as to preclude him from prescribing alcoholic medicines. The decision affirmed the police powers of the individual states, as well as the power of the Necessary and Proper Clause of the United States Constitution, which was cited in upholding the Prohibition Act's limitations as a necessary and proper implementation of the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Luna Park, Cleveland

Luna Park was a trolley park (a type of amusement park) in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, from 1905 to 1929.

Methodist Board of Temperance, Prohibition, and Public Morals

The Methodist Episcopal Church Board of Temperance, Prohibition, and Public Morals was a major organization in the American temperance movement which led to the introduction of prohibition in 1920. It was headed for many years by Clarence True Wilson.

The Methodist Episcopal Church South had a similar agency called the Board of Temperance and Social Service, with which Bishop James Cannon, Jr. was long associated.

The success of Temperance movement would never have happened without the leadership of another Methodist, Frances Willard, leader of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), a mighty force, with chapters located throughout the United States and beyond.

The Board of Temperance, Prohibition and Public Morals constructed the Methodist Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC in the 1920s to further increase its influence and lobbying power in public policy matters regarding alcoholic beverages. It was dedicated on January 16, 1924 Robert Dean McNeal, Valiant for Truth: Clarence True Wilson and Prohibition, 1992 ISBN 0-9632048-0-7 p. 47 with the famed orator and former presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan serving as a primary speaker. Located at 100 Maryland Ave NE, it faces the east side of the United States Capitol Building with the Supreme Court Building across the street to its south.

After ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution established Prohibition, the Methodist Board promoted its aggressive enforcement. It also attempted to eliminate any criticism or opposition to what many called the Noble Experiment. In 1925, it charged that vaudeville acts and comic strips were being used to dispense wet (anti-prohibition) propaganda in New York City, which it called "a foreign city, run by foreigners for foreigners according to foreign ideas." Clarence True Wilson led the way and traveled widely promoting temperance and prohibition. He and his wife often traveled with Clarence Darrow, the famed agonistic, and Darrow's wife. They found that hearing both of them debate the wisdom and merits of Prohibition drew much attention and lively crowds. After about a dozen years, and many unintended consequences, Prohibition was repealed.

In 1964 The Methodist Board of Temperance was merged with the Methodist Board of Social and Economic Relations and the Methodist Board of World Peace to create the Board of Christian Social Concerns. After the 1968 merger of The Methodist Church with the Evangelical United Brethren Church the name became The General Board of Church and Society (GBCS). A debate ensued over who would have use of the funds from leasing space in the building. Some said the 1965 trust contract required all principal and income from the trust's assets to be used exclusively for "work in the areas of temperance and alcohol problems." However, copies of the original pledge cards found at the United Methodist Archives, Drew University, indicated that the building was being built as Protestant presence on Capitol Hill.

Some United Methodists have pointed out that the General Board of Church and Society supports programs on antiwar, care for creation, human rights, racism, healthcare, economic justice, and dozens of other activities unrelated to reducing the consumption of alcohol. GBCS officials responded that they interpret the trust's language to include a variety of social causes.

The General Board of Church and Society petitioned the D.C. Superior Court to ratify its interpretation of the 1965 trust document. At trial the District of Columbia Superior Court ruled in favor of GBCS.

The United Methodist Building now houses the Washington offices of a number of faith related organizations as they work in is issue based coalitions to address critical social concerns and present a common voice to congressional offices and the US administration.

Moderation League of New York

The Moderation League of New York was founded in 1923 to change the legal definition of the "intoxicating liquors" prohibited by the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution establishing prohibition. This seemed to its members to be an achievable goal, whereas the repeal of prohibition seemed at that point an impossible achievement.

Mordecai Ham

Mordecai Fowler Ham, Jr. (April 2, 1877 – November 1, 1961), was an American Independent Baptist evangelist and temperance movement leader. He entered the ministry in 1901 and in 1936 began a radio broadcast reaching into seven southern states. Early in his ministry, he was ordained at Burton Memorial Baptist Church in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

The son of Tobias Ham and the former Ollie McElroy, Ham was born on a farm in Allen County near Scottsville in southern Kentucky, north of the Tennessee state line. Descended from eight generations of Baptist preachers, his namesake grandfather was Mordecai F. Ham, Sr. He once stated that "From the time I was eight years old, I never thought of myself as anything but a Christian. At nine, I had definite convictions that the Lord wanted me to preach...." Ham studied at Ogden College in Bowling Green and relocated to Chicago, Illinois, where he engaged in business from 1896 to 1900. There, he married the former Bessie Simmons in July 1900. In December 1900, he closed the business to devote full-time to the ministry.One target of Ham's sermons was alcohol abuse, particularly before the adoption of the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. He believed that problems involving liquor could best be resolved by conversion to Christianity and the placement of new believers in churches which stress abstinence of alcoholic beverages.Ham was publicly and virulently anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic. He was "a revivalist who considered Jews 'beyond redemption'".In 1928, though many in his congregation were Democrats, Ham supported Republican Herbert Hoover for the American presidency: "If you vote for Al Smith, you're voting against Christ, and you will all be damned". Smith was the Roman Catholic and Democratic governor of New York who lost the election to Hoover.

In November 1934, Billy Graham was converted under Mordecai Ham's preaching in a revival in Charlotte, North Carolina. Through Ham's influence with William Bell Riley in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Graham was launched onto a national and international platform of influence and prestige among evangelical ranks. Ham had held his greatest number of meetings in Texas. Graham joined a Texas church, First Baptist of Dallas, then the largest Southern Baptist congregation in the nation and pastored by W.A. Criswell.

Organized crime in Minneapolis

Organized crime in Minneapolis first attracted national attention in 1903, when thug and mayor Doc Ames (1842-1911) was exposed by Lincoln Steffens in the book The Shame of the Cities. Steffens's account and subsequent trials revealed a police department recruited from felons shaking down the Minneapolis underworld on the mayor's behalf. Ames later fled the state, spending a short period as a fugitive before being arrested and extradited to Minnesota. He was convicted of receiving a bribe and sentenced to six years in prison. His sentence was later appealed and overturned.

In 1919, the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution transformed American crime, shaping small-time hoodlums into major organized crime figures. In Minneapolis, the underworld was dominated by local gangs of the Irish mob, flanked by Jewish gangsters and by corrupt cops and politicians from the Republican, Democratic and Farmer-Labor Parties.

Romanian-Jewish immigrant Isadore Blumenfeld, alias Kid Cann (1900-1981), was changed overnight from a nickel-and-dime pimp and bookmaker from Northside, Minneapolis, into a respected godfather with close ties to both the Chicago Outfit and the Genovese crime family. Assisted by his brothers Jacob and Harry, Kid Cann's "Minneapolis Combination" dealt in bootleg booze, trucking distribution routes, illegal gambling and real estate deals throughout the American Sun Belt. He was the most notorious gangster in the city's history.

Rival crime families were run by David Berman, Thomas W. Banks and "Big Ed" Morgan. These gangsters tended to cooperate on business and avoid turf wars by appealing to the mediation of the National Mafia Commission. In the process, Minneapolis became a major center of bootlegged booze, gambling, brothels and unbridled corruption.

Deuce Casper (1936-2003) was a Baldy Street Gang founder and boss. During Casper's time in Minneapolis, more than 1,000 thugs roamed the streets from 1955 to 1975, creating mayhem and fear among the citizens. Casper robbed banks, jewelry stores and armored cars, while his associates robbed commercial businesses and ran large drug-dealing operations.

The most notable Baldy was Perry "The Scholar" Millik (1944 – 2003), who ran commercial burglary rings and drug-manufacturing houses. He was involved in widespread real estate frauds and was the front man for real estate purchases for the infamous Alexander Brothers (porn and prostitution kings).

Currently, the Capra/Patterson syndicate controls all nationally sanctioned crime activities in the Twin Cities. Gambling is their primary source of income, and they are working under the auspices of the Genoveses (2011).

On the corner of 26th Street and 26th Avenue in South Minneapolis exists a historical location, called Hub of Hell, and was home to numerous saloons, bars, nightclubs, and a bowling alley that drew rowdy crowds of steel-workers, factory workers from the old Minneapolis Moline factory, thugs, gangsters, and brawling drunks.

These establishments included the stand-up drinking establishment of Pearsons, The Hexagon, Nibs, Duffy's and the Stardust Bowling Alley. Here, corrupt cops mingled with their presumed rivals (like Duffy's bouncer, "Mush"). The neighborhood was infamous for its bloody brawls fought by colorful characters like Deuce Casper, Tommy "The Bomber" Ogdahl, and Perry "The Scholar" Millik, often for the entertainment of spectators to enjoy and keep the old General Hospital busy on weekends.

Prior to 1900 another location known as Hell's Half Acre was located between 2nd and 3rd Avenues South and 8th and 9th Streets South and had the same rowdy reputation. In the 1890 History of the Fire and Police Departments of Minneapolis, it was described as a "place of utter darkness, wailing and woe. Bloody frays were of nightly occurrence and not infrequently such weapons as hatchets, knives and even revolvers entered into the conflict. The alleys were literally strewn with empty beer kegs and whisky bottles and the latter were often used as missiles of warfare. As a usual thing Sundays were given up entirely to drinking and fighting, and family feuds were as numerous and bitter as those of Kentucky, though not as murderous." (Pg. 280)

Public enemy

Public enemy is a term which was first widely used in the United States in the 1930s to describe individuals whose activities were seen as criminal and extremely damaging to society, though the phrase had been used for centuries to describe pirates and similar outlaws.

Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution

The Twenty-first Amendment (Amendment XXI) to the United States Constitution repealed the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which had mandated nationwide Prohibition on alcohol. The Twenty-first Amendment was proposed by Congress on February 20, 1933, and was ratified by the requisite number of states on December 5, 1933. It is unique among the 27 amendments of the U.S. Constitution for being the only one to repeal a prior amendment, as well as being the only amendment to have been ratified by state ratifying conventions.

The Eighteenth Amendment was ratified on January 16, 1919, the result of years of advocacy by the temperance movement. The subsequent passage of the Volstead Act established federal enforcement of the nationwide prohibition on alcohol. As many Americans continued to drink despite the amendment, Prohibition gave rise to a profitable black market for alcohol, fueling the rise of organized crime. Throughout the 1920's, Americans increasingly came to see Prohibition as unenforceable, and a movement to repeal the Eighteenth Amendment grew until the Twenty-first Amendment was ratified in 1933.

Section 1 of the Twenty-first Amendment expressly repeals the Eighteenth Amendment. Section 2 bans the importation of alcohol into states and territories that have laws prohibiting the importation or consumption of alcohol. Several states continued to be "dry states" in the years after the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment, but in 1966 the last dry state legalized the consumption of alcohol. Nonetheless, several states continue to closely regulate the distribution of alcohol. Many states delegate their power to ban the importation of alcohol to counties and municipalities, and there are numerous dry communities throughout the United States. Section 2 has occasionally arisen as in issue in Supreme Court cases that touch on the Commerce Clause.

United States v. Lee (1927)

United States v. Lee, 274 U.S. 559 (1927), is a significant decision by the United States Supreme Court protecting prohibition laws. The Court held 1) the Coast Guard may seize, board, and search vessels beyond the U.S. territorial waters and the high seas 12 miles outward from the coast if probable cause exists to believe that the vessel and persons in it are violating U.S. revenue laws, and 2) the Coast Guard's use of searchlights to view contents of a vessel on the high seas does not constitute a search and thus does not warrant Fourth Amendment protections.

Wayne Wheeler

Wayne Bidwell Wheeler (November 10, 1869 – September 5, 1927) a veritable father of the prohibitionist movement was an American attorney and longtime leader of the Anti-Saloon League, and played a major role in the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which outlawed the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages.A native of Brookfield Township in Trumbull County, Ohio, Wheeler was raised on his family's farm, and a childhood accident caused by an intoxicated hired hand gave Wheeler a lifelong aversion to alcohol, as well as an anecdote he later used in recruiting converts to the prohibition movement and promoting a prohibition amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Wheeler graduated from high school in Ohio, received his teaching qualification, and taught for two years before becoming a student at Oberlin College. After graduating in 1894, Wheeler became an organizer for the Anti-Saloon League. He earned his LL.B. degree from Western Reserve University in 1898. In 1902, Wheeler became head of the Anti-Saloon League, and perfected a system of single issue pressure politics, including media campaigns and public demonstrations, to win enactment of laws limiting or banning the sale and consumption of alcohol.

Wheeler's career hit its high point with the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment and the Volstead Act in 1920. As enforcement of Prohibition became increasingly difficult, federal agencies resorted to draconian measures including poisoning alcohol to try to dissuade people from consuming it. Wheeler's refusal to compromise, for example by amending Prohibition measures to allow for consumption of beer and ale, made him appear increasingly unreasonable. His influence began to wane, and he retired in 1927.

Soon after his retirement, Wheeler was beset by several tragedies. His wife was killed in an accidental kitchen fire, and his father-in-law had a fatal heart attack after trying unsuccessfully to aid her. Wheeler suffered from kidney disease, and died at a sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan on September 5, 1927.

Webb–Kenyon Act

The Webb–Kenyon Act was a 1913 law of the United States that regulated the interstate transport of alcoholic beverages. It was meant to provide federal support for the prohibition efforts of individual states in the face of charges that state regulation of alcohol usurped the federal government's exclusive constitutional right to regulate interstate commerce.

When Bearcat Went Dry

When Bearcat Went Dry is a 1919 American silent drama film directed by Oliver L. Sellers from the novel by Charles Neville Buck, and starring Lon Chaney as Kindard Powers. The title refers to a character nicknamed "Bearcat" (Bernard J. Durning) who promises his girlfriend that he will quit drinking liquor. It was considered to be a lost film until a print with Dutch intertitles came to light in a private collection in 1996.

Wickersham Commission

The National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement (also known unofficially as the Wickersham Commission) was a committee established by then U.S. President, Herbert Hoover, on May 20, 1929. Former attorney general George W. Wickersham (1858–1936) chaired the 11-member group, which was charged with surveying the U.S. criminal justice system under Prohibition, and making recommendations for appropriate public policy.

During the 1928 presidential campaign Herbert Hoover supported the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (which had introduced nationwide alcohol prohibition) but he recognized that evasion of the law was widespread and that prohibition had fueled the growth of organized crime.

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