Today marks 105 years since the onset of “Prohibition” in the United States—a period during which it was illegal to manufacture, transport, and sell alcohol. However, it was still legal to drink alcohol if, say, you were sick or happened to have a stockpile at home. This period continues to fascinate me and also scares me a bit because the more I research it, the more I see that history does indeed repeat itself, and what happened then is happening today.

Prohibition, which lasted from 1920 to 1933, was a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages. It was enforced by the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Volstead Act. The intention behind Prohibition was to reduce crime, corruption, solve social problems, and improve health and hygiene in America. However, it had quite the opposite effect.

During this period, illegal production and distribution of alcohol, known as bootlegging, became rampant. Speakeasies—illicit establishments that sold alcoholic beverages—sprang up across the country. Organized crime syndicates thrived as they took control of the illegal alcohol trade. Figures such as Al Capone became infamous for their roles in bootlegging and other illegal activities.

Interestingly, while it was illegal to produce and sell alcohol, it was not illegal to consume it. People could drink if they had stockpiled alcohol before Prohibition or if they had a medical prescription. Doctors would often prescribe “medicinal whiskey” for various ailments, and pharmacies could legally sell it. This loophole meant that alcohol consumption never truly ceased.

Prohibition also had a lasting impact on American society and its laws. The 21st Amendment, which repealed the 18th Amendment in 1933, marked the end of Prohibition, but its legacy is still felt today in the complex web of alcohol regulations that vary from state to state.

If you’re interested in learning more about how such a severe law was implemented on a constitutional level, I’m providing a link to my YouTube channel, where I explain the exact sequence of events that led to this period.

Below are some pictures to illustrate the times and the bizarre reality known as “Prohibition,” which still affects alcohol laws in the U.S. today.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *