On this day in 1919 the 18th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was ratified and enacted into law. One year later, on January 16th, 1920 it became illegal to produce, distribute or sell alcohol in the United States. The National Prohibition Act or as it was more commonly referred to, the “Volstead Act” passed through Congress and over President Wilson’s veto and established the legal definition of intoxicating liquor; however, did very little to enforce the law. And by 1925 there were approximately 100,000 “Speakeasy” clubs in New York City alone. It is without a doubt the most unpopular law ever enacted in the history of our country, and was plagued with logistical problems from the start, and so on December 5th, 1933, it was repealed under the Twenty-first Amendment.
Today’s quotes are on Prohibition, as many of the time felt the 18th Amendment was a joke, I personally like W. C. Fields’ the best.
“Why don’t they pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting anybody from learning anything? If it works as well as prohibition did, in five years Americans would be the smartest race of people on Earth.” – Will Rogers, 1879-1935
“Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control man’s appetite by legislation and makes crimes out of things that are not crimes.” – Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865
“For every prohibition you create you also create an underground.” – Jello Biafra
“Prohibition has made nothing but trouble.” – Al Capone, 1899-1947
“Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water.” – W. C. Fields, 1880-1946