When the United States passed the 18th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920, prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcohol, drinkers lost their ever-loving minds. The Amendment stood for thirteen years. It wasn’t only the boozy drunks, wine aficionados and beer drinkers alike had to put down the sauce. The passing of the Amendment intended to civilize the United States. What it did was criminalize it. People didn’t stop drinking. They went underground. Good upstanding American citizens turned into everyday criminals.
25. One Last Drink
In this photo, otherwise civilized people line up to enjoy their last drinks before Prohibition went into effect. For an entire decade, alcohol consumption would flee these bright civilized halls to hide in dark corners. Tipplers, sellers of alcohol, would go to extreme lengths to keep the party going. The criminal element found a huge upside in Prohibition. The black market is usually lucrative, but when one sells addictive substances, that’s job security. Despite this unfurling of civilization, advocates for the cause, drys, worked overtime to ensure the Amendment stuck.
The advocates for keeping America dry were mostly in the ranks of Christian organizations. Protestants, and the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, along with the Anti-Saloon League. They started in the previous century, marching and lobbying for decades until the 1920s. The argument made by the drys was that alcohol destroyed families, which was often true.