23. The KKK Konnection
One the aforementioned groups, the Anti-Saloon League (ASL), was one of the more vocal prohibition groups. They only fought against alcohol sales but enjoyed support from other groups, African labor unions, suffrage groups, and the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Only one of these support groups flourished in the wake of Prohibition. The KKK was full of baddies, connected with dirty cops, making them a perfect conduit for running booze. On the outside, they stood for Prohibition, raiding homes to exact vigilante justice on immigrants hiding booze. Behind the scenes, the KKK was supplying the liquor. This plan worked. During the 1920s, the KKK flourished to some 4-5-million members.
22. 18th Amendment
On January 29, 1919, the United States ratified the 18th Amendment, which stated: “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.” By January 17 the following year, the ax came down.
21. Portland Rum Riot
There was a precedent to the Amendment, the 1851 ban on alcohol in Maine. The law only prevented the sale and manufacturing of alcohol in Maine. The results of that ban were disastrous. It was so bad, history has rebranded the event the Portland Rum Riot due to the riot which erupted, and turned deadly. On June 2, 1855, under rumors that the mayor, an outspoken prohibitionist, kept a stash of booze in the city. He did. It was for medical distribution, allowed by the law, but the people were beyond reason. A crowd gathered outside the building, and all hell broke loose. By 1856, Maine repealed the law.