Prohibition: The Noble Experiment That Failed

Source: Northwest Quarterly, Summer/Fall 2019

Volstead Act

16 January 1919 Nebraska, prohibiting the sale of alcoholic drink

Named after Andrew Volstead Rep. congressman from Minnesota

National Prohibition Act – 28 Oct 1919

Act vetoed by President Wilson

Volstead named Wayne B. Wheeler, Anti-Saloon League, as force in passing Act

Defined intoxicating liquor as more than .5%

Aimed at producer, dealer, trafficker not individual consumer

Act allowed heads of families to make up to 200 gallons/yr. of fruit juice for consumption in the home.

See also Wills-Campbell Act (1921)     See also Jones Act (1929)

Up to 6 months imprisonment or $1,000 for first offense

Association Against the Prohibition Amendment  1919

Source:  Internet  “A History of Wine in America”  Thomas Pinney  (2006)





Prohibition: “Hootch Deaths Increase Over Pre-Volstead Days” 1925

Hooch Deaths Increase

Source: The Rockford Republic newspaper January 13, 1925

“Moonshine, the Light that Blights” title of brochure that has Chicago agog, “A death a day” is the gist of the story.

Prohibition – Moving Liquor – 1920

Prohiibition - Search Law

“Chicago, Jan. 14 – The Illinois Search and Seizure act has put all owners of liquor stored in this state “out of luck.” Club men and others who planned to move their private stocks to their home on federal permits were given a jolt when they learned the state law prohibits transportation of liquor in any form on all public highways.”

“The law applied before January 16 as well as after.”

“Major Dalrymple said that the same provision would forbid an owner to move liquor from one house to another if he changes his residence.”

“After Jan. 16 club liquor will be confiscated.” said Captain Hubert Howard, newly appointed state director for the enforcement of prohibition. “Just at present the state government has jurisdiction over the clubs but we will have federal control after Friday.”

Source: Rockford Register-Gazette  January 14, 1920