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Prohibition History

               Prohibition History Film Clips

Click here to read a 1943 article that looks back on the ten years since the repeal of Prohibition.

Upper-Class Bootleggers Arrested (Literary Digest, 1923)

When the four brothers La Montagne were arrested for violating the Volstead Act in 1922, the social butterflies of New York society were shocked; not simply because some of their own had been roughed-up by the police, but shocked because they had no idea as to where they were to acquire their illegal hooch in the future.

"The plea for leniency made by several well-known lawyers, on the grounds of social prominence of the accused, was 'pitiable and foolish', in the opinion of the New York 'Globe'.

"In summing up his case...the United States District Attorney said":

"'To allow these defendants to escape with a fine, it seems to me, would...justify the belief that men of great wealth or influence or power are above the law.'"

 

Looking Back 25 Years (Pageant Magazine, 1959)

In 1959 an eyewitness to American Prohibition recalls what life was like and what a mistake it was.

 

Prohibition Killings (Pathfinder Magazine, 1929)

Two sources have been combined on one printable page in order to assess the body count that was created as a result of the murders that the prohibition laws had wrought. The complete number is not here - just the last four years:

1933, the year Prohibition was rescinded, seemed to have been the bloodiest year in this study - with 12,123 people murdered (being 9.6 per 1000,000 souls). The numbers began to drop from there: 1934 through 1936 saw a steady decline in urban homicide.

 

More Drunk-Driver Fatalities After Repeal (Christian Herald, 1940)

As the above article makes clear - there were fewer gang-related murders after the New Deal put the kibosh on Prohibition, but there was also a greater number of fatalities on American roads as a result of a rise in the number of drunk-drivers.

 

Farewell to Alcohol (Literary Digest, 1919)

Published at a time when America stood so reluctantly on the doorstep of the Prohibition era, an unnamed editor at THE LITERARY DIGEST compiled a number of quotes from numerous literary sources as if to illustrate the deep roots the Western world of belles-lettres has invested in the culture of alcohol.

 

Beer Flowed the Week Prohibition Ended
(Literary Digest, 1933)

The attached article is composed of numerous newspaper observations that appeared in print throughout April of 1933; these perceptions all pertain to the goings on that followed in the joyous wake of Prohibition's demise:

"'The return of beer has really been a remarkable phenomenon,' says THE NEW YORK EVENING POST.
'Not one of the bad effects predicted for it actually took place'."

 


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