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Prohibition History

               Prohibition History Film Clips

Prohibition: A Product of American Idealism (Literary Digest, 1922)

Many moons ago, as it is also true this day, many people living outside the borders of the United States had a laugh concerning America's commonly held belief that they are an idealistic people whose motives are not always driven by self-interest; this is a broad topic and sound arguments can be made on both sides as to whether it is true or not. The British thinker Bertrand Russel (1872 - 1970) had some thoughts on the matter and in an address made to a number of assembled Americans he submitted that, in his view, Prohibition was not a 'noble experiment' that sought to inspire all Americans to lead a righteous life, but rather a gross perversion of Christian doctrine.


A Look at at What the Prohibition Amendment Might Look Like (The Outlook, 1916)

Two years before the Prohibition Amendment would be passed, the New York State Superintendent of the Anti-Saloon League, William H. Anderson (1874 - 1959), wrote this piece defending a draft of the amendment that was, at that time, sitting before Congress.


''The Literary View of Prohibition'' (Literary Digest, 1919)

Four months into the Noble Experiment of Prohibition, three respected British Writers, Hilaire Belloc, G K. Chesterton and Solomon Eagle all sound-off on American Prohibition.


Getting Around the Prohibition Laws (Stars and Stripes, 1919)

To be sure, there were complications with the prohibition of alcohol in the United States. While American clergy debated with government concerning the issue of sacraments involving wine, one enterprising restaurateur took advantage of the fact that the law, as it was originally written, only involved alcoholic beverages and decided to offer an inebriate in the form of a jelly sandwich.


The Hastening of Prohibition (The Literary Digest, 1918)

The "Dry" forces in Washington, who vigorously patted themselves on the back for having been able to get the Eighteenth Amendment through Congress in December of 1917, wanted the law to take effect sooner than the amendment had mandated. Shortly after the signing of the Armistice, they rallied their members on the Hill and launched a piece of legislation through Congress called the Emergency Agricultural Appropriations Bill:

"President Wilson signs the Emergency Agricultural Appropriations Bill, whose rider provides for national prohibition from July 1 next until the American Army is demobilized."


Billy Sunday Campaign Trail for Prohibition (Literary Digest, 1913)

I 1913 Presbyterian preacher Billy Sunday (1862 - 1935) was, without a doubt, one of the most visible advocates for the successful implementation of any federal legislation that would outlaw liquor across America. When it became clear to many that Prohibition was causing far more problems than it solved, he continued to strongly support the legislation, and after its repeal in 1933 the Preacher called for its reinstatement.


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