On January 16, 1919, the Prohibition Act was ratified in the United States, officially outlawing liquor and putting a bit of a damper on the incoming “roaring twenties.”
The movement to prohibit the consumption of alcohol began in the early 1800s, when the adverse effects of alcohol began to concern some of the public. Temperance unions were formed, and by the end of the 19th century they had powerful pull in the political sphere as they campaigned for national abstinence.
Congress passed the 18th Amendment, or the Prohibition Amendment, in December of 1917 and sent it to the states for ratification. Over a year later the act was put into effect as national law.
The law was a matter of constant disagreement in the United States. Many were pleased with the outcome of the temperance groups’ complaints, but there were just as many, if not more, who protested this enforced sobriety with picketing, rallying and by engaging in various illegal activities.
It was not until fourteen years later, in 1933, that the 21st Amendment was passed, quashing at last the well-intentioned act.