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90 Years Since Prohibition Began in the United States

Below is a brief video timeline of the Prohibition Era, which began 90 years ago.

(NOTE: Move mouse over clips to preview. Click clip for details.)


On January 16, 1919, the Eighteenth Amendment was enacted in the United States putting a ban on the sale, manufacture and transport of alcohol.

Throughout prohibition, bootlegging became widespread as the government was unable to fully enforce the new law.

Underground bars known as speakeasies became a popular destination for music, dancing and alcohol. At one time, there was estimated to be between 30,000 and 100,000 speakeasy clubs in New York City.

Often time speakeasies were run by individuals connected to organized crime and corruption was commonplace as police officers would accept bribes in return for advance notice of raids.

Though Prohibition still had its followers, the act became increasingly unpopular during the Great Depression. On December 5, 1933, the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment repealed the Eighteenth Amendment.


Click here to view more archival video clips related to prohibition in the United States.

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Published: Jan 14, 10:26 AM
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