Leaving the Nation "Dry"

Once considered as "God's gift" to mankind and an elixir for almost every type of ailment, liquor ultimately emerged as the inalienable cause of numerous social problems – from escalating domestic abuse to an untold amount of alcohol-related deaths.

Traditionally, Prohibition has been viewed as either a colorful aberration or an absolute failure. But it was neither.

The legislation that turned the nation "dry" was supported by more than 80% of Congress and ratified by no fewer than 90% of states. It was the result of a campaign lasting more than a century and succeeded in reducing alcohol consumption by two-thirds.

The adoption of Prohibition heralded one of the most affluent periods of American history.

Carrie Nation standing outside the E & C Cafe
on Public Square in Cleveland, 1907.
Photo: The Cleveland Press Collection