Prohibition: Legacy cover

Prohibition: Legacy

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Prohibition grew from Victorian-era temperance movements but was enacted in the Jazz Age. Passage of the 18th Amendment contributed to changes in the culture. Here, we'll explore it's legacy, from the "Blue Laws" to the creation of AA to the current rise of home brews and microbrews.





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Prohibition: Legacy

Legacy

Prohibition grew from Victorian-era temperance movements but was enacted in the Jazz Age. The country was experiencing

a period of economic prosperity, consumerism and an emphasis on leisure and recreation activities. Passage of the 18th Amendment contributed to changes in the culture. Prior to Prohibition, saloons were patronized almost exclusively by men. Speakeasies, however, were open to men and women. There was a drop in overall alcohol consumption, and a shift from primarily beer and wine consumption to cocktails. Distilled alcohol was easier to store and transport, and the added flavorings could mask the flavor of poor-quality alcohol.

With the fall of the stock market in 1929 and start of the Great Depression, economic factors contributed to efforts to repeal Prohibition. Repeal would provide jobs for the unemployed and a source of tax revenue.

Kentucky Moonshiners

Kentucky Moonshiners

State Theatre's off-site promotion for "Kentucky Moonshiners."

Courtesy of the University of Kentucky Special Collections Library.

"Blue Laws"

“Blue Laws” are laws originally designed to enforce compliance with Christian Sabbath, restricting some activities such as alcohol

consumption on Sundays, and requiring others, such as church attendance. The term “blue” is likely from 17th century use, meaning a rigid moral code. Several states still have blue laws in effect, restricting sale of alcohol on Sundays. The Supreme Court has interpreted current laws as secular – promoting a common “day of rest” – and so not a violation of separation of church and state. There remain towns and counties in the US where alcohol cannot be sold at all.

Bootleggers are Here

Bootleggers are Here

"Bootleggers Are Here, Let's Get Rid of Them," 1943.

Courtesy of the University of Kentucky Special Collections Library.

Taylor's Drive-In Liquor

Taylor's Drive-In Liquor

Taylor's Drive-In Liquor store, Frankfort, Kentucky, 1969.

Courtesy of the University of Kentucky Special Collections Library.

Let's Keep Saloons Out!

Let's Keep Saloons Out!

"Lets Keep Saloons Out...," 1946.

Courtesy of the University of Kentucky Special Collections Library.

Mutual Aid and Support Organizations

After the repeal of Prohibition, there was still concern for and a need to provide assistance to those suffering from alcohol addiction.

Social aid organizations formed to provide support for those trying to achieve sobriety. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), established in 1935, is one of the best known mutual aid movements. AA reports that it has helped over two million members. Its “Twelve Step” approach to recovery has been adopted by many other organizations seeking to help people end various dependencies.

Hear Ye!  Hear Ye!

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Invitation inviting "former residents, fellow AA's [Alcoholics Anonymous] and their friends" to a Hazelden Foundation event, 1954.

Courtesy of the Hazelden Foundation, Center City, Minnesota.

NCADD

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, inc. was founded in 1944. Its core beliefs are that alcoholism is a disease

that can be treated, a public health problem, and the public’s responsibility. NCADD serves not only individuals, but workplaces, schools, government, and many other organizations.

Treatment is available through some hospitals. Inpatient treatment usually includes physical and psychiatric care, detoxification, talk therapy, and introduction to AA. Outpatient treatment tends to work best for those with mild withdrawal symptoms, and includes counseling, medication, AA, and family involvement. While many treatment organizations hold fast to a program of abstinence, others believe moderation can be achieved.

Alcoholism is a Problem...

Alcoholism is a Problem...

"Alcoholism is a Problem..." 1973 article.

Courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Transportation Library.

Home Brews and Microbrews

Microbreweries flourished in the United States before Prohibition. Without refrigeration, beer would have gone bad

before it could be delivered any great distance, so most towns had a small brewery to serve the local population. Alcoholic beverages have been home-brewed for 7,000 years. During Prohibition, Americans continued home crafting beer and wine. While making beer was illegal, making wine and cider from fruit at home was protected under Section 29 of the Volstead Act. Post-prohibition, many home brewers began selling their beer at local bars, and the microbrewery was reborn.

Seeking Changes

Seeking Changes

"Home beer brewers seek changes to laws," 2012 newspaper article.

Courtesy of the University of Kentucky Special Collections Library.

The White House Beehive

Today, though states may restrict or prohibit the manufacture of alcoholic beverages, many people make beer, wine, cider,

and other fermented drinks at home. They are no longer permitted to sell their potables, as alcohol brewed for public consumption is subject to federal government excise taxes. According to the Brewers Association, there are 1,195 Brewpubs, 790 Microbreweries, and 90 Regional Craft Breweries in the United States, including one in the White House. President Obama brews three varieties of beer, all made with honey from the White House beehive.

Sign of Things to Come

Sign of Things to Come

"The Sign of Things to Come," 2001 article regarding the popularity of home brewing.

Courtesy of the University of Kentucky Special Collections Library.