|Speeding-Up 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."
Seeing no use for the measure, President Wilson was very reluctant to sign the bill, but sign it he did. June 31, 1918 proved to be a hectic day in cities all across the nation, as immigrant and native alike scurried to buy what they thought would be their last bottle. Little did they know that Prohibition would be with them for the next twelve years.
Shall Literature Go Dry, too? (Literary Digest, 1919)
Published at a time when America stood so reluctantly on the doorstep of the Prohibition era, an unnamed editor at THE LITERARY DIGEST compiled a number of quotes from numerous literary sources as if to illustrate the deep roots the Western world of belles-lettres has invested in the culture of alcohol.
Beer Flowed the Week Prohibition Ended
(Literary Digest, 1933)
The attached article is composed of numerous newspaper observations that appeared in print throughout April of 1933; these perceptions all pertain to the goings on that followed in the joyous wake of Prohibition's demise:
"'The return of beer has really been a remarkable phenomenon,' says THE NEW YORK EVENING POST.
'Not one of the bad effects predicted for it actually took place'."
Mabel Walker Willebrandt Takes On Prohibition (Collier's Magazine, 1924)
An article about Mabel Willebrandt (1889 - 1963), the Assistant Attorney General of the United States between the years 1921 through 1929, her tremendous successes in the past and her ambitions to hold fast in the enforcement of the Volstead Act:
"'Give me the authority and let me have my pick of 300 men and I'll make this country as dry as it is humanly possible to get it,' she said without the slightest trace of braggadocio. 'There's one way it can be done: get at the source of supply. I know them, I have no patience with this policy of going after the hip-pocket and speakeasy cases. That's like trying to dry up the Atlantic ocean with a blotter.'"
When Mrs. Willebrandt stepped down some seven years after this article went to press, she questioned the willingness of the nation's law enforcement agencies to see the job through.
A Prohibition Reminiscence (Rob Wagner's Script Magazine, 1945)
A reminiscence by screen writer, artist and all-around literary misfit Rob Wagner (1872 - 1942) as he recalled the bad old days of 1918, when he was hoodwinked into believing that the widespread prohibition of alcohol would help achieve an Allied victory in World War I. When the war ended and time passed, he noticed how the Noble Experiment was evolving into something quite different, and how it was altering not only his friends and neighbors, but American culture as a whole.
"Before Prohibition, the average business or professional man, never dreamed of drinking spirits during the working day...Now, however, a full grown man with the sparkle in his eye of a naughty sophomore, will meet you on Spring Street at eleven in the morning, slap you on the back, and ask you to duck up to his office where he will uncork his forbidden treasure..."