Today in Legal History: Prohibition

Nearly a century ago the Age of Prohibition was upon our nation.  On this very day, October 28, 1919, the Volstead Act was passed (over President Woodrow Wilson’s veto), making the production, sale and consumption of “intoxicating liquors” illegal across the country. It was named after the congressman who sponsored the legislation, Andrew Volstead.  The 18th Amendment was ratified in just 13 months.  And was repealed on December 5, 1933 when the 21st Amendment was ratified. The Prohibition Era ultimately strengthened organized crime, making men like Al Capone infamous.  Enforcement was difficult because gangs became so influential and powerful they were able to pay off law enforcement. Despite the law, bootleggers and speakeasies became very popular, and the 1920s even brought about the concept of “cocktail parties.” It’s safe to say that Sin City would probably be a very different place (if even a place at all) today if the Prohibition amendment was still active. On this legally symbolic day, we here at Pickard Parry Pfau remind everyone to enjoy their spirit of choice responsibly!