Prohibition

In 1919, after decades of a national temperance campaign urging voluntary abstinence from alcohol, voters ratified the 18th amendment prohibiting alcohol’s manufacture and sale. A demand for sober workers during wartime helped usher in the amendment during World War I. New York City, with its famed nightlife and saloon culture, was at the center of the debate that continued to rage after the enactment of “Prohibition.” ... Read More

Meet the Activists

  • William H. Anderson
    William H. Anderson
  • Ella Boole
    Ella Boole
  • Pauline Sabin
    Pauline Sabin
  • MRS. CHRISTIAN R. HOLMES
    Mrs. Christian R. Holmes

Key Events

Global Events
Local Events

1842 The Sons of Temperance organization is founded in New York

1873 Women’s Christian Temperance Union is founded in Ohio, operates internationally

1914 William Anderson assumes control of the New York Anti-Saloon League, heightening the statewide campaign against Prohibition

1917 Alcohol is banned for soldiers

1917 The United States enters World War I

1920 The 18th amendment, prohibiting the manufacturing, transportation, and sale of alcohol in the United States, goes into effect

1921 Thousands of New Yorkers march up Fifth Avenue to protest Prohibition

1923 Al Smith signs bill to repeal the Mullan-Gage Law, ending local enforcement of Prohibition

1929 New Yorker Pauline Sabin founds the Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform (WONPR) with 12 other women

1932 Presidential candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt publicly opposes Prohibition, and once elected, begins to legalize certain forms of alcohol

1933 Two-thirds of states ratify the 21st amendment, repealing the 18th amendment

Key Events

1842 The Sons of Temperance organization is founded in New York
1873
Women’s Christian Temperance Union is founded in Ohio, operates internationally
1914 William Anderson assumes control of the New York Anti-Saloon League, heightening the statewide campaign against Prohibition
1917
The United States enters World War I
1917
Alcohol is banned for soldiers
1920
The 18th amendment, prohibiting the manufacturing, transportation, and sale of alcohol in the United States, goes into effect
1921 Thousands of New Yorkers march up Fifth Avenue to protest Prohibition
1923 Al Smith signs bill to repeal the Mullan-Gage Law, ending local enforcement of Prohibition
1929 New Yorker Pauline Sabin founds the Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform (WONPR) with 12 other women
1932
Presidential candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt publicly opposes Prohibition, and once elected, begins to legalize certain forms of alcohol
1933
Two-thirds of states ratify the 21st amendment, repealing the 18th amendment