1919 - Prohibition

Prohibition begins with the ratification of the 18th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution on January 16, 1919, effective January 16, 1920.

18th Amendment

Retrieved from the National Archives: https://www.docsteach.org/

Pennsylvania did not take Prohibition lying down.

“What right does a Prohibitionist in Kansas or Alabama or Maine to command a steelworker in my district who faces 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit heat at the furnace door that he may not have his beer when his heat is ended?”

— Congressman Andrew Barchfield of Pittsburgh

Quoted in Prohibition Pittsburgh, by Richard Gazarik, p. 12.

A Treasury official observed,

“We’ve got Prohibition in Pittsburgh only on paper.”

Thirty railcars containing beer arrived in Pittsburgh weekly.

Pittsburgh was seen as the:

“Great Wet Way”

and the

“Drinkingest town in the west”

Quoted in Prohibition Pittsburgh, by Richard Gazarik, p. 60.

Carrie Nation was a leader in the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. She stood six feet tall and weighed 180 pounds. Her method for dissuading people from drinking was “hatchetations,” using her hatchet to smash up bars. Carrie made multiple trips to Pittsburgh. She told a reporter that Pittsburgh was

“the worst place I’d ever seen… All the young men in this city are going to hell. The young women, too…”

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