Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Nation Goes Dry! -- January 16, 2019

Seattle Star, 16-January-1919
When the state of Nebraska approved the 18th Amendment 100 years ago today, the amendment was ratified and it became part of the constitution of the United States.  


Prohibition Amendment Is 18th Added to Constitution of U. S.

The prohibition amendment is the eighteenth added to the federal Constitution taken for ratification follow:
Provisions of the 18 amendments with the length of time
-- First 10 amendments, known as the "bill of rights," provided guarantees, such as free speech; ratified in nine months
-- Eleventh amendment established sovereignty of states; ratified in four years.
-- Twelfth amendment changed method of presidential election; ratified in one year.
-- Thirteenth amendment prohibited slavery; ratified In slightly less than a year.
-- Fourteenth amendment made negroes citizens; ratified in two years.
-- Fifteenth amendment enfranchised negroes on same bases as white persons; ratified in one year.
-- Sixteenth amendment allowed congress to levy income tax; ratified in three and a half years.
-- Seventeenth amendment provides for popular election of senators. ratified in slightly less* than a year.
-- Eighteenth amendment makes country dry; ratified in one year and four weeks.

About one hundred amendments have been proposed in congress, but only four besides those ratified were submitted to the states.

WASHINGTON. Jan. 16. -- Prohibition became part of the basic law of the United States today. Ratification of the federal amendment by the Nebraska legislature makes that measure the eighteenth amendment to the federal constitution.

All but a half dozen of the 48 states are expected to adopt the amendment In the next few weeks, but the action of Nebraska today gives the ratification of three-fourths of the states, the number necessary to administer "John Barleycorn" the knockout punch.

Effective In Year

One year from today every saloon, brewery, distillery and wine press in the land must close its doors unless, as now seems likely, they are already closed at that time by war prohibition which goes into effect next July 1. and stays until completion of demobilization.

While the federal amendment will not go into effect for a year, the country may be dry from July 1, 1919, on.

On that day. the war prohibition measure is to go into effect. That law provides that it is to stay in effect until demobilization of the American forces. Demobilization is not expected to be completed till after the federal amendment goes in force. Thus, unless congress now repeals the war measure, the country will be dry permanently, beginning July 1.

The amendment which outlaws liquor In this country reads:
"Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article, the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof, for beverage purposes, are hereby prohibited.
"Section 2. The congress and the several states have the concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
"Section 3. The article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the constitution by the legislatures of the several states as provided by the constitution within seven years of the date of submission hereof to the states by congress."

This is the amendment adopted by congress December 18, 1917, and ratified by 36 states a little more than one year later.

And here are some of the things that the amendment will do:
Wipe out at a stroke 236 distilleries. 992 breweries, and over 300,000 saloons and wholesale liquor establishments. forcing their employes to seek other jobs.

Cut off from these persons annual incomes totaling more than $70,000,000 in pre-war times.

Cut off from the United States treasury a source of taxation counted upon for an even billion dollars in the first drafts of the new revenue bill and millions in additional incomes to state treasuries.

Remove the liquor question from national, state and city politics for all time and keep decreasing city, state and federal expense by decreasing law violations.

The fight on liquor, triumphant to-day, is as old as the constitution itself.

"A Crank Notion"

It raised its head early in the Nineteenth century and was looked upon as "another crank notion."

But it gathered strength. Churches took it up, doctors followed, and then came organizations of anti-liquor societies and the Anti-saloon league and others.

In the middle of the Nineteenth century Maine went dry. Kansas followed. At the end of the civil war the little band of anti-slave agitators who had won their fight seriously considered turning to the prohibition battle. William Lloyd Garrison and the poet, Whittier.

About 1909 came the "militant" stage in the person of Carrie Nation of Kansas, probably the most picturesque figure the fight ever developed.

Ten years later the crusade against liquor had grown from the "ravings of cranks" to an irresistable movement that swept the country.

But John Barleycorn will try to stage a "comeback." Distillers are already planning a fight on the ground that it was not adopted by two-thirds of the whole congress, and that the seven-year limitation in it invalidates the measure.

Drys say they are confident that neither of these contentions will hold, and on their side are preparing legislation carrying heavy penalties for violation of prohibition. A special agency in the internal revenue bureau will probably be asked.

The 36 states ratifying the amendment are:
Mississippi, Virginia, Kentucky, North Dakota, South Carolina, Maryland, Montana, Texas, Delaware, South Dakota, Massachusetts, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Maine, Idaho, West Virginia, Washington, Tennessee, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Alabama, Kansas, California, Colorado, Iowa, Oregon, Utah, New Hampshire and Nebraska.

Congressional dry leaders, informed by the United Press of the ratification by the 36th state, were jubilant.

Representative Randall, California and Senator Sheppard, Texas, leaders in the fight for the amendment announced its ratification when house and senate met

The next step, they announced, will be preparation of a new code of laws to make prohibition effective. This will include new criminal statutes for punishing violators.

Sheppard said developments of his code will probably have to await the arising of conditions induced by prohibition.

He and other dry leaders, however will prepare laws covering prohibition and will endeavor to have this passed by the time prohibition becomes effective a year from today.

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