5 surprising facts about Prohibition


  1. Everyone knows Prohibition was the period in US history where it was illegal to drink alcohol, right? Wrong. It was never illegal to actually consume alcohol, but it was illegal to sell, make and transport it. Doctors could still subscribe alcohol to their patients, and it could be purchased legally from a pharmacy.


  1. Prohibitionists believed strong measures should be taken against anyone who broke the law and suggested an array of harsh and peculiar punishments. These suggestions included: being hung by the tongue under an aeroplane and flown over the country; sterilization; being forced to be tattooed; or placed in bottle-shaped cages in public squares. There was even talk of the government distributing poisoned alcoholic beverages.


  1. There was a rumour going around during Prohibition that the alcohol in antifreeze could be made safe if it was filtered through a loaf of bread. Unsurprisingly this didn’t work and many people ended up seriously ill or dead from trying.


  1. The most fervent supporters of Prohibition were the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, a group of wives and mothers whose lives had been destroyed by an excess of alcohol. However, it also had another group of famous supporters – the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).


  1. Supporters were so committed to the 18th Amendment that they even attempted to have the Bible rewritten to remove all mentions of alcohol. This would have resulted in a very different version of the Last Supper!


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