Congress in 1917 passed a constitutional amendment declaring it illegal to make, transport, or sell alcohol in the United States. States ratified the 18th amendment, also known as the Prohibition Law, in 1919.
John St. John: Kansas Governor(1876-1883)
Six years before Kansas became a state, a group smashed a saloon in Lawrence. Later on, Kansas became the first state to constitutionally outlaw the manufacture or sale of alcohol(38 years before the U.S. amended the U.S. Constitution to prohibit alcohol), and by the mid 1870s, the Kansas Republican Party had taken on many of the values associated with temperance. Kansas voters even elected John St. John as governor, a republican prohibitionist.
Fun Fact: John St. John ran for president of the United States on the Prohibition Party ticket, but didn't win.
"Could we but dry up this one great evil that consumes annually so much wealth, and destroys the physical, moral and mental usefulness of its victims, we should hardly need prisons, poor houses or police" - John St. John
Many saloons refused to close and sold alcohol illegally, other men becoming criminals and selling and consuming alcohol in the forms of trades, gangs, and alliances. Some decided to take this issue into their own hands, such as Carrie A. Nation.
Carrie A. Nation(1846-1911)
Carry A. Nation had a reputation as a lecturer, speaking against tobacco and alcohol. She also helped organize a local Women's Temperance Union, and worked with those in prison and the poor and needy. Nation came to believe that alcohol could rob a man of his money and sometimes push him to a life of crime. It is also believed that Nation blamed alcohol for her first husband's death. She believed that radical actions were necessary.
Nation began smashing saloons as her career. First, her and her followers used stones and bricks. Eventually, she began using a hatchet, which later became known as her trademark. She is also known to walk into bars and greet bartenders with a, "Good morning, destroyers of men's souls."
Fun Fact: Small pins in the shape of hatchets were sold to raise money to pay for Nation's jail fines.
Known as the Volstead act(October, 1919), named after Judiciary Chairman Andrew Volstead of Minnesota, this law was introduced by the House to implement the Prohibition Amendment by defining the process and procedures for banning alcoholic beverages, as well as their production and distribution. When Volstead introduced an earlier version of the law in May of 1919, democrats countered with the "wet law". The battle between the two sides became known as the "wets" against the "bone-drys". The act remained in effect until the 21st amendment repealed it and the 18th amendment.