Anti-Saloon League - Atlantic City

Anti-Saloon League - Atlantic City American History Social Studies Visual Arts

This photograph depicts the Anti-Saloon League (ASL) of America during its Sixteenth Annual Convention between July 6-9, 1915.  The photo was taken in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The Library of Congress provides additional information about the organization:

The Anti-Saloon League, founded in Ohio in 1893 and organized as a national society in 1895, helped pave the way for passage of the Eighteenth Amendment with an effective campaign calling for prohibition at the state level.

By January 1920, thirty-three states had already enacted laws prohibiting alcohol. Between 1920 and 1933, the Anti-Saloon League lobbied for strict federal enforcement of the Volstead Act.

Members of the ASL believed that once Prohibition was enacted, and enforced, Americans would stop drinking alcoholic beverages.  Former President William Howard Taft, for one, believed that such thinking was completely unrealistic.  The law, he noted, had been passed even though many Americans disapproved.  Furthermore, Taft predicted who would eventually control the making, selling and transporting of liquor:

The business of manufacturing alcohol, liquor and beer will go out of the hands of law-abiding members of the community and will be transferred to the quasi-criminal classes.  (Former President William Howard Taft, quoted by Edward Behr in Prohibition: Thirteen Years that Changed America, at page 80.)

Even Taft, however, under-estimated the disastrous impact of Prohibition - the slide-show photos are from Life magazine - and the following are just a few statistics which reveal its damaging effects:

1920 - January 16.  Prohibition becomes the law of the land.  25 million gallons of alcohol are consumed illegally.  Another 30 million are sold legally, for "medicinal purposes."

1921 - The American Bar Association holds it annual meeting in Cincinnati, where nearly the entire police force is on the payroll of George Remus, the richest bootlegger of all time.

1928 - An estimated 50,000 people have died from alcohol poisoning since Prohibition was declared. 

1933 - Prohibition is repealed.  By this point, nearly 800 Chicago gangsters have been killed in bootleg-related shoot-outs.

(The above statistics are noted on the back cover of Prohibition: Thirteen Years that Changed America, by Edward Behr.)

Click on the image to expand the view.

Media Credits

Photo online, courtesy Library of Congress.

Quoted passages from Prohibition: Thirteen Years that Changed America, by Edward Behr.


To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Anti-Saloon League - Atlantic City" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Dec 10, 2019.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips