Ratified on January 16, 1919, the 18th Amendment prohibited the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors". This guide compiles Library of Congress digital materials, external websites, and a print bibliography related to Prohibition.

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Author: Ken Drexler, Reference Specialist, Researcher and Reference Services Division​

Created: January 14, 2020

Last Updated: January 14, 2020


The 18th Amendment to the Constitution prohibited the "manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors..." and was ratified by the states on January 16, 1919. The movement to prohibit alcohol began in the United States in the early nineteenth century. On October 28, 1919, Congress passed the Volstead Act, which provided for the enforcement of the 18th Amendment. Prohibition ended on December 5, 1933, with the ratification of the 21st Amendment


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Prohibition officers raiding the lunch room of 922 Pa. Ave., Wash., D.C. April 25, 1923. National Photo Company Collection. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.


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Underwood & Underwood, photographer. Putting a kick in the staid old Schuylkill here go a few barrels of beer -- not 1/2 of 1 percent -- into the Schuylkill River. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

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New York City Deputy Police Commissioner John A. Leach, right, watching agents pour liquor into sewer following a raid during the height of prohibition. <1921?>. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.


Subjects: American History, American Law, Government, Political Science, Primary Documents in American History