Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 24° Clear
News >  Spokane

100 years ago: Prohibition goes nationwide with passage of 18th Amendment

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 20, 2019

Prohibition was declared on a nationwide scale when the U.S. Congress formally enacted the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Jan. 29, 1919. The newspaper also reported that the Wobblies and other radical groups had set “the day” when they intended to “overthrow” the U.S. government and declare a Soviet system. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Prohibition was declared on a nationwide scale when the U.S. Congress formally enacted the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Jan. 29, 1919. The newspaper also reported that the Wobblies and other radical groups had set “the day” when they intended to “overthrow” the U.S. government and declare a Soviet system. (Spokesman-Review archives)

The national “death warrant” for John Barleycorn (alcohol) was finally signed.

Prohibition was declared on a nationwide scale when the U.S. Congress formally enacted the 18th Amendment to the Constitution.

The impact was minor in Washington state, which had begun statewide prohibition in 1916. Nevertheless, it was considered the ultimate victory in the long battle of the “wets” vs. the “drys.”

It was not, in fact, the ultimate victory. The 18th Amendment would be repealed in 1933.

From the Wobbly beat: The Spokane Daily Chronicle breathlessly reported that the Wobblies and other radical groups had set “the day” when they intended to “overthrow” the U.S. government and declare a soviet system.

However, police did not know which day would be “the day.”

The Chronicle said that Spokane’s Commissioner of Public Safety J.H. Tilsley had uncovered numerous references to “the day” in papers seized in a Wobbly raid.

Tilsley said that he had received information that “a serious attempt is being made to form ’soviets,’ ” in Portland, Seattle and Tacoma, and that “Spokane is included in the program of organization.” One of the organizers, said Tilsley, tried unsuccessfully to create such a “soviet” two weeks earlier at a Spokane socialist forum.

None of the Wobblies arrested in the Spokane raid was willing to tell authorities what date “the day” might refer to.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.


Annual health and dental insurance enrollment period open now

 (Courtesy Washington Healthplanfinder)
Sponsored

2020 has been a stressful year for myriad reasons.