September 1:


September 1: Prohibition Party formed

Organized by Rev. John Russell of Michigan, the Prohibition Party, whose cause was to prohibit the use of alcoholic beverages, came in to being on this day in 1869 at a convention in Chicago.  Delegates from 20 states were present.  Its conception was spurred by several factors including the failure of public officials to enforce existing prohibition laws, lack of support for prohibition by the Republican and Democratic parties and the outrageous formation of the United States Brewer’s Association.

Prohibition Party platforms frequently included prohibition of gambling, women’s suffrage, currency and prison reform and free public education.

The best showing occurred in 1892 with 271,000 votes received by John Bidwell for president.

The Party allied with other organizations whose goals were similar including the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and the Anti-Saloon League.

Their greatest victory occurred with grassroots pressure on national lawmakers.  Congress passed the 18th Amendment which prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages nationwide.  It was ratified in 1919.  Unfortunately for them, the Amendment was repealed in 1933.

Do you know the symbol for the Prohibition Party?