Alcohol Awareness Classes Were No Part of Volstead Act

by: Mike Miller

Let's look at some interesting facts about the Volstead Act and things that happened during Prohibition.

In the previous entry, we discovered that the act that banned alcohol in the country was named for a man who could have cared less whether or not people drank alcohol.

Did you know that the Act also included a clause that insured that there was “an ample supply of alcohol…to promote its use in scientific research and the development of fuel, dye and other lawful industries”? So, while banning alcohol, the act also insured there was an ample supply.

It has been speculated that a primary reason this law passed in the first place was due to the vague wording. The very fine print is where the true intent of the law is revealed. As we know with our elected representatives today, they do not read the legislation thoroughly. Today’s congressmen and senators have ample staff to go through the material, a luxury not available to elected officials in 1919. The fine print of the bill outlawed intoxicating beverages with an alcohol content greater than 0.5 percent – about the same as sauerkraut.

The majority of congressmen who supported the bill believed that beer and fortified wines would still be allowed. Oops – you should have read the whole bill!

We will continue to look at the Volstead Act and Prohibition in the next blog.