Missouri State Archives & Charter Media team up
Moments in Missouri Political History Video Segments

[ Transcript for: Prohibition ]

Prohibition video transcript


On May 27, 1919, Missouri Governor Frederic Gardner signed the act which enforced prohibition statewide, banning the sale, manufacture, transport of alcohol. Rather than completely ridding the state of alcohol, the brewery industry went underground and crime rates escalated as many men were sent to the state penitentiary for illegally manufacturing and transporting hooch and moonshine. In order to legally stay in business, the large breweries in St. Louis were forced to market non-alcoholic products such as ice cream, soft drinks, baker’s yeast and refrigerators. August Busch complained that prohibition only hurt those who were trying to legally sell alcohol and did nothing to stop the illegal marketing of alcohol by bootleggers. After nearly 14 years of attempted dryness, prohibition was ultimately seen as a failure and was repealed by the 21st Amendment.