From Ohio History Central
President Woodrow Wilson is seen visiting Columbus, Ohio on December 10, 1915.
The Volstead Act, also known as the National Prohibition Act, established the legal basis for the federal government to enforce the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which prohibited the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within the United States and its territories.
On October 28, 1919, the United States Congress implemented the Volstead Act over President Woodrow Wilson's veto. The Volstead Act defined beer, wine, and other types of liquor as being illegal in the United States if the alcohol content of those beverages exceeded one-half of one percent. The Volstead Act defined exactly what an intoxicating liquor was. In conjunction with the Eighteenth Amendment, the Volstead Act ushered in the Prohibition Era in the United States.
Prohibition divided Ohioans. While voters in many communities, including Westerville, openly embraced the Volstead Act and the Eighteenth Amendment, other Ohioans liked to drink alcohol and actively campaigned against the amendment's ratification. The amendment found especially strong support in rural areas, where Methodism and other evangelical religious groups dominated. Urban Ohioans proved to be much more opposed to Prohibition. Undoubtedly, this was because a majority of bars, distilleries, and breweries were located in urban areas. Illustrating this division within the state, when Ohio voters voted to ratify the Eighteenth Amendment, the issue carried by only 25,759 votes.
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