Wisconsin ratifies 18th Amendment for Prohibition

Wisconsin Gov. Emmanuel Philipp, second from right, ratifies the 18th Amendment, which made Prohibition law, on Jan. 17, 1919. 

This State Journal editorial ran on Jan. 14, 1919, just three days before Wisconsin ratified the 18th Amendment, prohibiting the sale, manufacturer and distribution of alcoholic beverages:

By the end of this week, in all probability, the national prohibition amendment will be passed. In facing this vote, Wisconsin is put to the test for real progressivism. And our lawmakers will stand the test. Wisconsin will not be found among those who oppose this great progressive issue. Wisconsin will ratify. ...

No institution has been as destructive as the liquor traffic. The saloon has been the enemy of industry. It has weakened efficiency, and it has been the cesspool in which politics has been polluted. It has prospered by wrecking prosperity. It has grown affluent by debasing men. ...

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As a last wild wail, the liquor traffic sends out an “SOS” appeal to the legislators declaring the amendment is confiscation. IT IS. It is the confiscation of the burglar business that reaches into homes and robs the hearth of both its sanctity and happiness. It is the confiscation of that business that has plead for privilege of being taxed that it could find an excuse for existence to put in the voters’ hands. It is the confiscation of the enterprise that has for years been in the business of corrupting government.

The time has come when it must and will be confiscated, and it will never be allowed to live again.

Wisconsin will again prove true to her FORWARD declaration and will take her proud place among the first 36 states to ratify this greatest of all progressive measures.

Capital W: Plug in to Wisconsin politics

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