1910 : Ingham County, Along with 35 other Michigan Counties, Vote for Prohibition

April 4, 2023 all-day

Lansing is Dry post card, post marked “May 1910”, courtesy of Seeking Michigan

On April 4, 1910, Michigan held a major election. Ingham was one of thirty-six Michigan counties to include a local prohibition option on the ballot. It passed. Ingham then became a “dry county,” where alcoholic beverages were illegal. Such local option elections were quite common in the decade before 1920, when national prohibition began.

On April 5, 1910 a local newspaper, the State Republican reported that fifty-two Ingham County saloons would be out of business for at least two years. At that point, the local option prohibition would be subject to a new vote.

That new vote did occur in 1912, and this time, the “dry” forces lost. It proved to be a short-lived defeat. Ingham again went dry in 1914, and voters renewed prohibition in 1916. That same year, Michigan voters approved statewide prohibition, which went into effect in 1918. The Michigan Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional in 1919, but, this “wet” victory was short lived. An amendment to the U.S. constitution brought national prohibition into effect in 1920. It remained in effect until 1933, when the amendment was repealed. With a few exceptional years aside, alcohol was illegal in Ingham County for over two decades.

Source: Bob Garrett, “Lansing is Dry!”, Seeking Michigan, May 25, 2010.

For more books about Prohibition, visit Prohibition–United States

We also have some films:

Prohibition / a production of Florentine Films and WETA Television ; written by Geoffrey C. Ward ; produced by Sarah Botstein, Lynn Novick and Ken Burns ; directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.

Prohibition : thirteen years that changed America / History Channel ; director, Clive Maltby ; producer, Charlotte Moore ; writer, Marius Brill ; produced by Atlantic Productions for BBC Wales and A&E Network.

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