1918 : Michigan Voters Adopt Prohibition Before the Country as a Whole!

May 1, 2022 all-day

Michigan voters approved a prohibition amendment to the State’s constitution before national prohibition became effective. However, home production of alcohol and speakeasies quickly became popular.

At downtown Detroit’s Richter’s Café on State Street, a single empty bottle hung suspended upside-down from a swathe of black crepe. Pinned to the bottle was a bedraggled bouquet of faded asters dimly lit by a red lantern. The doors were locked, the windows shuttered, and the lights extinguished inside.

King Alcohol was dead.

Michigan’s May 1, 1918 enactment of Prohibition made Detroit the first major city to abolish alcohol. The factors leading up to the law had as much to do with political and economic machinations as with moral and social influences.

Sources :

Michigan Historical Calendar, courtesy of the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University.

To Drink or Not to Drink, Historically Speaking, Detroit News Photo Gallery.

Mickey Lyons, “Dry Times: Looking Back 100 Years After Prohibition“, Hour Detroit, April 30, 2018.

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