By John Moser

One hundred years ago, on Oct. 28, the Volstead Act — or National Prohibition Act — was passed.

The act created a legal mechanism to enforce the 18th Amendment, which prohibited “the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors.”

The quiz below, from the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio, provides an opportunity for you to test your knowledge of Prohibition.

1. In what year was the 18th Amendment, also called the Prohibition Amendment, ratified?

On January 29, 1919, Congress ratified the 18th Amendment, which prohibited the manufacturing, transportation and sale of alcohol within the United States; it would go into effect the following January. (History)

2. Which constitutional amendment repealed the 18th Amendment?

The Twenty-first Amendment (Amendment XXI) to the United States Constitution repealed the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which had mandated nationwide Prohibition on alcohol. (Wikipedia)

3. The Volstead Act was named after Congressman Andrew John Volstead. Volstead represented what state?

Andrew John Volstead (October 31, 1860 – January 20, 1947) was an American member of the United States House of Representatives from Minnesota, 1903–1923, and a member of the Republican Party. His name is closely associated with the National Prohibition Act of 1919, usually called the Volstead Act. (Wikipedia)

4. The social movement to moderate or eliminate alcohol consumption was referred to as what?

The temperance movement is a social movement against the consumption of alcoholic beverages. (Wikipedia)

5. Prohibition gave rise to secret bars and nightclubs that illegally sold alcoholic beverages? What were they called?

A speakeasy, also called a blind pig or blind tiger, is an illicit establishment that sells alcoholic beverages. Such establishments came into prominence in the United States during the Prohibition era (1920–1933, longer in some states). (Wikipedia)

6. “Bootlegging,” the illegal making and selling of liquor during the Prohibition era, helped fuel the rise of organized crime groups, referred to collectively as “the Mob.” Which of the following men was not a “mobster”?

Isidor "Izzy" Einstein (1880–1938) and Moe W. Smith (1887–1960) were United States federal police officers, agents of the U.S. Prohibition Unit. (Wikipedia)

7. Certain professions were still allowed to dispense alcohol based on language in the Volstead Act. Which profession was not included?

8. Because of the Great Depression, repealing Prohibition to help the economy was a major presidential campaign issue in the 1932 election. Who won that election?

The election took place against the backdrop of the Great Depression. Incumbent Republican President Herbert Hoover was defeated in a landslide by Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Governor of New York. (Wikipedia)

9. Before ratification of the 18th Amendment, several states had bans on selling alcohol. Which state was the first to pass such a law?

10. The Volstead Act instructed states to enforce Prohibition, rather than relying solely on federal agents. Which state never put enforcement efforts into effect?

Neither federal nor local authorities would commit the resources necessary to enforce the Volstead Act. For example, the state of Maryland refused to pass any enforcement issue. (

Answers: 1-D, 2-A, 3-C, 4-C, 5-D, 6-B, 7-D, 8-C, 9-A, 10-B

About the Author 

John Moser is a professor of history at Ashland University and co-chair of the Ashbrook Center’s Master of Arts in American History and Government program for teachers. He wrote this for

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