Media of Prohibition

Prohibition is an awful flop.
We like it
It can't stop what it's meant to stop.
We like it
It's left a trail of graft and slime,
It's filled our land with vice and crime,
It don't prohibit worth a dime,
Nevertheless we're for it.

Although the nation regards the Library of Congress as one of the nation's largest libraries of books, it has several other materials that help preserve the history of our nation. The following songs were recorded and digitalized on the internet to help further our study of the Prohibition era.

Duke Rogers is credited with "Save a Little Dram For Me" from 1922

Listen to "Save a Little Dram for Me

Charles Fulton was a janitor from Zanesville, Ohio. He traveled to California in 1909, and thirty years later in 1939, some of his songs were recorded. He is heard in the following songs, in which he accompanies himself on the piano. The recordings took place on August 15, 1939.

Listen to "Goodbye Booze"

Listen to Other Recordings by Charles Fulton

William A. Phelon was born in 1871, and lived his life as a sports writer. He wrote many poems, however one that he wrote that deals with prohibition, is entitled, "The Last Wave (Before Prohibition)" It reads:

IN SOLID ranks the bottles stood,
Backed by the labels, "From the wood"-
The clink of glassware pleased the ear,
The flashing colors brought good cheer-
Up from the cellar-heavy task-
The porters hustled keg and cask,
While eager thirsts, in dense array,
Pressed forward for the final day-
Last day when anyone could steep
Himself in joy, with prices cheap!
They came-with money in the hand-
To purchase each some favorite brand-
They went-the setting sun gleamed on
Flask, bottle, jug and demi-john,
While the procession hit the trail,
Plus heavy loads and minus kale!

With lowering brows each angered "dry"
Saw the parade pass mocking by,
And then smiled grimly-for they knew
A few short months-'twill all be through-
'Twill be all gone-there'll be no more,
And thirsty ones in vain may roar!
Night came-the tax went on at last-
The final wave had surged and passed!

In Phelon's poem, he says, "A few short months - 'twill all be through-." That's what many people thought at the time; that this "Great Experiment" would all be over soon. However, Phelon died in 1925, and was not able to see the end of prohibition.
William Cahill as "Donnie Donahue" explains the "impact" of Prohibition on the Irish. This is a comedic monologue which pokes fun not only at the Irish stereotypes, but the society of the time.

Monologue on Prohibition

Along with poems, music, and monologues, cartoons also help us to look at the time of Prohibition. The following are some examples of cartoons of the time.

Even the beloved Dr. Seuss was in on political cartoons about Prohibition. To see other Dr. Seuss political cartoons, click here.

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