My name is Vince Peterson.
I live in South Bend, Indiana, USA and I am a retired university professor.
I was born into a Good Templar family in 1936 shortly after Prohibition ended in America (1933). In April of 2012 I will be a
member of IOGT for 70 years.
The subject of prohibition has been a topic of much discussion across the USA this month because of a 5-½ hour TV documentary by Ken Burns presented on Oct. 2, 3, & 4.
The film, entitled PROHIBITION, tells the story of the rise and fall of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This event was the culmination of nearly a century of activism, and in contrast to the politics of today, it had broad support from people from the far left to the far right of the political population.
Prohibition was intended to improve, even to ennoble, the lives of all Americans, to protect individuals, families, and society at large from the devastating effects of alcohol abuse. However, for many reasons, it didn’t work and was repealed.
We are now living in the aftermath of this inglorious affair in which none of the major problems that were to have been addressed by this amendment were effectively addressed. In fact, the feeling is often that we went through that prohibition experience and now everything is ok.
The major beneficiaries of the whole event seem to be the alcohol industry and NASCAR, the stock car racing association. Many farmers in the south, “souped-up” their cars so that they could very quickly take their home brewing equipment away from the federal alcohol agents who would confiscate it. Some of these cars and their drivers became the beginning of the national racing association.