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Anti-Saloon League

The Anti Saloon League, founded in 1893 in Oberlin, Ohio began life as a state organization. Its first offices were in Columbus, Ohio; in 1909, the League moved to nearby Westerville, Ohio where it also operated the American Issue Publishing Company. After 1895, however, the League became a powerful national organization. The League was a non-partisan organization that focused on the single issue of prohibition. The League had branches across the United States to work with churches in marshalling resources for the prohibition fight. In 1913, in a 20th anniversary convention held in Columbus, Ohio, the League announced its campaign to achieve national prohibition through a constitutional amendment. Allied with other temperance forces, especially the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, the League in 1916 oversaw the election of the two-thirds majorities necessary in both houses of Congress to initiate what became the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Although before the United States entered the First World War prohibition was widely popular in the United States, mobilization provided the League and its allies with a boost in the quest to persuade Americans to support constitutional prohibition. Mobilization called for sacrifice, for supporting the soldiers, and the dry forces quickly capitalized on the patriotic emotions surrounding the war effort.

Note: The Anti-Saloon League Web Site is an excellent resource maintained by the Westerville Public Library in Ohio. Westerville also has an Anti-Saloon League museum.