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prohibition

  • North Dakota enacted prohibition within its borders upon entering as a state in 1889. Of course, many continued to illegally sell and transport liquor. In March 1915, the North Dakota legislature approved House Bill 114, which defined the crime of bootlegging and clarified the punishment for violations.
  • On this date in 1917, Williston had a bit to boast about within the walls of its county jail. The Williston Graphic reported: “It is not every county jail in the state that can boast of an artist (yes, a really truly [good] artist that paints color and pen and ink sketches that sell on their own merit), [but] Williston can.”
  • During the its early years, Bismarck was right on the heels of Deadwood in lawlessness, violence and the selling of liquor. But, by the early 1900s, some residents felt it was time to actually enforce prohibition. Saloons that carried on in secret were called “blind pigs,” and their beverages were either illegally produced locally or smuggled in from Canada.
  • North Dakota entered the United States as a dry state in 1889, several decades before the 18th Amendment was fully ratified in 1919, making prohibition country-wide. Tales of bootleggers, rum runners, and blind pigs populate the history of the country during these years, including in North Dakota. Yet on this date in 1931, a survey out of Washington D.C. stated that the prohibition situation in North Dakota was "encouraging." The Bismarck Tribune reported that the survey described North Dakota rather blandly as making "wonderful progress under the state and federal prohibition."
  • North Dakota strictly upheld prohibition laws after entering as a dry state when it joined the union in 1889. However, some residents had a hard time abiding by this law. Such was the case on this date in 1894, involving a man by the name of Major Fawcett. Though it may seem strange, that was his legal name, as confirmed by naturalization records bearing his signature from 1888, making him an official US citizen.
  • Recollections of moonshine and Prohibition are shared by people in southwestern North Dakota.
  • When it was part of Dakota Territory, what we now know as North Dakota had a reputation as a wild place where saloons and saloon girls flourished. As the…
  • In January 1890, North Dakota was just a few months old. In voting to approve the constitution the people also voted in favor of prohibition.…
  • On this date in 1906, the Hope Pioneer reported on a meeting of the local Women’s Christian Temperance Union. The purpose of the organization was to…
  • The Germans were steadily being forced back towards their homeland, giving up much of the territory they had gained since 1914. As the Allies advanced,…