Andrew Joseph Volstead
VOLSTEAD ACT. The Eighteenth Amendment (ratified 29 January 1919) needed enforcement, and in October 1919 Congress passed the National Prohibition Act, introduced by Representative Andrew J. Volstead of Minnesota. President Woodrow Wilson vetoed the measure on 27 October, but Congress overrode the veto the next day. The act fixed penalties for liquor sales; provided for injunctions against establishments found selling liquor; contained a search and seizure clause; and, oddly, continued the taxation of alcoholic beverages. It permitted the retention of private stocks of liquor bought before the act went into effect, and allowed beer manufacturing, on condition that brewers reduce the alcoholic content to 0.5 percent before sale.
Alvin F.Harlow/c. w.
Volstead, Andrew Joseph
Andrew Joseph Volstead (vŏl´stĕd), 1860–1947, American legislator, b. Goodhue co., Minn. A lawyer, he held several local offices in Minnesota before serving (1903–23) in the U.S. House of Representatives. He sponsored many measures in Congress and became a national figure as the author of the Volstead Act. Officially the National Prohibition Act of 1919, the federal law (passed over the veto of President Wilson) made provisions for the enforcement of the Eighteenth Amendment. The act defined an intoxicating beverage as one containing more than .5% alcohol by volume. It also gave federal agents the power to investigate and prosecute violations of the amendment. The act was modified (1933) in order to permit the sale of 3.2% beer and wine, and became void after the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment late in 1933. See also prohibition.
See J. A. Krout, Origins of Prohibition (1925, repr. 1967); A. Sinclair, Prohibition (1962, repr. 1964).
Volstead Act is the popular name for the National Prohibition Act (41 Stat. 305), a comprehensive statute that was enacted to enforce the eighteenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution and to prohibit the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors. The act was rendered inoperative by passage of the twenty-first amendment, which repealed prohibition.
Volstead Act: see under Volstead, Andrew Joseph.