The campaign to pass the 21st Amendment to repeal Prohibition

Ratification Will Not be a Walk-over!! [:] IF YOU WANT THE EIGHTEENTH AMENDMENT REPEALED HELP US TO HELP THE GRAY STATES. New York: Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform, [mid-1933.]
Broadside, 11”h x 8 ½”w on thin stock, uncolored. Old folds, small area of discoloration, and typed and penciled figures on verso.

An unrecorded handbill issued by the Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform during the nationwide campaign for the 21st Amendment. With a simple-but-effective persuasive map of the prospects for ratification in each state.

On February 20, 1933 Congress passed the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, whose core clause repealed the 18th Amendment, passage of which had led to national Prohibition. The Amendment was then sent to for ratification by state conventions. This handbill was issued some time in mid-1933, after 19 of the necessary 36 states had voted to ratify. It features a small outline map of the United States, with each state shaded according to the Amendment’s prospects there: “Wet” states that had voted to ratify (white); states with “good,” “hopeful” or “doubtful” prospects (shaded from light to dark); and the confirmed “dry” states of Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma. Below the map is the exhortation “If you want the Eighteenth Amendment repealed help us to help the gray [i.e., shaded] states.”

The Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform was founded in 1929 and by the time of Repeal claimed a staggering 1.5 million members. Much of its power seems to have lay in the sheer shock value of women getting behind repeal: The politicization and mobilization of women, most famously through the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, had been the most effective social force behind Prohibition.

In any event a thirsty nation provided a ready audience for the “wet” message of the Women’s Organization: On December 5 1933, less than a year after Congressional passage, Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment, and the failed experiment with national Prohibition came to an end.

Not in OCLC or Persuasive Maps: The PJ Mode Map Collection.