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Joint Resolution Prohibiting Drunkenness

Joint Resolution Prohibiting Drunkenness/tiles/non-collection/l/lfp_033imgtile1.xml
Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration


In 1938, only five years after the repeal of Prohibition, Congressman Gomer Griffith Smith of Oklahoma introduced H. J. Res. 661, proposing a constitutional amendment that would prohibit drunkenness. An unidentified person handwrote a tongue-in-cheek note on this copy of the bill, suggesting that Smith add:

  • “Section 3. That period of time, commonly known as Saturday nights, is hereby stricken from the calendars of the United States, and abolished.”
  • “Section 4. Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to change human nature from time to time in its or their discretion.”

Congressman Smith’s earnest floor remarks while introducing the bill make it unlikely the handwritten instructions were his: “Every thinking man and woman must agree that buying liquor to get drunk is a basic crime upon which the liquor traffic thrives by destroying its own patrons,” he told his colleagues on April 21, 1938. “To permit its continuance is nothing less than governmental barbarism.” The bill never made it out of the Judiciary Committee.

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