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The Man Who Made Prohibition Happen After Being Stabbed In The Leg By A Drunk Person


You probably don't know Wayne Wheeler's name, but he was largely responsible for one of the most chaotic times in American history, all because of childhood resentment. That's right: Prohibition, and all the organized criminal insanity that came with it, was made possible because this sloppy, bookish Midwesterner got in the way of a drunkard.

That fateful knife

Wayne Wheeler was born on November 10, 1869, in rural Ohio, where he grew up on his family's farm. One night, when Wheeler was a child, one of the family's hired farmhands got drunk and tried to fight his boss and other farm workers, and in a scuffle, young Wayne was stabbed in the leg with a pitchfork. Although his wound healed quickly, Wheeler attributed the incident to alcohol consumption, as he would later tell legislators and the public to great effect.

Wayne Wheeler in 1920.

Passing Prohibition

During his time at Oberlin College, Wheeler regularly attended the local Congregational Church, where he heard a lecture by the Reverend Howard Hyde Russell one day in 1893. Russell, a lawyer-turned-cleric-turned-motivator-speaker, was also the founder. The newly formed Anti-Salon League, and Wheeler was so enthused by his lectures that he immediately signed on to become one of the league's first full-time employees. In 1903, he took over as acting head, and the following year, he was named the group's full-time executive director. Under Wheeler's leadership, the Anti-Saloon League U.S. became one of the most effective political lobbying groups in history. He also took a tough stand on alcohol. Wheeler carefully allied her group with several women's suffrage organizations to pressure lawmakers in Washington to address the issue of alcohol consumption.

Finally, after decades of work, Wheeler ratified the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on January 16, 1919, which banned the "manufacture, sale, and transportation" of all alcoholic and intoxicating liquors, but he still had not been. He was instrumental in drafting the Volstead Act, the law that empowered officials to enforce the 18th Amendment, and even extended its influence to the Bureau of Prohibition. This gave Wheeler the power to hire enforcement officers and agents in charge of arresting people for violating the prohibition.

Americans celebrating the end of Prohibition in 1933.

Fall but don't forget

By 1926, the 18th Amendment had become difficult to implement, and Wheeler and Congress faced increasing criticism from the American public. In a desperate last stand, the Bureau of Prohibition began adding poison to industrial alcohol, which bootleggers began to use to make moonshine and other makeshift liquors, Wheeler specifically designed to make the alcohol unattractive, such as soap. Objected to the use of non-lethal substances. but livable.

Somewhere between 10,000 and 50,000 people died from drinking the intoxicating liquor by the Bureau of Prohibition, but Wheeler seemed unimpressed by these staggering numbers, arguing that the victims had intentionally committed suicide by drinking illicit alcohol. The Americans were shocked by Wheeler's absurdity and condemned his Anti-Salon League. Wheeler's power disintegrated in Washington, which greatly influenced the passage of the 21st Amendment to repeal Prohibition.

Wayne Wheeler remains in modern lobbying, however, with the "Wheelerism" approach, a method of focusing political pressure on a single issue by using the media to clarify the public's point of view or to increase its urgency when needed. Although most advocates and lobbyists who adopt the Wheelerism approach aim only at persuading politicians, some – especially in the early days – have asked protestors to reveal or withhold embarrassing personal information about a political endorsement or financial backing. has threatened. The term "Wheelerism" is still used today.

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