The problems caused by alcohol in the USA led the government to ban it. On January 16th 1920, the 18th Amendment banned the sale, transportation and making of alcohol in America.
This period was known as ‘Prohibition‘ which means it was prohibited or not allowed. This lasted for a period of 13 years and ended in February 1933.
People still wanted to drink alcohol during this period, so there was a huge market for illegal alcohol. Some of this alcohol tasted so bad that cocktails were invented to hide the horrible taste!
In Chicago, Al Capone’s gang produced and sold alcohol. Within 2 years Capone was earning $60 million a year from alcohol sales. Drinking became a hidden activity in drinking dens (‘speakeasy’), controlled by violent gangsters in major American cities.