Prohibition ended today 79 years ago. Prohibition was passed by the 18th amendment or Volstead Act in 1919. It prohibited the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors within the United States. It was one of the more unpopular laws and was widely ignored. Alcoholic drinks were widely available. Prohibition led to bootleggers and gangsters setting up shops and speakeasy's where liquor and beer were readily available. The HBO show Boardwalk Empire tells the tale of the notorious Atlantic City bootlegger Nucky Thompson and is fascinating. After 14 years of Prohibition the politicians realized the enormous tax revenues they were missing out on and passed the 21st amendment and the party was back on.