Prohibition was the law of the land in the United States for just about 13 years, yet that period \u2014 from 1920 through 1933 \u2014 has become iconic in the American psyche. Images of speakeasies, bootleggers, gangsters, G-Men, and smashed barrels of alcohol have been featured in countless movies, television shows, and other forms of entertainment in the last 80-plus years. How accurate are those images, though? Was prohibition even close to the popular images we have of it? Pour yourself a drink and take a trip back to the Roaring Twenties with us as we look at the real story of how prohibition in America happened, what life was like during it, and why it was repealed so quickly. 1. Early Origins Perhaps due to America\u2019s puritanical roots, the concept of eliminating alcohol has been promoted by some since before the American Revolution. Dating back to the 1600s, there were pushes for sin taxes and other legal ways to try and reduce alcohol consumption. Getty Images 2. Temperance Movement Calls for prohibition in the United States solidified in the late 1800s with the formation of the Anti-Saloon League. The group brought those with anti-alcohol feelings together, and they came from numerous walks of life and ideologies, including, \u201cdoctors, pastors, and eugenicists; Klansmen and liberal internationalists; business leaders and labor radicals; conservative evangelicals and liberal theologians.\u201d Getty Images 3. Protests Grow The ASL, and overall temperance movement continued gaining momentum throughout the early years of the 20th century. In response, beer manufacturers mobilized \u201cwet\u201d supporters from the Catholic and German Lutheran communities. However, upon Americ involvement in Worl War I, the temperance forces stirred anti-German sentiment, which neutered much of the beer manufacturers\u2019 support. Getty Images 4. Dry Country The temperance movement, bolstered by the aforementioned anti-German sentiment, was able to successfully win several major victories against the alcohol industry. The movement culminated with the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920, which prohibited \u201cthe manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all the territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes.\u201d The government also passed the Volstead Act, legislation which spelled out how they could legally enforce the Eighteenth Amendment. Getty Images 5. Alcohol Was Still Flowing Despite the fact that the manufacture and sale of alcohol were prohibited nationwide, most of the country did not make possession of alcohol a crime. Taking advantage of that fact, many rich and well-off Americans stockpiled as much beer and alcohol as they could prior to the ban going into effect. In addition, others took advantage of a loophole in the law that allowed them to produce a certain amount of wine or cider for private use. Getty Images 6. Criminals Take Over Within months of prohibition becoming law, bootlegging sprang up all around the United States to fill the void left by legal alcohol manufacturers. These operations ran the gamut, from single-person bootleggers to large-scale organized crime syndicates. Criminals such as Al Capone became larger than life figures in the American psyche. The Saint Valentine\u2019s Day Massacre (pictured above) in 1929, perpetrated by Capone\u2019s men against a rival gang in Chicago, became one of the defining events of the era. Getty Images 7. Origin of the Speakeasy With hoarded and bootlegged alcohol available, Americans needed desired places to drink that mimicked the bars that proliferated prior to prohibition. This need was met by speakeasies. These \u201csecret\u201d bars \u2014 which got their name from the fact that customers would \u201cspeakeasy\u201d about them so as not to tip off their location to the authorities \u2014 became wildly popular among those defying prohibition. Getty Images 8. "Blind Pig" Many speakeasies were operated as \u201cblind pig\u201d businesses, meaning that they would exhibit a rare animal \u2014 such as a rare blind pig \u2014 and \u201ccharge admission\u201d to see the animal. Once inside, patrons would be given \u201ccomplimentary\u201d drinks as a way of circumventing the law. Getty Images 9. Nationwide As prohibition went on through the 1920s, speakeasies spread across the country. They stretched from coast to coast, from New York to Chicago to San Francisco. They weren\u2019t only limited to the big cities, however, as most towns had at least one. Getty Images 10. Membership Cards Many speakeasies networked together to ensure that they kept a loyal and trustworthy clientele. For example, in New York, notable establishments would give out membership cards. Said memberships would allow patrons access to other affiliated clubs and speakeasies. Getty Images 11. The Government Strikes Back While there was still a lot of alcohol consumed throughout the prohibition years, that doesn\u2019t mean that the government didn\u2019t at least try to enforce the law. Both local police and state forces \u2014 such as the then-relatively new Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) \u2014 actively hunted bootleggers and broke up speakeasies. However, the general apathy towards prohibition, corruption in law enforcement, and the large size and varied geography of the country made enforcement difficult. Getty Images 12. The Untouchables While law enforcement\u2019s efforts were somewhat scattershot, there was one group of government agents who worked their way into American history: Elliot Ness and his Untouchables. Put together in 1929 to specifically target Al Capone, Ness assembled the group of agents by purposely choosing agents who could not be swayed by bribes and organized crime. The group\u2019s exploits eventually did help take down Capone. In later years \u2014 thanks to Ness\u2019 autobiography \u2014 the group became even more famous, being documented in several films and television series. Getty Images 13. Anti-Prohibition Backlash As prohibition went on, public support for it \u2014 never universal \u2014 began to break down further, especially after the Great Depression hit. In addition to public backlash, many in government began to push for repeal as the potential taxes to be made off of alcohol would be immensely helpful during the Depression. Getty Images 14. Repeal! The repeal of prohibition unofficially began in March of 1933, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed an amendment to the Volstead Act that altered the law and allowed the manufacture and sale of beer that was 3.2 percent alcohol by weight (approximately 4 percent alcohol by volume and light wines). Upon signing the so-called Cullen-Harrison Act, Roosevelt famously remarked: \u201cI think this would be a good time for a beer.\u201d In December of 1933, the Eighteenth Amendment was repealed through ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment, officially ending prohibition in the United States. Getty Images 15. Legacy Though it\u2019s over 85 years since it was repealed, the prohibition remains an iconic time in the American cultural consciousness. Films are still made about organized crime figures like Al Capone and \u201cG-Men\u201d like Elliot Ness. Even speakeasies have made a comeback as \u201csecret\u201d and exclusive bars. Getty Images Credits:\u00a0standardnews What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments below!