New Jersey

New Jersey voted to repeal Prohibition on May 16, 1933—by a whopping 85%. That decision was ratified soon after on June 1st. The stories below illustrate some of the reasons so many voters from New Jersey wanted Prohibition repealed.

  • A news article from 1924 told of 60 barrels of posionous liquor being seized, much of which was transported on New Jersey ferries. This wood alcohol was responsible for many deaths, and the article reported that untainted alcohol was much more expensive.

  • Bootleggers used many tricks to get liquor into New Jersey. One article from the era tells of a submarine attempting to smuggle liquor into the Atlantic City area.

  • In response to rampant bootlegging, officials used harsh methods to keep booze out. An article from 1923 tells of a Prohibition official's plan to use planes armed with machine guns to keep rum running boats off New Jersey's coast from bringing their cargo ashore.


60 BARRELS OF "DEATH" SEIZED , Special Dispatch to the Globe , Boston Daily Globe (1923-1960); Dec 18, 1924; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Boston Globe (1872 – 1924) , pg. 23

RUM SUBMARINE SEEN ON COAST. Los Angeles Times (1886-Current File); Jan 13, 1922; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Los Angeles Times (1881 – 1986) pg. I20

SWIFT ARMED PLANES TO FIGHT RUM SHIPS , The Washington Post (1877-1954); May 4, 1923; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The Washington Post (1877 – 1991) , pg. 1