Arkansas voted to repeal Prohibition on July 18, 1933, and ratified that vote on August 1st. The measure passed by an almost three to two margin. Prohibition era Arkansas was a violent place, as the stories below illustrate.

  • In 1929, the Chief of Police of Newport, Arkansas, went to prison—largely for his own protection. After a youth he arrested for being drunk tried to run away, the officer fired on the youth and killed him. He was moved from the local jail to the state penitentiary “after threats were made by angry citizens incensed at what they described as unwarranted use of a pistol by an officer.”

  • A year later shooting broke out in the middle of Lepanto, Arkansas between two rival bootlegging gangs. Four were killed and eight were wounded.

  • A 1924 story told of a duel fought between a former dry officer and a man whose property he had raided four years prior. After the dry agent shot the man, the man's brother, who saw the whole thing happen from across the street, fired upon the former dry agent, killing him.


4 SHOT TO DEATH IN ARKANSAS RUM WAR; 8 WOUNDED , Chicago Daily Tribune (1872-1963); May 26, 1930; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849 – 1986 ), pg. 8

ARKANSAS DAY RAID 4 YEARS AGO ENDS IN MURDER OF TWO , The Hartford Courant 1923; Feb 24, 1924; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Hartford Courant (1764 – 1984) , pg. 1

Dry Killer Hidden as Angered Citizens Gather , The Atlanta Constitution; Jun 18, 1929; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Atlanta Constitution (1868 – 1939) , pg. 1