Oregon Secretary of State

Exhibit Home

Banner reads: Oregon. Midnight. January 16, 1920. ...National Prohibition is now in effect. 

If you lived in Oregon and were involved in the alcohol business, you were gambling with your freedom. If caught, the penalties now came with hefty consequences. No more short county jail stints, simple fines or a proverbial slap on the wrist. You were going to the big house. Almost 400 men and women ranging from teenagers to senior citizens, were incarcerated at the Oregon State Penitentiary between 1920 and 1933 for alcohol violations. Here are a few of their stories.


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