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On the stroke of midnight on January 16 1920 America went dry By decree of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution every citizen would be denied the right to produce or sell alcoholic beverages Almost instantly this remarkable new law set into motion a cavalcade of events whose fallout is still with us today On Sunday July 27th AE whisks viewers back to one of the most colorful eras in modern American history a period that has become synonymous with gangsters speakeasies and the Roaring Twenties in the Special Presentation PROHIBITION THIRTEEN YEARS THAT CHANGED AMERICA a three-hour World Premiere airing at 8pm ET9pm PT PROHIBITION THIRTEEN YEARS THAT CHANGED AMERICA is a fascinating look at how the 18th Amendment was doomed from the start -- how the righteous rejoiced and the gangster flourished How the craving for alcohol turned honest citizens into bootleggers and criminals into millionaire celebrities For thirteen years corruption seeped into Americas institutions from the police right up to the White House forever changing the countrys morals and attitudes towards law enforcers politicians authority and the role of women in society Once considered as Gods gift to mankind and an elixir for almost every type of ailment liquor ultimately emerged as the inalienable cause of numerous social problems -- from escalating domestic abuse to an untold amount of alcohol-related deaths Traditionally Prohibition has been viewed as either a colorful aberration or an absolute failure But it was neither The legislation that turned the nation dry was supported by more than 80 of Congress and ratified by no fewer than 90 of states It was the result of a campaign lasting more than a century and succeeded in reducing alcohol consumption by two-thirds The adoption of Prohibition heralded one of the most affluent periods of American history This three-hour documentary tells the story of how Prohibition was recognized as an era of pivotal importance in the history
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