Prohibition 101: The Speakeasy Quiz

By: Teresa McGlothlin

Prohibition 101: The Speakeasy Quiz
Image: Wiki Commons by State Library of New South Wales collection

About This Quiz

With WWI in full swing, the need to ration the United States grain supply was at the forefront of everyone's minds. Signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919, the 18th Amendment sought to reduce American consumption by banning the transportation, sale and manufacture of alcohol. Or, so they said. 

Since 1851, groups like the American Temperance Society and the Woman's Christian Temperance Movement had been pushing for the ban on alcohol sales. They argued that alcohol was responsible for the moral decline of the country and caused a variety of different diseases. Once passed on a federal level, Prohibition had a bigger impact on society than could have been predicted. How much do you really know about it, though?

Throughout this quiz, your knowledge of one of America's most interesting and tumultuous times will be put to the test. You won't need a password or a membership card, but you will need to focus on each question before you answer. There's more to speakeasies than making it past the bouncer and getting a drink. There's a whole history behind the reason they existed at all. Share what you know about it, and we'll let you know how you did!


1-Montana_Woman's_Christian_Temperance_Union_1916 What was the name of the movement that wanted to ban alcohol before Prohibition began?
Abstinence movement
Temperance movement
During the early 1900s, those involved with the temperance movement believed that alcohol leads to the destruction of families and a lack of morality. When Prohibition was signed into law, the movement was given validation.
Sobriety movement
Morality movement

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2-Woodrow-Wilson Do you know the name of the U.S. President who signed Prohibition into law?
John Adams
Harry S. Truman
Millard Fillmore
Woodrow Wilson
The 28th President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, was responsible for signing the 18th Amendment into law. Wilson served the country for two terms starting in 1913 and lasting until 1921.

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3-Rations The rationing of which food led to the end of alcohol manufacturing in 1919?
Grain
As WWI raged, Americans were forced to ration most everything. President Woodrow Wilson used rationing as the basis for the reason to prohibit the manufacturing of alcohol. He believed that grain was best used as food, not drink.
Corn
Sugar
Salt

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4-Anti_Prohibition_group,_1-21-24_LOC_npcc.10340 Which one of the Amendments was ratified to make alcoholic drinks illegal?
3rd
10th
2nd
18th
Signed into law on January 29, 1919, the 18th Amendment made the manufacture, sale and transportation of alcoholic drinks illegal. It was repealed in 1933 when the 21st Amendment was ratified.

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5-Bootlegger What name was given to those who continued to make and transport alcohol during Prohibition?
Bootleggers
Even though the 18th Amendment forbids the manufacturing and transport of alcohol, it didn't stop bootleggers! Bootleggers continued to make and distribute homemade libations using modified vehicles that could outrun the police.
Runners
Whiskey men
Gin runners

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6-Remains_of_a_borrowed_Stutz_touring_car_after_running_into_a_tree_at_seventy_miles_an_hour,_in_which_the_bootlegger_driver_was_killed_and_fifty_gallons_of_corn_liquor_was_destroyed_and_LCCN89706543 Can you figure out which sport has origins that began during Prohibition?
Baseball
Cricket
NASCAR
To both hide and transport illegal moonshine or whiskey, clever and bold bootleggers would modify their cars to run faster than those of federal agents. The evolution of the vehicles and bootlegger driving skills is responsible for creating NASCAR.
Basketball

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7-18th-Amendment True or false? The 18th Amendment made it illegal to consume alcohol.
True
False
While the 18th Amendment did make it illegal to make, sell or transport alcoholic beverages, it did not make it illegal to drink it. With bootleggers continuing to operate, those who wanted a drink could easily find it.

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8-Mississippi-Steamboat Which southern state was the last to repeal Prohibition?
Alabama
Louisiana
Mississippi
After the 21st Amendment was passed and lifted the restrictions placed by the 18th Amendments, many states continued to uphold prohibition-era laws. Mississippi upheld them until 1966.
South Carolina

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9-Medicine The name of the act that allowed alcohol to be sold for medicinal purposes was called what?
The Medicinal Act
The Sacramental Act
The Volstead Act
The Volstead Act of 1919 was passed by an overwhelming majority. Although it reinforced Prohibition-era rules by making it legal to enforce the law, it also allowed for the sale of certain kinds of alcohol for medicinal and sacramental purposes.
The Pharmaceutical Act

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10-Cruise-Ship Affluent drinkers might have taken a boozy boat ride called what?
International jolly
Wave rider
Cruise to nowhere
Long before luxury boat travel, well-off drinkers during the Prohibition era would have taken a "cruise to nowhere." Also known as a "booze cruise," trips were taken into international waters where boats would travel in circles. There were no laws forbidding drinking there.
Drinking dingy

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11-Drug-Store Which one of these drugstores owes its success to Prohibition?
CVS
Walgreens
Because of the Volstead Act, certain blends of alcohol were allowed to be sold for medicinal purposes like a cough. Prior to the act's passage, Walgreens had only 20 locations. Once the act was passed, it grew to more than 500 stores.
Rite Aid
Boots

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12-Drinking Is it true or false that Prohibition caused an increase in alcohol consumption?
True
False
The rebelliousness that defined the "Roaring '20s" might lead one to think that alcohol consumption increased during Prohibition. In fact, researchers at Boston University and M.I.T. found that it had the opposite effect. During the era, alcohol consumption dropped by 70%!

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13-Speakeasy How many Prohibition-era speakeasies were there in the state of New York?
25,000
100,000
As Prohibition progressed, private establishments called speakeasies began to spring up all over the country. The New York History Historical Society estimates that New York state was home to about 100,000 of them.
1,500
10,000

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14-Jazz What sort of American music got its start in the speakeasies of the 1920s?
Jazz
As more and more speakeasies opened, musicians from the south began to move north in what is called the "Great Migration." Employed as the entertainment in gangster-owned speakeasies, they created the musical art form known as Jazz.
Blues
Rock 'n Roll
Country and Western

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15-Flapper Which name was given to the rebellious women who attended parties at speakeasies?
Rebellettes
Flappers
Many women like those in the Women's Christian Temperance Union advocated for Prohibition. However, many women defined the era by cutting their hair, sporting short dresses and socializing with men at local speakeasies. They became known as flappers.
Rosies
Speakers

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16-Blind-Pig Can you choose the term that lower class speakeasies were sometimes called?
Coffee cup
Dirty dive
Bathtub ginnery
Blind pig
Some of the fancier speakeasies of the time catered to the upper class like New York's Cotton Hill Club. Establishments that held less prestige were sometimes called "blind pigs" or "blind tigers."

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17-speakeasy What might you have needed to gain entry to a 1920s speakeasy?
A password
Because of the illegal activity taking place inside, speakeasies were kept in secrecy. One could only gain entry by being recommended by another member, having a membership card or knowing a password.
A key
A date
A ticket

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18-Gin Do you know what sort of liquor was associated with bathtubs during Prohibition?
Vodka
Gin
Bootleggers were employed by speakeasy owners to supply customers with liquors like whiskey, moonshine and "bathtub gin." Chicago's Marge's Still was well known for serving gin made in a bathtub on the establishment's second floor.
Tequila
Rum

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19-secret-door Sometimes, speakeasies painted their doors which of these colors?
Red
Orange
Green
Although speakeasies were kept on the down-low, those who were in the know knew to look for a green door. The practice was more common in Chicago than New York, and many of the original green doors still remain.
Yellow

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20-Al_Capone_in_1930 What's the name of the famous Chicago gangster who made enormous profits from supplying speakeasies?
Whitey Bulger
John Gotti
Pablo Escobar
Al Capone
Al Capone's brother might have been a federal agent working to stop the flow of alcohol in the United States, but it didn't stop him from profiting from the ban. In 1927 alone, Al Capone made over $60 million supplying bootlegged alcohol to speakeasies around Chicago.

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21-repeal-day "Repeal Day" refers to the day that which Prohibition ending Amendment was passed?
21st Amendment
On December 5, 1933, the 18th Amendment became the only Amendment in United States history to be repealed by another. The 21st Amendment was ratified and rendered the Prohibition movement null and void.
18th Amendment
11th Amendment
14th Amendment

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22-Prohibition Can you correctly choose the informal nickname that Prohibition held?
The noble experiment
Advocates for Prohibition laws argued that alcohol led to the moral decline of the country. Sometimes called "the noble experiment," the 13 years in American history cost the government $11 billion dollars in lost excise taxes.
The dry experiment
The sober experiment
The health experiment

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23-Prohibition-Time In total, how many years did Prohibition last?
23
13
Dating from the time the 18th Amendment was signed in 1920 to the day the 21st Amendment took over in 1933, Prohibition lasted for a total of 13 years. During those years, 10,000 people lost their lives drinking illegal and unregulated liquors.
Three
11

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24-Federal-Agents During prohibition, how many federal agents were employed to stop the distribution of illegal alcohol?
3,000
Including Al Capone's brother, the U.S. government employed 3,000 federal agents to stop the flow of alcohol. Often, an agent's low pay made corruption tempting. Out of 10,000 arrests in Chicago, only 17 convictions were ever obtained.
1,000
5,000
9,000

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25-Rumrunner Which one of these speakeasy cocktails was named in honor of bootleggers?
Gin Rickey
Sidecar
White Lady
Rumrunner
One of the most popular Prohibition-era liquors was rum that was smuggled in from Jamaica. Those who took the chance of delivering the ill-gotten alcohol were called "rumrunners." Hence, the name of the popular drink.

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26-corn-based-mash What type of corn mash based liquor was smuggled from the American south during Prohibition?
Moonshine
Recent years have seen an increase in legal moonshine distilleries. Back during Prohibition, bootleggers risked life and limb to outrun agents with it, though. Although it can be made anywhere, moonshine has deep, traditional roots in the American south.
Gin
Vodka
Tequila

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27-FDR When Prohibition was lifted, which U.S. president said, "What America needs now is a drink?"
Woodrow Wilson
James Madison
Franklin D. Roosevelt
When commentating on the passage of the 21st Amendment, President Franklin Roosevelt uttered the famous quote, Only a few months later, he was sent the first legally manufactured beer since Prohibition began. It met new standards of having no more than 3.2 percent alcohol by volume.
Harry S. Truman

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28-Old-Cocktail Which state never opted to abide by the 18th Amendment?
Michigan
Ohio
Alabama
Maryland
The introduction of the Volstead Act allowed states to enforce the 18th Amendment legally, but not all states participated. Maryland was the only state in the U.S. that decided against participating.

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29-Dry-Counties How many U.S. states still have "dry counties?"
50
10
The 21st Amendment once again made the manufacture and sale of alcohol legal, but it was up to the states to enforce it. Though most states eased 18th Amendment-era laws, 10 U.S. states still have "dry counties" where the sale of alcohol is strictly forbidden.
13
7

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30-Anheuser While attempting to stay in business during Prohibition, what did the Anheuser-Busch factory start making?
Bottled water
Ice cream
With alcohol production stopped, beermakers like Anheuser-Busch and Yuengling converted their factories to make ice cream. Other makers pushed the boundaries of the law by making a lower percentage "near beer."
Cough syrup
Soda

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31-Sacramental-Wine What type of wine was still permitted to be sold for religious ceremonies?
Virgin wine
Wine spritzers
Sacramental wine
During Prohibition, drugstores were allowed to carry various liquors that were said to cure minor ailments like a cough. On the same hand, winemakers were still able to produce and to sell sacramental wines to priests and rabbis.
Holy wine

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32-Alcohol Yes or no: Did Prohibition make it illegal to have alcohol in your home?
Yes
No
The 18th Amendment simply stated that one could not purchase nor make alcohol. However, it was never illegal to have alcohol in one's home. This loophole saw many homeowners creating wine cellars and secret storage rooms.

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33-which-state Prior to Prohibition, which state passed its own set of alcohol restrictions?
Maine
In 1851 and led by the advocacy group the American Temperance League, Maine took it upon themselves to ban the sale of alcohol. Many states adopted some of the "Maine Laws" before Prohibition went into effect.
Connecticut
Iowa
Utah

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34-Black-And-Tan What nickname was given to speakeasies that encouraged all races and genders to enter?
Open speakeasies
Hootenannies
Shindig cellars
Black and tans
One of the best cultural byproducts of Prohibition was the breaking down of barriers. With alcohol consumption made into a secretive activity, many speakeasies were known as "black and tans." They were safe places for African Americans and women to participate alongside white men.

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35-Pansies Which flower name was given to speakeasy drinks that masked the flavor of illegal booze?
Pansies
Prohibition-era liquor was often made by home distillers, and it often had a rough and unrefined taste. To mask the flavor, cocktails called "pansies" were created. Names of "pansies" include Sidecar, Mint Julep, and Bee's Knees.
Roses
Sunflowers
Daisies

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