A glance again: The ban got here early to Indiana | historical past
Before the 18th Amendment went into effect on January 17, 1920, Indiana had been completely dry for nearly two years, with a statewide ban that became law on April 2, 1918.
But many bars and salons continued to sell alcoholic beverages against the law, including local bar owner Edward Coffey, who had been arrested several times for selling alcohol.
To enforce the law and send a message to other scoffers, South Bend Police Chief Peter Kline and 20 police officers carried out a surprise attack on Coffey’s salon by Tribune and the South Bend News-Times at noon on November 14, 1918.
To confirm the suspicions that led to the raid, 16 liters of illegal alcohol were found hidden in a safe and a desk. After police seized the illegal ghosts, they destroyed Coffey’s mahogany bar and brass fittings worth $ 9,000. When the destruction was complete, the debris was taken to Leeper Park, where it was piled in a large pile, soaked in heating oil, and set on fire. The raid and subsequent fire made “one of the most spectacular” police incidents ever seen in South Bend, the News-Times reported.
Hundreds of people came to the park to watch the campfire.
During the 15-year state and national ban, many St. Joseph Counties found other ways to enjoy their liquor. Some did it in secret, while others took banned drinks directly outside and turned their noses to the authorities charged with enforcing the prohibition laws. Otherwise, law-abiding citizens of cities across America, including South Bend and Mishawaka, have been classified as criminals for making their own home brews.
The ban was lifted by the 21st Amendment, which came into force on December 5, 1933, just in time for the holidays.
For more information on Prohibition, see the Spirited: Prohibition in America exhibit, which opens at The History Museum on January 27th.
Travis Childs is the Director of Education at the History Museum.