In late October of 1931, some 18,000 laborers, fraternal organization members, and veterans took to the streets of Newark, New Jersey. Their cause, stated simply on the signs they carried, was clear: “We want beer.” It’d been 11 years since Prohibition had begun—and since the protestors or their fellow Americans had enjoyed a (legal) drink at their neighborhood saloons.
Flag-waving men with their starched-collared shirts and irreverent signboards became the iconic image of the anti-Prohibition movement. Yet the people who led this march—and indeed much of the movement to repeal the 18th Amendment—were not men in ties and long coats. They were some of the very same women who had supported Prohibition in the first place—and who had won the