History of Maine (8)

"THE MAINE LAW." The temperance movement had its origins in Maine, and to one degree or another dominated the political life of this state for more than a century.

The world's first Total Abstinence Society was founded in Portland in 1815. a state organization of temperance societies was formed in 1834, and within a dozen years had developed enough political clout to force the enactment of a state law prohibiting the sale of alcoholic spirits except for "medicinal and mechanical" purposes.

Under the fiery leadership of Portland's Neal Dow - known internationally as the "Father of Prohibition" - Maine approved a total ban on the manufacture and sale of liquor in 1851.

This so-called "Maine Law" remained in effect, in one form or another, until the repeal of National Prohibition in 1934.