The Crusaders (repeal of alcohol prohibition)

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The Crusaders was an organization founded to promote the repeal of prohibition in the United States. Prominent Crusaders included Alfred Sloan, Jr., Sewell Avery, Cleveland Dodge, and Wallage Alexander.

The organization was founded in May 1929 as a local Cleveland group under the leadership of Fred G. Clark, who later said they were motivated by the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in Chicago, an outbreak of violence between rival bootleggers. At the start of 1930, the organization decided to organize young men nationwide. They eventually claimed membership of one million, though the claim is dubious. The organization had serious financial problems by the fall of 1931 and was never significant nationally.[1] In Michigan, it drew its membership largely from the ranks of young, male Republicans and worked to elect "wet" Republicans to offices at all levels of government.[2] One account of the organization by a proponent of prohibition said its membership was made up of the sons of members of the Association Against the Prohibition Amendment.[3]

The Crusaders published a magazine called The Hot Potato, the name of which was meant to describe how prohibition was a political issue that politicians could not handle.[4] The organization endorsed no candidate in the presidential election of 1932.[5]


  1. ^ David E. Kyvig, Repealing National Prohibition, 129-30, available online, accessed November 28, 2010
  2. ^ Philip Parker Mason, Rumrunning and the Roaring Twenties: prohibition on the Michigan-Ontario Waterway (Wayne State University Press, 1995), 148, available online, accessed November 28, 2010
  3. ^ Pauline Morriss, "The Amazing Story of Repeal," in The Fourth Church, vol. 29, no. 7 (March 1941), 10, available online, accessed November 28, 2010
  4. ^ Thomas Pinney, A History of Wine in America: From Prohibition to the Present, vol. 2 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), 6-7, 372n, available online, accessed November 28, 2010
  5. ^ Kenneth D. Rose, American Women and the Repeal of Prohibition (NY: New York University Press, 1996), 122, available online, accessed November 28, 2010


  • Spivak, John. The Crusaders. New Masses, February 5, 1935.