The Crusaders

The Crusaders was an influential repeal organization founded in 1929 by business executive Fred G. Clark who was appalled at the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in Chicago which resulted from rivalry among bootleggers. Rather than working at the national political level, the Crusaders chose to devote their efforts at the local level across the country.

Fred Clark served as the first commander in chief of the Crusaders. Its executive board consisted of fifty prominent leaders including Alfred Sloan, Jr., Sewell Avery, Cleveland Dodge, and Wallace Alexander. General membership of the organization consisted largely of men under the age of thirty. The writer William Faulkner served on the executive committee of the Mississippi chapter. Although it did not include women, the group worked closely with the Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform (WONPR).

Repeal occurred on December 5, 1933.

In spite of the failure of National Prohibition and the serious problems it created, many people and organizations today support neo-prohibition ideas and strongly defend the many vestiges of Prohibition that continue to remain.

Resources on The Crusaders:

  • The Crusaders described themselves as "temperance men" who would eliminate alcohol abuse without the problems caused by Prohibition. Because of this, they were criticized by prohibitionists as "Cork-screw aiders."
  • Hines, Jr., Tom S. Mississippi and the repeal of Prohibition, Journal of Mississippi History, January, 1962, 16.
  • Kyvig, David. Repealing National Prohibition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979.
  • The Crusaders. 1931 Speakeasy Map of Cleveland. Cleveland, OH: The Crusaders, 1931.
  • Time. Prohibition: United wets, Time, November 7, 1932, p. 16. Described activities of The Crusaders.
  • Time. Prohibition: Crusade. Time, Oct 7, 1930. Reported activities of The Crusaders.
  • Time. National Affairs: Codman to Crusaders. Time, December 29, 1930, Reported appointment of Julian Codman as paid director of The Crusaders.

Filed Under: Prohibition