This Week in History is Ancestry’s look back at notable events from the past. Every week, we feature three moments in history from our Newspapers.com archives – anything from important anniversaries, to tragic occurrences, interesting tidbits to entertaining factoids, This Week in History is our way of remembering what came before us.
During the week of October 22, the United Nations was born, the New York Subway opened, and the National Prohibition Act was passed.
The United Nations was established on October 24th, 1945 after the end of World War II. It was created with the aim of preventing another world conflict, and at its start, had 51 member states. Today, there are 193 members in the Nobel Peace Prize winning organization, which exists to maintain international peace and security, promote human rights, foster social and economic development, protect the environment, and provide humanitarian aid in the events of natural disasters and other circumstances.
Read more about the birth of the United Nations via The Dayton Herald
What’s the fastest way to get around New York City? Why, the Subway of course. This rapid transit system opened on October 27th, 1904 with a fare of $.05. Pretty ideal! On the opening day, only the main line from City Hall to Broadway was open to the public and additional lines opened weeks later. The New York Subway is one of the world’s oldest public transit systems, has the most stations, and offers service 24 hours a day. Running throughout the New York boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, the New York Subway system currently has 472 operating stations.
Read more about the opening of the Subway via the New-York Tribune
On October 28th, 1919, Congress passed the National Prohibition Act which consisted of a nationwide ban on the production, transportation, importation, and sale of alcohol. However, the consumption of alcoholic beverages during this time was not illegal, so many folks would make their own beer or wine at home or smuggle alcohol from neighboring countries. The goal of Prohibition was to reduce crime, solve social problems, and improve the health and hygiene in the country. People found their way around the law – drug stores were able to continue to sell alcohol for medicinal purposes, speakeasies opened up by the hundreds, and those who had hoarded alcohol before the bill was passed were able to drink in the privacy of their homes. The 18th Amendment was repealed in 1933 after thousands of people died from Prohibition-related violence and drinking unregulated alcoholic beverages.
Read more about the passing of 18th Amendment via The Chattanooga News
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