Wayne Wheeler & Prohibition
In the late 19th and early 20th century, America was divided over the subject of alcohol, with vocal groups calling for its ban and for its continued use. In 1893, Oberlin college student Wayne Wheeler joined the Anti-Saloon League, a hard-line religious prohibitionist group. Wheeler became a prominent leader in the ASL, biking from town to town to help defeat anti-prohibitionist candidates. He got his law degree and filed countless lawsuits on the League’s behalf. In 1916, Wheeler moved from Ohio to Washington, and began to pressure senators and legislators. By 1920, he’d achieved his goal- the 18th amendment has been passed and ratified. Wheeler’s unconventional, high-pressure tactics had founded a new era of political activism. Modern lobbyists are direct descendants of his “pressure group”.