From 1920 to 1933 the United States had a prohibition on all alcohol. It was brought by the 18th Amendment. This is what started all the underground alcohol stills and all the big gang organizations that sold alcohol illegally.
Prohibition was definitely not one of those shining points in American history. In fact, attempts to regulate alcohol consumption go way back to the early days in US (even during the Colonial period). This infographic spells out a history of attempts
Prohibition: KC ignored Prohibition during the 1920s, leading to an abundance of jazz clubs, brothels and gambling halls. This earned KC the moniker "The Paris of the Plains" after one journalist wrote "If you want to see some sin, forget Paris and head to Kansas City."