"THE MAINE LAW." The temperance movement had
its origins in Maine, and to one degree or another dominated the
political life of this state for more than a century.
The world's first Total Abstinence Society was founded in Portland in 1815. a state organization of temperance societies was formed in 1834, and within a dozen years had developed enough political clout to force the enactment of a state law prohibiting the sale of alcoholic spirits except for "medicinal and mechanical" purposes.
Under the fiery leadership of Portland's Neal Dow - known internationally as the "Father of Prohibition" - Maine approved a total ban on the manufacture and sale of liquor in 1851.
This so-called "Maine Law" remained in effect, in one form or another, until the repeal of National Prohibition in 1934.