the awful experiment

the awful experiment
   the prohibition of sale and consumption of intoxicants in the USA from 1920 to 1933
   Awful for those denied intoxicants or faced with illegality to obtain them: much more awful for the impetus it gave to organized crime:
    A generation or so has come between us and the Awful Experiment. (Longstreet, 1956)

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.

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