After many long years of effort by various organizations that were concerned with the use and abuse of alcohol in the US, on August 1, 1917, the Senate passed a resolution which contained the wording that would be presented to the states for ratification. The House of Representatives, on December 17th, 1917, passed a revised version which included wording that contained a deadline for ratification. This revised version was then approved by the Senate on December 18th, 1917. The amendment was ratified on January 16, 1919 when Nebraska became the 36th state to approve it. The ratification of the amendment was certified by acting Secretary of State Frank L. Polk on January 29th 1919. Prohibition then began on January 17, 1920, one year after the amendment was ratified.
The basic text of the 18th amendment was as follows:
Section 1: After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all the territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.
Section 2: The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Section 3: This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.