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Prior to World War I, there were few laws criminalizing prostitutes or the act of prostitution. armed forces developed a prostitute management program called American Plan which enable the military to arrest any women within five miles of a military cantonment.

In 1918, the Chamberlain-Kahn Act gave the government the power to quarantine any woman suspected of having a sexually transmitted disease (STD). If found infected, a women could be sentenced to a hospital or a farm colony until cured. United States, in 1944, ruled that prostitutes could travel across state lines, if the purpose of travel was not for prostitution.

The District, or Storyville, became the most famous area for prostitution in the nation.

Storyville at its peak had some 1500 prostitutes and 200 brothels.

(In 1935, the BOI became the FBI.) The White-Slave Traffic Act (Mann Act) of 1910 prohibited so-called white slavery.

It also banned the interstate transport of females for "immoral purposes".

The Lorette Ordinance of 1857 prohibited prostitution on the first floor of buildings in New Orleans. So many prostitutes took up residence there to serve the needs of General Joseph Hooker's Army of the Potomac that the area became known as "Hooker's Division." Two blocks between Pennsylvania and Missouri Avenues became home to such expensive brothels that it was known as "Marble Alley." In 1873, Anthony Comstock created the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, an institution dedicated to supervising the morality of the public.


The other counties theoretically allow brothel prostitution, but some of these counties currently have no active brothels.

A medical examination was required, and if it revealed an STD, this discovery could constitute proof of prostitution. The National Venereal Disease Control Act, which became effective July 1, 1938, authorized the appropriation of federal funds to assist the states in combating venereal diseases. In 1970, Nevada began regulation of houses of prostitution.


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