Today marks the day that the U.S. government finally came to its senses and repealed the 18th Amendment, which prohibited the manufacture, sale and transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into and the exportation thereof from the United States. With the 21st Amendment the era of Prohibition was brought to an end on Dec. 5, 1933; a change that we celebrate with Repeal Day.
The 18th Amendment was signed into existence on Jan. 16, 1919 – a major triumph for the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. These women strongly believed that alcohol was the root cause of all social ills and they did everything in their power to spread the worst rumors about it.
Little did these women realize, that the start of Prohibition would lead to a rise in civil delinquency and organized crime (quite the opposite of their desired effect), as well as a loss in revenue associated with production, trade and consumption of alcohol. The show Boardwalk Empire gives a us a look into what life during the time of Prohibition could have been like: waring gangs killing, looting, and scheming over who gets to import and sell alcohol, and as a result enjoy the title of “king” of Atlantic City.
But Repeal Day is not just about the freedom to enjoy copious amounts of alcohol, but more about the celebration of a return to the traditions of craft fermentation and distillation, the legitimacy of the bartender as a contributor to the culinary arts, and the enjoyment of alcohol as a sacred social custom. It’s a day to celebrate your favorite brew, cocktail, shot or mixed drink and another reason to get together with family and friends.
So lift up your bottles or glasses and party like it’s 1933 – it’s your constitutional right to do so. We just ask that you do so responsibly.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.