The night they ended Prohibition

December 5th 1933 - The night they ended Prohibition

Originally intended to prevent crime and drunkenness, it soon became clear that Prohibition did just the opposite, as illegal speakeasies became prevalent and bootlegging essentially led to the establishment of organized crime in the United States. Ironically, America’s thirst for alcohol increased during Prohibition, and organized crime rose up to replace formerly legal methods of production and distribution.

Passed by Congress in 1917 and ratified by 1919, the 18th Amendment to the Constitution prohibited the manufacture or sale of alcohol within the United States. Enforcement of prohibition proved extraordinarily difficult as organized crime and smuggling rings grew and home-brewing became increasingly popular. In 1933, the 18th amendment was repealed amid much celebration. Repealing the 18th Amendment had been a central policy of President Roosevelt’s campaign, who suggested reintroducing alcohol as a way to raise taxes during a time of economic hardship.

Why are they with booze in their hands? A lot of places were secret bars with hatched that would drop the hidden whiskey into and underground corridor. They most likely had the booze in wait when it ended. As for the other places, you most likely heard that the law was going to end in x-amount of days, so you had time to prepare. Most were speakeasies, since bars that decided to keep it legal had either turned into something else like a restaurant or whatever, since they can no longer sell their one important good.

Interesting stuff:

  • After the 18th Amendment was repealed in 1933, Yuengling sent a truckload of “Winner Beer” to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in appreciation, which arrived the day the amendment was repealed — particularly notable since Yuengling beer takes almost three weeks to brew and age.
  • An estimated 10,000 people died of alcohol poisoning during prohibition from bootleg whiskey, tainted gins and a federal government program that added poison to alcohol to frighten folks from imbibing, according to The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York.
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