Ratify it! Ratify it! Ratify it!
December 5, 2008 6:47 AM   Subscribe

On 5 December 1933, 75 years ago today, Utah became the 36th state to ratify the Twenty-First Amendment of the United States Constitution, signalling the end of the Prohibition era.
posted by HaloMan (32 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I'll drink to that.
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 6:50 AM on December 5, 2008


Does this mean I should turn to alcohol in the depths of my own depression?
posted by Sys Rq at 6:59 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know, that whole article is about liquor, with one quick mention of wine, but the real tragedy of prohibition may have been the loss of the nation's regional breweries and palate for beer, both of which have only started to return slowly over the last twenty-five years or so.

I'll hoist a few pints of good, local beer tonight in honor.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:03 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Repeal Day is already being exploited by the liquor manufacturers, hooray!
posted by Pollomacho at 7:03 AM on December 5, 2008


A preacher was completing a temperance sermon: with great expression he said, "If I had all the beer in the world, I'd take it and throw it into the river."

With even greater emphasis, he said, "And if I had all the wine in the world, I'd take it and throw it into the river."

And then, finally, he said, "And if I had all the whiskey in the world, I'd take it and throw it into the river." He sat down.

The song leader then stood very cautiously and announced with a pleasant smile, "For our closing song, let us sing Hymn #365: 'Shall We Gather At the River.'"
posted by netbros at 7:09 AM on December 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'll hoist a few pints of good, local beer tonight in honor.

No, no, no, local beer benefitted from prohibition. You should either lament with a local beer or celebrate prohibitions demise with a liquor drink.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:09 AM on December 5, 2008


Considering the ties Utah has with Mormonism, I think it's kind of awesome that they were the state to officially end prohibition.
posted by piratebowling at 7:14 AM on December 5, 2008


local beer benefitted from prohibition

Homebrew isn't exactly what I was thinking of. Although I might drink one of those, too.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:16 AM on December 5, 2008


The age of {digital} prohibition.

On 5 December 2011, 75 years ago today, Utah became the 36th state to ratify the Nth Amendment of the United States Constitution, signaling the end of the Copyright Prohibition era.
posted by stbalbach at 7:16 AM on December 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Rarely in the annals of human experience has so well intentioned an idea been such a monument to failure as America's 13-year attempt to eradicate the evil of alcohol.

I wish. History is strewn with the wreckage of well-intentioned ideas. It's the hateful, destructive ideas that seem to really have the staying power.

What's weird about Prohibition is that it took Utah to end it. Utah?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:17 AM on December 5, 2008


Homebrew isn't exactly what I was thinking of.

Nor was I. Local "near-beer" breweries replaced the big manufacturers during the era. Each had their own distinct styles and flavors, some were left overs from better times and prior waves of immigrant brewers. When prohibition ended the taxation on beer made it nearly impossible for the local breweries to compete with the big guys like Busch and Pabst until micro-brewing and good beer started to become popular again in the 70's and 80's.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:29 AM on December 5, 2008


Oh and repeal day for beer is April 7th anyway.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:30 AM on December 5, 2008


Today it would take 38 states to ratify an amendment.
posted by borkencode at 7:34 AM on December 5, 2008


I had no idea Utah was the final state to ratify. How'd that happen? Were Mormons not fully in control of Utah politics at the time? Were they less worried about alcohol regulation than they are now? Was it some practical regulate-rather-than-outlaw argument?
posted by Nelson at 7:38 AM on December 5, 2008


Local "near-beer" breweries replaced the big manufacturers during the era.

Okay, but near-beer still isn't beer. Although I'll concede that the taxes are what ruined any chance of real beer returning, post-prohibition, the reduced marketability of more flavorful product was part of it, too. And I'd never malign the small beers that became legal on April 7--I have been known to quaff mild all night long--but it ain't the same.

If it will make you happy, though, I'll have a shot and a beer tonight. You know, for history.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:39 AM on December 5, 2008


And to think I was *just* doing research on Carrie Nation, the temperance fircracker that chopped up bars ...with an ax!

Best bit of historical trivia, the anti-temperance cry of "Carrie's Face Makes Me Think That I Need A Drink."
posted by The Whelk at 7:43 AM on December 5, 2008


My favorite bar in Cincinnati still has the bathtub they used to make gin in upstairs.
posted by Tehanu at 7:52 AM on December 5, 2008


Huh, I could swear we still had prohibition in this country.
posted by Eideteker at 7:53 AM on December 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


The real tragedy of Prohibition is the effect it had on the craft of bartending in this country. Even now I rarely find a beer-slinger who double-strains the egg whites in my Trenchtown Daisy in the manner to which I am accustomed. Drat I say, and fie.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:00 AM on December 5, 2008


Pollo,

You missed ProhibitionRepeal.com, sponsored by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. I liked the "Fast Facts about Prohibition" section, including

- The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) strongly supported Prohibition and its strict enforcement.
- Prohibition agents routinely broke the law themselves.
- The human body produces its own supply of alcohol naturally on a continuous basis, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Therefore, we always have alcohol in our bodies.


And just when you're wondering why the hell anyone's running a propaganda campaign against a decision repealed 75 years ago...

- Although Prohibition was repealed 75 years ago, there are still hundreds of dry counties across the United States today.
posted by ormondsacker at 8:38 AM on December 5, 2008


My favorite Prohibition story, like all my favorite stories, involves wine.

Apparently, bottles of "fruit extract" could be bought with small warning labels alterting you that ...if combined with yeast and stored in a dark place this could become an illegal product and so take heed.

Kind of like how contraceptives where masked in the Edwardian Era, "
posted by The Whelk at 8:41 AM on December 5, 2008


"In Los Angeles, a jury that had heard a bootlegging case was itself put on trial after it drank the evidence. The jurors argued in their defense that they had simply been sampling the evidence to determine whether or not it contained alcohol, which they determined it did. However, because they consumed the evidence, the defendant charged with bootlegging had to be acquitted"

I take it back. THIS is my new favorite story.
posted by The Whelk at 8:44 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


- Although Prohibition was repealed 75 years ago, there are still hundreds of dry counties across the United States today.

There are 75 counties in the state of Arkansas. I believe 43 of them are dry. The only reason the state ever legalized whiskey sales in the first place was Roosevelt threatened to withhold federal funds during the New Deal if the state didn't bump its tax revenue up. I personally live in a wet city in a wet county, but my neighborhood is dry.

Sigh. I miss Missouri sometimes. Sunday liquor, buy your wine and groceries at the same place, whiskey for cheap at Sam's Club and Wal-Mart. Most unhypocritical state regarding booze I've ever seen.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:28 AM on December 5, 2008


Utah's drinking laws still are somewhat archaic: bars are considered "private clubs" and visitors must purchase temporary memberships and be sponsored by an existing member to join and drink. Drinks can only contain 2.75 oz of "spiritous liquor." And bottled liquor, wine, and heavy beer (over 3.2%) can only be purchased in a State Liquor Store. There are only 37 full-selection State Liquor Stores in the state, and 90 limited-selection Stores. Utah Department of Beverage Control site.

Utah law also prohibits establishments from serving and selling alcohol on Election Day until after the polls close.
posted by terranova at 9:44 AM on December 5, 2008


I had no idea Utah was the final state to ratify. How'd that happen? Were Mormons not fully in control of Utah politics at the time? Were they less worried about alcohol regulation than they are now? Was it some practical regulate-rather-than-outlaw argument?

My guess would be that Utah thought legalizing but regulating alcohol would do more to decrease drinking than driving drinkers underground with the outright ban.
posted by gyc at 9:57 AM on December 5, 2008


The prohibition of alcohol ended, but prohibition lives on. With many of the same problems still arising from it. I mean really, a federal offense for burning some dried leaves? That makes about as much sense as being arrested for buying a round for your friends.
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:24 AM on December 5, 2008


I celebrate this decision every day.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:29 AM on December 5, 2008


Op-ed in the Wall Street Journal making the connection between alcohol prohibition and drug prohibition.
posted by gingerbeer at 11:27 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Op-ed in the Wall Street Journal making the connection between alcohol prohibition and drug prohibition.
posted by gingerbeer at 11:27 AM on December 5 [+] [!]


There's also an op-ed in the same issue written by our "drug czar" arguing that our drug policy is working, because there are less reported cases of workers failing drug tests for cocaine. He even claims meth use is down. I find that hard to believe....
posted by Thoughtcrime at 12:03 PM on December 5, 2008


Time for a Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale.
posted by fixedgear at 1:19 PM on December 5, 2008


Time for a Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale.

You know, I've still got a 2007 Celebration in the fridge that I've been meaning to compare to this year's. I tried a 2008 for the first time last night, and at first--when it was fridge-cold--I was actually sort of put-off. Too much alcohol heat, too dry, too bitter. And this is a beer that I really, really like. But as it warmed up, it got better and better--more hop aroma, less bitterness, more malt. Guess that's what I get for drinking it too cold.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:25 PM on December 5, 2008


It must have been a good Repeal day cause I ended up on our fire escape with my boyfriend holding a lobster and me saying "I just don't like your implication that money is the measure of a man!"

Happy Repea; Day!

*falls down*
posted by The Whelk at 5:54 PM on December 5, 2008


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