The National Prohibition Act, known informally as the Volstead Act, was enacted to carry out the intent of the Eighteenth Amendment, which established prohibition in the United States. There were three key exemptions: wine for sacramental purposes, 200 gallons per calendar year for a household in which two or more adults reside, and liquor or alcohol prescribed by a physician for medicine. The U.S. Treasury Department authorized physicians to write prescriptions for medicinal alcohol, but everyone knew what the whiskey was really for. [more inside]
While Prohibition may have withered the American drinker’s palate and understanding & sent the most talented drink-slingers into exile, cocktails are back, and better than ever! And who are the people that have brought the all-but-dead art of America’s contribution to world drinks culture (and the profession & craft of the Bartender) back to stunning, exuberant life? Hey Bartender! [more inside]
This indignant map exposes the seamy underbelly of 1890s Washington, D.C., naming and locating “saloons” and “bawdy-houses” in the so-called Murder Bay neighborhood, located east of the White House. The Library of Congress, which holds the map, tells us that it’s a newspaper clipping from the 1890s, without a known author or publisher. (Slate.com)
Vancouver has long struggled with a reputation as a "No Fun City", largely due to draconian BC liquor laws. Many prohibition-era laws were not repealed until 1999 or later. The struggle to bring fun to the city culminated in the 2010 Olympics; but on Saturday, the fun proved too much for city officials, and police ordered all downtown liquor stores to close at 7pm. [more inside]
An estimated 10,000 people died during the Prohibition years after drinking alcohol poisoned on the orders of the U.S. government.
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.
Today, April 7, is the 73rd anniversary of the end of Prohibition, marking the day in 1933 when FDR signed emergency legislation to allow the sale of beer (and reportedly had the first public delivery of beer sent to the White House). Breweries all over America are celebrating Brew Year's Eve. In other news, marijuana prohibition has continued in the US for almost 70 years. There's a Nevada initiative on the ballot this November to end it -- by allowing the legal cultivation and sale of marijuana.
Today marks the first time in 84 years that citizens of Pennsylvania are allowed to buy alcohol on a Sunday. Of course, it's only at state-approved stores, and only in selected suburbs.