The Day America Won Back the Right to Party
- Dec. 5, 1933 -
Prohibition (n.) - the prevention by law of the manufacture and sale of alcohol, especially in the US between 1920 and 1933
The Noble Experiment
A fascinating time in American history, Prohibition, or what came to be known as “The Noble Experiment,” began with the passing of the 18th Amendment in 1920 after diligent campaigning by groups such as the Anti-Saloon League & Women’s Christian Temperance Union, among others. By its terms, the 18th Amendment prohibited “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors.” Although, it technically never prohibited the consumption of alcohol itself.
So why would someone think prohibition was a good idea in the first place? Lower crime rates, stronger families, and an overall improvement in the nation’s character were at the top of the list for those in favor of prohibition.
The Pitfalls of Prohibition
With breweries and distilleries shut down across the nation, countless jobs were lost and unemployment skyrocketed. While initially, supporters thought banning alcohol would increase the sales of other goods and entertainment venues, in reality, the opposite was true. Countless restaurants closed their doors for good without the revenue from alcohol sales, and movie theaters touted record lows in attendance. And the government? They didn’t make out too well either. Losing roughly $11 billion in excise taxes while spending $300 million to enforce the ban certainly did not paint a positive picture for “the Noble Experiment.”
What else sealed the fate of Prohibition? Crime. Prohibition didn’t just breed gangsters like Al Capone (who personally banked as much as $60 million annually), it made criminals out of average Joes and police officers alike – it all stemmed from how tempting (and lucrative) the bribes were.
So who came to their senses first? FDR won the 1932 presidency on the platform that he would be the president to end prohibition. His motivation? Perhaps his favorite drink – a dirty martini. So after 14 dry years, on December 5, 1933, the 21st Amendment was ratified (“The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed”) by enough states to become law.
For that, we are all thankful. A little-known fact – that wasn’t quite the end of prohibition. Some states remained dry after the repeal, with Mississippi being the last to end its dry spell in 1966.
Let’s Party Like It’s 1933 | One-Day Half Price Case Sale
For the 10th year in a row, Yorkville Cellars will be rolling out the barrels and making the wine flow again in celebration of the repeal of Prohibition. We invite you to raise your glass with us December 5th to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition after 14 dry years. The 10th Annual Half Price Case Sale also includes shipping on us, just in time for the holiday season.
On Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, call us and say the secret passcode: LEGALIZE. We’re here 8am-5pm PST, (707) 894-9177 or (707) 367-2211.
You can also pre-order online before December 5th (as early as Nov. 24th) at yorkvillecellars.com/sale! But please note, deliveries cannot be fulfilled until the 21st Amendment is officially passed on December 5th.
“What America needs now is a drink.” – President Roosevelt