Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Citizenry demands beer; gets it.

Today marks the 74th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition.

Late in the afternoon of 5 December 1933, Utah voted to approve the 21st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, effectively repealing the 18th Amendment after nearly 14 years of the national prohibition of alcohol.

To this date, the 18th has been the only Amendment to have eradicated rights rather than granting them, and, by the adoption of the 21st Amendment, the only amendment to have been wholly overturned by another.

Utah's was the 36th state convention to vote for adoption of the 21st Amendment, thus achieving the constitutionally required majority of 3/4 of the states. The day before, South Carolina had voted against the repeal. It was the only state do have done so. Both Maryland and Virginia had voted in favor of the amendment in October.

Chicagoland beer historian Bob Skilnik notes that

American voters, through state referendums, added the 21st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. It was the first time in our history that a constitutional amendment was passed, not simply by the will of legislators, but instead through popular mandate, i.e., the power of the U.S. citizenry.

... and the only time.

More of Skilnik's history of the repeal, with an Illinois emphasis, here.

Do your civic duty today: have a beer!

1 comment:

  1. Tom,

    Thanks for the Repeal mention.

    Bob Skilnik


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