Thanksgiving is behind us and Christmas just around the corner. But before we get to caroling, gift-giving, and watching our favorite Yuletide classic films, there’s a holiday worth toasting: Repeal Day!
The brainchild of bar manager, bartender and author Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Repeal Day celebrates the ratification of the 21st Amendment, which ended the 18th Amendment’s thirteen-year reign of terror, during which it was illegal to manufacture, transport, or sell intoxicating liquors in the U.S.
Lasting from January 16, 1919, to December 5, 1933, Prohibition — largely backed by Women’s Christian Temperance Union, which still exists, as it turns out — was started to ostensibly cure the ills of society. Alcohol, it was thought, was the cause of poverty, crime, mental illness, and drunkenness, and while they kind of had a point on that last one (not everybody’s husbands were the paragons of drinking responsibly, apparently), it ended up that Prohibition didn’t exactly pan out as planned. Put bluntly, it backfired. In a big way.