Friday, December 5, 2014

Repeal Day 2014

     December 5th marks the 81st anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition in the United States.   The 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, repealing the 18th Amendment and bringing an end to the era of national prohibition of alcohol in America.   At 5:32 p.m. EST, Utah became the 36th state to ratify the amendment, achieving the requisite three-fourths majority of states' approval. Pennsylvania and Ohio had ratified it earlier in the day.

     Congress passed the Volstead Act on October 28, 1919, over President Woodrow Wilson's veto, beginning one of the blackest periods of American history.   Prohibition or the "Nobel Experiment" as it was also known turned normal law biding citizens into "outlaws".   Alcohol thought to be the root of all things that were bad in the country at the time became the one thing that the American public did not want to do without.

    Finally on December 5, 1933 the 21st Amendment was passed bringing an end to Prohibition in the United States.    It was the end of Prohibition, but we still are laboring under a large number of restrictions and controls as a result of the repeal as well.  The three tier system of spirits distribution and the absolute control of producing spirits even for our own consumption.

    Even though that the system is flawed, it is so much better that having to go "underground" in order to get our alcoholic beverages.  By the way today is the one year anniversary of the opening of the first "legal" distillery in Key West.   Paul Menta and his partners have done a really great job producing rum here in Key West.  His pioneering spirit has lead the way for three others that are in the process of opening distilleries here in Key West and on Stock Island.