In January of 1919, a group of teetotaling legislators passed the 18th amendment, which enabled nationwide Prohibition. The law was enacted for the purpose of curbing a slew of social problems, including drunkenness, violence, crime and poverty, but mostly it just fueled a huge bootlegging industry that catapulted crime syndicates to power.
Thankfully, drinkers can organize when necessary – happy hour is a great example – and came together to fight for the repeal of Prohibition. Even nondrinkers began to see the undue stress that Prohibition was putting on the country and its poor, thirsty citizens. Finally, on December 5, 1933, Prohibition was repealed.
So raise your glass in celebration of your right to legally have a drink, and remember that in the 1920s, our ancestors were forced to do their drinking in hiding. Cheers!