December 5, 1933
Repeal Day occurred on December 5, 1933, when the Utah state convention ratified the 21st Amendment to the Constitution. Utah was the 36th state to ratify, giving the necessary majority to pass the Amendment. 36 out of 48 states needed to vote for the Amendment to pass. Here are five facts about Repeal Day that you may not know.
The first state to vote for repeal
On April 10, 1933, my home state of Michigan was the first to ratify the 21st Amendment by a vote of 99 to 1. It wasn’t until 15 days later that a second midwestern state also voted for repeal. Wisconsin was the second state to ratify.
Two states voted to continue Prohibition
North and South Carolina rejected the 21st Amendment before December 5, ensuring the vote to repeal was not a nationwide, unanimous vote.
Repeal Day did not give citizens the right to drink alcoholic beverages
It was legal to drink during prohibition. The Volstead Act, along with the 18th Amendment, never banned the drinking of alcohol. It only prohibited the manufacture, sale, and shipping of alcohol for mass consumption. On a national level, repeal took away those restrictions.
46 years of prohibition?
Prohibition in the United States lasted from 1920, with the passage of the 18th Amendment, through 1933, with the passage of the 21st Amendment. However, individual states could determine their destiny regarding the legalization of alcohol. The state of Mississippi did not end prohibition until 1966. Currently, 36 counties in Mississippi are considered dry counties for beer and wine sales. However, some municipalities within those counties are wet and can sell beer.
Two states said NO
Connecticut and Rhode Island are the only states to reject prohibition even after the 18th Amendment became law. Enforcing prohibition in both Connecticut and Rhode Island was dependent on the situation. Some locations never stopped having alcohol during the entire 13 years of prohibition.
I hope you enjoyed these five facts about repeal day and be sure to check in next week when I tell you some facts about Prohibition and the impact it had on the future of America. Because of prohibition, men and women began to drink together in public. This and many more interesting facts next week!