Wednesday 16 January 2019


To illustrate how bad decisions—even ones wedded too—can be later reversed, we contemplate, courtesy of our faithful chronicler, how on this day a century ago, the proposed language to establish the prohibition of “intoxicating liquors” in the United States as the law of the land.
Championed by Congress two winters prior, the proscription was ratified by the then requisite thirty-sixth state (four of the new western territories voted as a bloc all on the same day) and the Eighteenth Amendment to the US Constitution was sent before the House of Representatives, passing the enabling legislation, known as the Volstead Act. The country as a whole went dry, according to the terms of the amendment the following year. The Twenty First Amendement repealed Prohibition in 1933 after large-scale bootlegging and organised crime erupted to mollify shifting public sentiment that stopped taking kindly to legislated morals and signalled a course-correction was necessary.