With a charge led by one Wayne B. Wheeler and Andrew Volstead, Americans met with the Great Experiment of Temperance, or the National Prohibition Act (the 18th Amendment) at midnight on January 17, 1920. Although the bill was vetoed by then president Woodrow Wilson, it was overwhelmingly passed both in House and Senate. This Amendment prohibited the manufacturing, sale and consumption of alcohol. Within minutes of the enactment of Prohibition, the first crime erupted when $100,000 worth of whiskey was stolen from a train in Chicago. Prohibition then gave birth to a new industry gripped by grizzly mobsters and bootleggers. Average citizens were lured by the siren song of the speakeasy.
Prohibition called for trials for anyone charged with an alcohol-related offense, and juries often failed to convict. Under the state of New York’s Mullan-Gage Act, a short-lived local version of the Volstead Act, the first 4,000 arrests led to just six convictions and not one jail sentence. Prohibition was deemed a failure and was dismantled by the Twenty-first Amendment which was ratified on December 5, 1933.
When Prohibition was introduced, I hoped that it would be widely supported by public opinion and the day would soon come when the evil effects of alcohol would be recognized. I have slowly and reluctantly come to believe that this has not been the result. Instead, drinking has generally increased; the speakeasy has replaced the saloon; a vast army of lawbreakers has appeared; many of our best citizens have openly ignored Prohibition; respect for the law has been greatly lessened; and crime has increased to a level never seen before. – John D Rockefeller
To commemorate the repeal of Prohibition there are several location where you can celebrate in high style. Look for this list to grow within the next few days, but for now consider the following:
Victor Tangos invites guests to commemorate Repeal Day, this Thursday, December 5, with specially priced 80 cent cocktails. The event marks 80 years since the United States of America repealed Prohibition in 1933, to restore Americans’ right to celebratory drink. Throughout the evening, sip hand-crafted cocktails to mark the occasion, including the Gin Sling, Sazerac, Japanese Cocktail, and the Mary Pickford. This event begins at 5pm and last until midnight.
Alamo Drafthouse wants to celebrate the 80th anniversary with some Prohibition-era cocktails, moonshine, 1930’s music and the distillers from Herman Marshall Whiskey will make an appearance. Tickets are now on sale for Thursday, December 5, 2013, Prohibition Night. Get your illegal drink on from 7-8 pm in Glass Half Full Tap Room inside the Alamo- Richardson. After the festivities, there will be an 8 pm special showing of Lawless, paired with a conversation “The Wettest County in the World” author Matt Bondurant, the book in which Lawless is adapted from. Bondurant’s grandfather, Jack Bondurant, and two granduncles ran a massive moonshining operation in the mountains of southwest Virginia and are the subject of his novel and the film.
Authors Jeffry Yarbrough and Rita Cook will be at the Windmill Lounge signing copies of Prohibition in Dallas and Fort Worth from 5 to 7 p.m. The book came out this summer and details the history of cocktails during Prohibition in North Texas.
In honor of the 80th anniversary of the legalization of our precious booze, Whiskey Cake is offering some of our country’s signature cocktails for only 5 cents! 5 cent cocktails include: Sazerac, French 75, Blood and Sand , Daiquiri , and the ever popular Moscow Mule. There will also be a photo booth and more festivities happening as we celebrate this important occasion.
Standard Pour has a celebration planned as well, with sketchy details but a promise of an event you won’t soon forget. Look for crooner Ricki Derek to be on hand. There will be a complementary champagne fountain as well as other food and drink specials. The staff will be dressed for the occasion.
Celebrate the repeal of the Volstead act at Bolsa Restaurant in Oak Cliff Dec 5 from 9:00-2:00. $5.00 cocktails concocted by Kyle Hilla, Cameron Cook, Trina Nishimura, Josh McEachern, Birk Baumgartner, and Jules Pagan, and made with wonderful premium spirits from Ketel One, Don Julio Tequila, Brugal, Maker’s Mark, Remy Cointreau and Famous Grouse.