Profile America: Prohibition Remembered



Profile America — There have been 27 ratified amendments to the U.S. Constitution over the past 224-plus years, but that total comes with an asterisk. Uniquely, the 21st Amendment repeals the 18th, which began its short career this day in 1919. That amendment launched the Prohibition Era, a well-intentioned act of social hygiene, seeking to ban the availability of alcoholic beverages. The unintended consequences, though, were perhaps worse — vast flouting of the law by the public and a boost to organized crime. Prohibition was repealed in December 1933. In the no-longer-dry U.S., there are over 330 distilleries and 1,560 breweries, with combined annual sales of about $46.5 billion per year. 

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

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