Profile America: Prohibition

Monday, January 29th. There have been 27 ratified amendments to the U.S. Constitution over the past 225-plus years, but that total comes with an asterisk. Uniquely, the 21st Amendment repeals the 18th, which began its short career this month 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 Prohibition was repealed in December 1933.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 United States, there are 739 distilleries and over 2,300 breweries, with combined annual sales of about $43 billion per year.
Profile America is in its 21st year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

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