Politics

The end of Prohibition: 'You can drink!'

Published 3:32 PM ET, Tue December 3, 2013
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The Daily News screams news of the repeal of Prohibition on December 6, 1933. Eighty years ago -- on December 5, 1933 -- the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, repealing Prohibition in the U.S. after more than 13 years. Click through to see how America handled no alcohol throughout this period. NY Daily News via Getty Images
Federal agents search for liquor in a bar in the 1920s. On December 22, 1917, with a majority vote, Congress submitted the 18th Amendement to the Constitution, which prohibited "the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors." C.P. CUSHING/CLASSICSTOCK/Everett Collection
Men destroy wine and spirits in Boston during Prohibition. By January 1919 ratification was complete. Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
New York City Liquor Agent Izzy Einstein dumps liquor into gutter. Congress passed the National Prohibition Act, usually called the Volstead Act because Congressman Andrew Volstead of Minnesota introduced it in 1919, to enforce the 18th Amendment. Daily News/NY Daily News via Getty Images
''Beware, Mr. Smoker, your turn is next!'' -- a prophetic satire from the Prohibition era in America in February 1922. Mary Evans Picture Library/Everett Collection
Prohibition protesters parade in a car emblazoned with signs and flags calling for the repeal of the 18th Amendment in 1923. Archive Photos/Getty Images
Italian-American gangster and known bootlegger Al Capone took over a Chicago organization dealing in illegal liquor, gambling and prostitution from the gangster Johnny Torrio. He eventually provided oceans of (illegal) liquor to mostly happy customers in Chicago and elsewhere. Chicago History Museum/Getty Images
At an Army base in Brooklyn, men drain 10,000 barrels of beer into New York Harbor in 1925. Larry Froeber/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
A woman displays a sign supporting the repeal of the 18th Amendment in 1927. In the late 1920s, more and more Americans opposed Prohibition. MPI/Getty Images
The Embassy of Great Britain in Washington receives a cargo of alcohol, despite Prohibition on March 30, 1929. Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images
The 105-year-old Indian chief "Many Tail Feathers" drinks milk instead of whiskey during Prohibition in 1929. imagno/Getty Images
A tower is built with barrels of alcohol to be burned during Prohibition in 1930. Imagno/Getty Images
Men and women inside a New York speakeasy in 1930. These illegal bars, developed during Prohibition. They were sometimes frequented by a chic clientele looking to consume alcohol. Speakeasies got their name for the need to whisper or "speak easy," and a secret knock or password could be required for a person to enter the establishment. Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images
Estelle Zemon, left, and an unidentified woman model ways to conceal bottles of rum to get past customs officials on March 18, 1931. Cocktails grew in popularity during Prohibition as the juices and other mixers covered the taste of the sometimes less-than-premium alcohol. ap
A "beer for taxation" rally makes its way down 50th Street in New York, May 14, 1932. The demonstration was led by Mayor James J. Walker. ap
People raise a celebratory glass of alcohol, after the repeal of Prohibition, in Chicago, Illinois, in 1933. While some say Prohibition actually promoted more drinking as well as disrespect for the law and organized crime, many historians say the law -- at least initially -- was mostly respected. Chicago History Museum/Getty Images
"What America needs now is a drink," declared President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the end of Prohibition. In 1933, bartenders at Chicago's Sloppy Joe's pour a round of drinks on the house as it is announced Prohibition is dead after 13 years. American Stock/Getty Images