What is Repeal Day®?
The turn of the twentieth century was a dark time in America. The Women's Christian Temperance Union, which had been promoting Prohibition for many years, believed alcohol was the cause of many, if not all, social ills. Mistruths like this were spread. Lines were drawn. Bars and taverns were vandalized. People were killed. On January 16th, 1919, Congress passed the Eighteenth Amendment, outlawing alcohol and ostensibly putting an end to drunkenness, crime, mental illness, and poverty.
Ironically, America's thirst for alcohol increased during Prohibition, and organized crime rose up to replace formerly legal methods of production and distribution. While proponents of Prohibition argued that the amendment would be more effective if enforcement were increased, respect for the law diminished and drunkenness, crime and resentment towards the federal government ran rampant.
Over the course of the next thirteen years, support for Prohibition waned as the nation awoke to the widespread problems Prohibition had caused. The number of repeal organizations — many of which were comprised of former Prohibitionists — increased, and in 1932 Franklin Delano Roosevelt ran for President on a platform that included the repeal of Prohibition.
On December 5th, 1933, Utah, the final state needed for a three quarters majority, ratified the 21st Amendment, repealing Prohibition and restoring the American right to a celebratory drink. While the amendment still allowed for state and local levels of Prohibition, by 1966 there were no state laws banning alcohol.
Why Do We Celebrate?
The thirteen years of Prohibition were a dark time for the United States, as the criminalization of alcohol led not only to a rise in civil delinquency and organized crime, but also to the loss of customs associated with the production, preparation, and consumption of alcohol.
We celebrate Repeal Day® because December 5th marks a return to the rich traditions of craft fermentation and distillation, the legitimacy of the American bartender as a contributor to the culinary arts, and the responsible enjoyment of alcohol as a sacred social custom.
It's the perfect time of year.
Conveniently located halfway between Thanksgiving and Christmas — at a time when most Americans are probably not spending time with family — Repeal Day® presents a wonderful occasion to get together with friends and pay tribute to our constitutional rights.
We have the constitutional ability to do so.
Unlike St. Patrick's Day or Cinco de Mayo, Repeal Day® is a day that all Americans have a part in observing, because it's written in our Constitution. No other holiday celebrates the laws that guarantee our rights, and Repeal Day® has everything to do with our personal pleasures.
There are no outfits to buy, costumes to rent, rivers to dye green. Simply celebrate the day by stopping by your local bar, tavern, saloon, winery, distillery, or brewhouse and having a drink. Pick up a six-pack on your way home from work. Split a bottle of wine with a loved one. Buy a shot for a stranger. Just do it because you can.
Thanks for reading about what we hope will become a celebrated day in this country. Please help spread the word about Repeal Day®, and tell a friend.