Today marks the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition. As Michael A. Lerner recounts in Dry Manhattan: Prohibition in New York City, the 18th Amendment to the Constitution prohibited the manufacture, transport, and sale of alcohol, with the intention of making the country a bastion of health and morality. This "noble experiment" failed spectacularly, nowhere more so than New York, driving the thirsty underground to illegally manufacture and imbibe their intoxicants and sparking the first culture war of the 20th century. More than just a fight for the right to drink (and a nationwide example that people naturally want to do exactly what they are forbidden to do), Prohibition was a battle between social reformers and personal liberty advocates, two groups with two very different views of what America should be like. Lucky for lovers of cocktails (and personal freedoms), the 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition 14 years later.
We're all for enjoying a good drink (in moderation, of course), so today we raise our glasses to those who helped win back this little freedom for us. Here's a toast to the 21st Amendment!