Repeal Day in the United States Date in the current year: December 5, 2024

Repeal Day in the United States Repeal Day® is an unofficial observance in the United States, celebrated on December 5. On this day in 1933, the Congress adopted the Twenty first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, officially repealing the nationwide ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages.

The first attempts to limit the distribution of alcoholic beverages in the United States were made in the 18th century, mainly due to the increase in the number of alcohol-related crimes in the years following the American Revolution. Gradually, the anti-alcohol movement gained strength with the support of social moralists and religious activists.

On December 18, 1918, the Senate proposed the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that effectively established the prohibition of alcoholic beverages in the country. Although the consumption or private possession of intoxicating liquors were still allowed, the Amendment declared the production, transport, and sale of alcohol illegal. It was ratified on January 16, 1919, and the United States went dry the following year, on January 17, 1920.

However, Prohibition didn’t help to solve alcohol-related problems. Criminal gangs were able to gain control of the illegal business of transporting and selling alcoholic beverages (known as rum-running or bootlegging). The black market alcohol business was very lucrative, and gangsters were able to bribe police officers, prosecutors, and judges, who turned a blind eye to alcohol smuggling. Additionally, enforcement of Prohibition lacked a centralized authority and solid public support.

As more and more Americans opposed Prohibition, the Congress caved in and proposed the Twenty-first Amendment that repealed the Eighteenth Amendment and ended the ban on the production, transportation, and sale of alcohol. It was ratified on December 5, 1933. The anniversary of this event is now celebrated as Repeal Day®.

Repeal Day® is a registered trademark of the Museum of the American Cocktail, a New Orleans-based nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the history of the cocktail in the United States and education in mixology. The motto of Repeal Day® is “Freedom to Celebrate. Celebrate the Freedom”. According to the organizers, its main goal is to celebrate a return to the rich traditions of craft alcohol production, the legitimacy of bartenders as contributors to culinary arts, and the responsible enjoyment of alcohol as a sacred social custom.

Unlike Saint Patrick’s Day or other holidays traditionally associated with alcohol consumption, Repeal Day® is the holiday of all Americans regardless of their origin, because it’s directly related to the U.S. constitution and the inalienable rights of every citizen of the United States.

How does one celebrate Repeal Day®? Well, you can hit your local pub, bar, brewery, winery, or distillery, throw a party, share a bottle of wine with your significant other or a group of friends, or even buy a shot for a stranger. The point is to savor high-quality alcohol and your right to enjoy it as soon as you turn 21.

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