Prohibition officially ended 80 years ago on December 5, 1933, when the 21st Amendment to the Constitution became law – and thus “Repeal Day” celebrations began. (Watch for these on Thursday…)
Washington State, ever a trendsetter, actually struck down its state-level prohibition of alcohol six months before the federal government did (perhaps a foreshadowing of later moves on marijuana?) So we get to celebrate Repeal Day twice every year. Excellent.
Ironically, Washington State enacted Prohibition at a state level five years BEFORE the feds did. And it had been prohibited at various local levels before that. Washington had dry towns, dry counties and even dry perimeters of one mile around the Northern Pacific Railroad during construction in some counties. (Drinking while pile-driving – not a good idea…)
Luckily, Prohibition (officially the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution) was repealed by Congress in early 1933. On December 5, 1933 – in perhaps another bit of irony – Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment, officially ending Prohibition.