Garrison Keillor posted this on his very engaging website “A Writer’s Almanac.” The daily newsletter is delightful, it’s free, and I recommend it. I was chastised by a reader for reprinting anything by Keillor, since he was credibly accused of #MeToo actions. I believe in redemption. I also believe in my freedom to post whatever I want.

Keillor writes:

It’s the 100th anniversary of the beginning of Prohibition! The Eighteenth Amendment, the Volstead Act, took effect on this date in 1920, a year after it was ratified. It made the manufacture, sale, and transportation of liquor illegal. The temperance movement had been fighting this fight for almost 80 years. Its activists wanted to protect families and communities from the horrors of alcohol abuse. They saw the 18th Amendment as a major victory for morality—but in reality, it made criminals out of a lot of ordinary American citizens, and made liquor even more desirable than it had been before.

In the end, it was the Depression that led to the demise of Prohibition. A wealthy Republican named Pauline Sabin led the repeal movement. She said that making liquor legal again would create jobs, weaken organized crime, and generate tax revenue. It took almost 14 years before the 21st Amendment reversed Prohibition. It’s the first and only time an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has been repealed.