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21st Amendment

The Eighteenth Amendment establishing National Prohibition was repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment, which consists of three sections:

Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
Section 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use there in of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.
Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

Support for the repeal of Prohibition was overwhelming.

During 1933, laws were passed in 43 of the then-existing 48 states providing for action on the proposed repeal amendment. The five states not passing such laws were Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and North Dakota.

In the same year conventions were held in 38 states and all but one (South Carolina) ratified the Amendment. North Carolina residents voted for convention delegates but against holding a convention.

Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma and South Dakota provided for the election of convention delegates in 1934, but only Montana actually elected delegates and held a convention that year, which was after the amendment had already been ratified and become part of the U.S. Constitution. Only the South Carolina convention, which was composed of delegates supporting Prohibition, voted against repeal.

In only six of the 38 states that ratified the amendment were there any votes against repeal, and in five of those the vote was almost negligible, ranging from one to five delegates. Only in Indiana was there significant opposition, with the vote being 246 in favor to 83 in opposition.

The Eighteenth Amendment was interpreted and its implementation mechanisms were established by the National Prohibition Act, commonly known as the Volstead Act after the member of Congress who sponsored and oversaw its passage.

Provisions of the Volstead Act were specifically repealed by act of Congress on August 27, 1935. Federal prohibition laws effective in various districts and territories were repealed by Congress over time.

District of Columbia--April 5, 1933 and January 24, 1934
Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands--March 2, 1934
Hawaii--March 26, 1934
Panama Canal Zone--June 19, 1934

Seventy-five years after Repeal, Americans are still being burdened by legacy left by National Prohibition. These include Blue laws, Prohibition-era attitudes, high taxes, and failure to recognize the alcohol content equivalence of standard drinks of beer, wine and distilled spirits.

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