1933 : Michigan Approves 21st Amendment, Repealing Prohibition

April 3, 2023 all-day

On April 3, 1933, Michigan became the first state to vote for a repeal of federal Prohibition. During the 1920s, Michigan was a battleground for bootleggers who smuggled liquor into Michigan from Canada. With the Great Depression and the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the nation demanded an end to Prohibition. Michigan became the first state to approve the 21st Amendment, ending the nation’s experiment with Prohibition. However, the state would have to wait for a convention to be held on April 10 to make it legal.

There is some disagreement about whether the proper day to celebrate is April 3 – the day Michigan’s delegates voted to ratify the amendment – or April 10 – the day the ratification convention took place. But, honestly, why not both?



When Prohibition ended in 1933, patrons flooded the reopened bars in Muskegon and celebrated the flowing taps.

Sources :

Historical Society of Michigan

“Michigan Votes for Repeal of Prohibition”, Detroit Free Press, April 4, 1933, cover.

Troy Reimink, “Today in Michigan history: A thirsty state ratifies bill overturning Prohibition, becoming first in U.S.”, MLive, April 9, 2012.

The Windsor-Detroit Funnel: Prohibition in Detroit. Wayne State University Walter Reuther Library. December 7, 2015.

Rum Running and the Roaring Twenties: Prohibition on the Michigan-Ontario Waterway / Philip P. Mason. Detroit, MI : Wayne State University, 1995.

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