1933 : National Prohibition Act Repealed

December 5, 2021 all-day

On December 5, 1933, the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution officially repealed the National Prohibition Act, which had banned sale and consumption of alcohol since the 18th Amendment took effect in 1920.

Michigan’s own ban on booze in 1917 laid the groundwork for an extensive bootlegging and smuggling network across the Canadian border, hauling in 75 percent of all the alcohol smuggled into the U.S. during Prohibition and distributing it nationwide. Illegal distilleries in the metro Detroit area also helped keep the bars stocked. By 1929, rumrunning was Detroit’s second largest industry, netting $215 million a year. It’s estimated that there were somewhere between 16,000 and 25,000 speakeasies operating in the Detroit area before Prohibition was repealed.

Source: Wayne State University Reuther Library

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