On This Day: Ratification of the 21st Amendment

On December 5, 1933, the 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed, repealing the 18th Amendment and ending the prohibition of alcohol in America. The 18th Amendment was passed in 1919 to ban the "manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors…for beverage purposes." Eight months after its ratification, Congress passed the Volstead Act to enforce Prohibition. However, federal agents and police had difficulty implementing these enforcements with the rise of speakeasies and bootleggers. Therefore, support faltered in the early 1930's and Prohibition became the only Constitutional amendment to be repealed in United States history.

End of Prohibition

Lisa Andersen, assistant professor at the Juliard School, discusses the process of repealing the 18th Amendment.