Since January 17, 1920, the 18th Amendment had made it illegal (medicinal and religious exemptions aside) to drink or sell any beverages containing at least 0.5 percent alcohol by volume anywhere in the United States.
The law led to lawlessness. A new wave of criminals met the new need for illicit alcohol and plagued the country for more than a decade.
But in 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt finally brought the end of Prohibition — but not necessarily for reasons you might think. At that time, America had been raked over the coals by the Great Depression. People were starving and struggling and, when the people had nothing, the government had nothing to tax. Roosevelt’s administration brought alcohol back, hoping to bring money back into the government via taxation and thus kick-start the economy.
Nevertheless, the end of Prohibition didn’t come all at once, but instead in stages. First, on…
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