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Hummingbirds fly to Mars

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Hummingbirds fly to Mars

This election, Idahoans could not only vote for their favorite candidate, but hoist one in their honor as well

January 29, 1920—Any day of the week, any time of the year, if you wanted a glass of wine with dinner (unless you had made it yourself) you could go to jail—directly to jail, no passing Go, no collecting 200 dollars. Prohibition—the 18th Amendment as supplemented by the Volstead Act—prohibited the sale, manufacture and transportation of intoxicating liquor, defined as "any beverage containing over 0.5 percent alcohol."

Speakeasies—underground saloons where people could procure illegal alcohol—flourished, with over 100,000 of them in New York City alone, although you had to have a password to get in. Organized crime also flourished, and Al Capone, America’s best known gangster, came to power on Prohibition’s back. He ran Chicago with guns and blood, partially funded by the ownership of all 10,000 of Chicago’s speakeasies.

March 23, 1933—"I think this would be a good time for a beer." So said President Franklin Delano Roosevelt when he signed into law an amendment to the Volstead Act, which allowed for the manufacture and sale of beer (3.2 percent alcohol by weight) and light wines.

December 5, 1933—The 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution was signed into law. It stated simply, "The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed."

The 21st Amendment, however, also reserved to states the right to restrict or ban the purchase or sale of alcohol, which has led to a multitude of laws across state and county lines. Some continued Prohibition for a while; it wasn’t until 1966 that Mississippi became the last state to repeal the law within its borders. Others kept a patchwork of laws so that now, within a state, one county may be ‘wet’ for hard liquor while being ‘dry’ for beer and wine, even though across the border in the next county, beer and wine might be legal to purchase, with hard liquor sales illegal. These types of "Blue Laws" have included the prohibition of the sale of alcohol on election days.

November 4, 2008—The state of Idaho says a final good-bye to prohibition as it conducts its first election where alcohol sales are legal. "This bill in no way intends to threaten the sanctity of our government," said Mike Jorgensen, a Republican senator from Hayden who supported the new bill. It was estimated that Idaho businesses, along with the state itself, which retains control of liquor sales, lose approximately a half million dollars every election day because of the previous ban on sales.

Senator Morris Sheppard, one of the creators of the 18th Amendment, said "There is as much chance of repealing the Eighteenth Amendment as there is for a hummingbird to fly to the planet Mars with the Washington Monument tied to its tail."

-Trish Gannon

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Landon Otis

Tagged as:

alcohol, voting, Prohibition, repeal

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