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U.S. News
21: Prohibition repealed

Wednesday, November 27, 2002


Prohibition officially ended on Dec. 5, 1933, one day after Utah, Ohio and Pennsylvania ratified the 21st Amendment. But an end to Prohibition didn't mean an end to liquor regulation. The law now allowed individual states to regulate the sale and importation of alcoholic beverages. Mississippi, for instance, did not officially legalize alcoholic drinks until 1966, although its favorite son, William Faulkner, always managed to find some. In Pennsylvania, the end of Prohibition introduced a new creature -- the state Liquor Control Board.

Before Prohibition, individual counties licensed bars and retailers. Under the 21st Amendment, Pennsylvania gave itself a monopoly on the sale of liquor and wine, establishing a series of "State Stores" to sell those items, while the sale of beer was assigned to licensed distributors and bars. Ashlynn Rose Miller, 8 months old, won't enjoy the fruits of the 21st Amendment for another 20 years and 4 months. For now, she's content do go along for the ride as her father, Dave, selects a bottle of wine at the State Store near their home in Penn Hills.

Amendment XXI:

Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 2. The transportation or importation into any state, territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several states, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the states by the Congress.

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