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Prohibition Ends

December 5, 2014

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Profile America — Friday, December 5th. After nearly 14 eventful years, Prohibition ended on this date in 1933, and Americans were able once again to legally drink alcoholic beverages. This marked the closing of an unusual chapter in American history, where an amendment to the Constitution was overturned by the subsequent amendment. The 18th amendment, banning nearly all sales and manufacture of alcohol, was ratified in 1919 and took effect in January 1920. The 21st Amendment ratified on this date voided the 18th. After the lifting of prohibition, by the end December of 1933, there were just 17 liquor stores in the entire country. But today, the number of liquor stores approaches 33,000. On average, Americans spent nearly $2,400 a year on alcoholic beverages. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at <>.

1933 data: Historical Statistics of the United States, Part 2/page 849
Beer, wine and liquor stores NAICS 335310
Expenditures on consumption

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | Last Revised: November 21, 2014