Originally posted on the Southern Colorado Beer Examiner site...
History is full of great moments. It's equally full of not so great moments, and Prohibition was one of this countries not so great moments.
In public Herbert Hoover, the thirty-first president of the United States, said: "Our country has deliberately undertaken a great social and economic experiment, noble in motive and far-reaching in purpose." In reality he didn't really care for the Volstead Act. In fact, he would regularly visit the Belgian Embassy after leaving work at the Commerce Department. You see, Embassies technically reside on foreign soil and are thus immune from U.S. law. So while "visiting" his Belgian friends he would enjoy an alcoholic drink or two before heading home. Furthermore, Hoover was often heard (in private of course) grousing that all Prohibition did was force him to get rid of his prized wine cellar.
On December 18, 1917, the U.S. Senate proposed the Eighteenth Amendment. This, along with the Volstead Act (which, among other things, defined "intoxicating liquor") established the Prohibition of alcohol in the United States. After being approved by 36 states it was ratified on January 16, 1919, and went into full effect on January 16, 1920.
We now know the so called "Noble Experiment" failed miserably. It is the only amendment to the United States Constitution that has ever been repealed (by the Twenty-first Amendment). Prohibition lasted from January 16,1920, until December 5, 1933. For thirteen years this country may have been dry on the surface... but blood and booze drenched the floors of its underbelly.
To read the rest of this historical perspective on Prohibition... click here!