Back in 1933, following the signature of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the United States ended its 13-year experiment with the increasingly unpopular nationwide prohibition of alcohol, meaning yay, it’s National Repeal Day on December 5! If you enjoy alcohol, then this is a great opportunity to celebrate your legal freedom to consume it. While popular opinion tends to suggest that prohibition failed, it did succeed in cutting overall alcohol consumption in half during the 1920s (although that also meant tax revenues from alcohol were zeroed out). Giving a dangerous, flapper-style edge to the consumption of alcohol in illegal speakeasies also may have contributed to a whole cult around alcohol consumption, further glamorizing it. And if there’s one thing we really like when we’re consuming alcohol, it’s an element of glamor! So if you own any flapper-style costumes, this is the time to pull it out…
National Repeal Day timeline
Pick that bottle up
Sure enough, Roosevelt passes the 21st amendment, repealing prohibition
A big election
Roosevelt is elected on the promise of repealing prohibition
Seriously put it down
Prohibition comes into effect
Put that bottle down
The 18th amendment to the U.S. Constitution passes, paving the way for prohibition
National Repeal Day Activities
Throw a party at your local speakeasy
Many former speakeasies have since turned into regular bars in cities across the country, which means you can book one and throw a 1920s-themed party for your friends without worrying about the police showing up, unless things get really out of control.
Try a new cocktail
Moscow Mules, Margaritas, Martinis, Manhattans, Daiquiris, Negronis, Old Fashioneds, that’s seven cocktails we just listed, which should be enough to see even a pretty sturdy horse off for the evening. So why stay stuck in a rut when there are all those fascinating combinations to try!
Don’t forget the mocktails!
Seriously, not everyone drinks, and that’s cool. There are an increasing number of cocktail practitioners learning the art of mocktailmaking, and whether you’re the designated driver or simply moderating your intake for any reason, we really do recommend checking out some of the amazing flavor combinations on offer at the non-alcoholic end of the menu. Particularly if it’s getting late and you’re having that conversation about whether one more drink is a good idea!
Why We Love National Repeal Day
It’s the only holiday written in our constitution
The repeal of the 18th Amendment is the only national holiday written into our constitution, following passage of the 33rd Amendment in 1933. That means you’re practically doing your patriotic duty by celebrating it, which is one of many good excuses you can use for showing up bleary-eyed for work tomorrow morning!
Flapper wear is awesome
Flappers were women known for their unconventional style and behavior, with their own hairstyles and ways of dressing such as short skirts (gasp!). We love the flapper look, and are inspired by the feminist and empowering messages that go with it. Men also dressed better in the 1920s, including suspenders and pinstripe suits.
Alcohol can be nice nice
To be honest, we enjoy drinking alcohol in all its forms. Apart from the relaxing effect, we’re suckers for those articles saying drink a glass of red wine because it helps reduce your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. So that’s three glasses of red wine we’re allowed to drink, right there, just for its health benefits. And then there are cocktails... we also love cocktails. And beer. Beer is...also nice.
National Repeal Day dates