The sun is shinning, the weather is nice and cool and to top it all off it’s a holiday.
December 5th is Repeal Day and Miami is the perfect place to celebrate. The city stood proud (knee deep in booze) against prohibition, not only as a place that prohibition couldn’t touch but also as a port spreading defiance to other states.
Today is a day to celebrate individual freedom, liberty, and getting so drunk you go blind for a few hours.
According to PBS’s American Experience, “‘[l]imousines lined up at the wharfs to welcome the boats laden with bootleg liquor that came in from Havana, Bimini, Nassau, and people drove off with their 'fish' neatly wrapped in brown paper.’ At other times, that 'fish' was shipped north in refrigerated railroad cars, under cover of grapefruit, tomatoes or avocados.”
A couple of folks from Ohio apparently believed that alcohol was the devil’s libation, so they lobbied for the prohibition of alcohol and on Jan. 16, 1919 Congress ratified the 18th Amendment. All this over a little booze.
“If anyone wants to go to hell in a hurry, there are greased banks aplenty in Miami,” said a minister in 1925, according to PBS. Doesn’t that make you feel proud?
So what happens when you make something the public enjoys illegal? People profit from it exuberantly. The Prohibition Era funded the rise of organized crime, and just ended up sending America down the crapper a whole lot faster.
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Still it took Congress 14 years to change their minds. It’s good to see that they were as stubborn then as they are now. But to give Congress some credit, they actually did something right for once and did repeal the 18th Amendment.
So in honor of those heroes that fought for your right to drink yourself stupid go to your local bar, club, or just crack open a couple bottles at home, and rejoice.
And remember that when you have that drunken hook up, when taking your 8th shot of Tequila is the last thing you remember and when you get that great feeling of waking up without a hang over despite the fact that you out drank your Mexican friend, you have Congress and a bunch of people more enlightened than those folks from Ohio to thank. Cheers. --Elvis Ramirez