On January 17, I like to mark the anniversary of the first day of Prohibition back in 1920 with a drink! That’s what most drinkers did that year, they held a wake at their favorite bar on January 16, the last legal day to drink, and went home to mourn.
They need not have bothered, as it soon became clear that the gangster element would quickly step in to fill the demand for booze, bringing far more problems and anguish than existed when liquor was legal. In fact, historians now say it was probably easier to get a drink during Prohibition than it was when Prohibition ended in 1933 and regulations limited people’s access.
So join me on January 16, the last day of legal drinking, and again on January 17, the first day of Prohibition, and lift your glass to one of the biggest mistakes in American history.