During Prohibition, wine glasses took on different uses DearKidLoveMom.comDear Kid,

On January 16, 1919, life in the US changed (significantly for some people) as the 18th Amendment to the Constitution took effect and “intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes” became illegal. Instantly, rum became a hair conditioner of choice for many.

Actually, drinking alcohol was never illegal. The amendment actually said manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages was prohibited. So as long as your hair conditioner alcoholic beverage appeared out of thin air, you were good, legally speaking. Some establishments would charge patrons for an experience (viewing a tiger for instance) and then throw in a drink for free to get around the law.

Rewind to the early 19th century when Americans began to be concerned about the effects of drinking. By the late 19th century the temperance societies had become a powerful political force (but not powerful enough to interest Einstein) and were calling for total national abstinence.

Enter prohibition in January 1919 and nine months late (the normal gestation period for legislation) came the Volstead Act (Woodrow Wilson vetoed it but his veto was overridden) which created the unit of the Treasury Department that had the great privilege of enforcing the 18th Amendment.

Prohibition, of course, worked brilliantly. No one drank, no one smoked, and the entire nation joined hands and sang Kumbaya every morning. Not.

Meanwhile, the “dryness” of the land proved to be excellent soil for growing gangsters, the most famous of whom was Al Capone. It was also good for producing flappers, cool terms like “gat” (short for Gatling gun, but used to refer to any gun), and speakeasies.

The term “speakeasy” comes from the practice of speaking softly about such establishments so the police and/or nosy neighbors wouldn’t know about them. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

Prohibition officially came to an end with the ratification of the 21st Amendment on December 5, 1933.

All of which is entirely irrelevant since you are underage.

Hope you learn something else important today.

Love, Mom