On This Day

January 16, 1919

The States Ratify The 18th Amendment & Prohibition Takes Effect Nationwide

Drinking in America then & now – a look at our drinking habits in the century since Prohibition.

On This Day


  • Who: Anti-alcohol groups date back to the 19th century, but it wasn’t until the 1900s that the idea that the gov’t should legislate public morals gained widespread popularity.
  • What: Prohibition banned the sale – NOT consumption of alcohol.
  • When: From 1919 to 1933.
  • Where: Maryland did not enforce the ban & other states followed.
On This Day

Average Annual Alcohol Consumption Per Person (in gallons!). This data strips alcohol content from mixed drinks, wine etc.

  • 1906 – 1910 (Pre-Prohibition): 2.6
  • 1916 – 1919 (Pre-Prohibition): 1.96
  • 1936: 1.2
  • 1956: 2.03
  • 1976: 2.66
  • 1996: 2.16
  • 2016: 2.33
On This Day

What Counts As A Drink?

An alcoholic drink contains 0.6 fl oz of pure alcohol, such as

  • 1.5 fl oz of hard liquor
  • 5 fl oz of wine
  • 12 fl oz of beer

Women recommended to drink no more than one drink a day &men no more than two.

On This Day

“Women metabolize alcohol more slowly than men, so alcohol stays in a woman’s bloodstream longer. Also, men tend to have more muscle than women; alcohol can be diluted into water held in muscle tissue, but not in fat tissue. A woman’s risk for breast cancer – the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women – increases with greater alcohol consumption.”

American Institute for Cancer Research
On This Day

DID YOU KNOW? America's drinking habit lead to the ONLY Constitutional amendment ever repealed in our nation's history. In 1933, the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment, and put an end to Prohibition. Read more on why:

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