The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Weekly Newspaper

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Number 511

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Tomorrow is the 75th Anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition in the United States. The 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment and protected any state that wanted to keep prohibition. The relegalization of "intoxicating liquors" became effective April 7, 1933 and on this date liquor was legalized in 15 states and the District of Columbia. Other states followed suit and by the end of 1933 prohibition was repealed in 41 states. Four more joined the ranks in 1934: Minnesota, Missouri, Utah, and Washington. Late comers were Georgia (1935), Alabama (1937), and Kansas (May 1, 1937 - the last holdout!).

For a mere dollar, one could join the American Order of Civic Progress and get all the paraphernalia pictured on the card above including the membership pin in the form of a corkscrew screwed in to a cork!

Wrapping up the events of 1933, the Hamilton Daily News Journal (Ohio) reported on December 28, 1933 "Two very crooked things have staged a decided comeback—the pretzel and the corkscrew."

Anton J. Cermak

On October 8, 1928 Danville, Virginia's The Bee reported:

A promotional item in Cermak's campaign was a bottle opener with "For Beer and Wine" on one side and "So is A. J. Cermak for U. S. Senator". John L. Sommer of Newark, New Jersey had designed the opener depicting a corkscrew well before Prohibition - over sixteen years before Cermak adopted it. Sommer was granted U. S. Design Patent No. 42,305 on March 12, 1912. The same opener can also be found with various beer advertisements.

Cermak lost the election but was elected Mayor of Chicago in 1931.

On February 15, 1933 Cermak was on stage with President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt in Miami, Florida. He was shot by Giuseppe Zangara whose alleged intended victim was Roosevelt. Roosevelt claimed Zangara was a Chicago hitman hired to kill Cermak.

Cermak died on March 6, 1933. He missed the April 7 celebration of Repeal by a month.

Our Boarding House

A Post-Prohibition cartoon (1934)

Grenville Kleiser

In April 1933 booze began to flow again in several states. In March the Great Depression triggered by the market collapse of 1929 appeared to have bottomed out. Still the dry faction was persisting in its pursuit of prohibition. Grenville Kleiser (1868-1957) was a well known preacher and supporter of the drys. In December 1933 this poem by Kleiser appeared in the news*:

Dignity, Suh!

I hasn't any chicken,
And I hasn't any duck:
I hasn't any pork chops,
And I hasn't any luck;
But I has dignity!

I hasn't any money,
And I hasn't any shoes;
I hasn't any corkscrew,
And I hasn't any booze;
But I has dignity!

The Bee, Danville, Virginia, December 23, 1933.

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©2008 Don Bull, Editor


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