On April 7th, 1933 the Cullen-Harrison Act legalizing the sale of low alcohol content—whoa there, let’s not get TOO crazy—beer and wine went into effect. This was the first time the sale of beer was legal in the United States since the start of prohibition. The bill was named for its sponsors, Senator Pat Harrison and Representative Thomas H. Cullen, and was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. After the bill was passed, each state had to pass similar legislation to legalize the sale of low alcohol beverages in that state (that’s just how our government works).
President Roosevelt had previously sent a short message to congress requesting such a bill. Let’s take a moment now to give Roosevelt a quick shout-out! You rock!
Why the low alcohol content (less than 3.2% by weight), you may ask? Well, those nasty prohibitionists believed that beer of low alcoholic content was too low to be intoxicating. Clearly, these guys were not pro-drinkers because any pro-drinker would have realized you would simply need to drink more to reach the desired level of intoxication. Duh.
Anyway I digress, on April 7th, 1933 crowds of people gathered outside breweries and taverns to drink their first legal beer in many years—and probably got smashed. Today, we now celebrate April 7th as National Beer Day.