Friday, December 5, 2008

Repeal Day

Today is National Repeal Day. 75 years ago, in fact, on this day, the state of Utah gave the final ratification necessary to officially repeal the 19th Amendment, which in 1919 had instituted Prohibition. In some parts of the country, including New York, there are 30s style parties this evening at bars turned into speak-easys.

But the more lasting significance is in the fact of repeal itself. For us, the Constitution is a highly stable document. Though a few amendments have been kicked around in the last 10 or 15 years, it's pretty hard for most people to imagine seeing a new amendment of any kind at this point.

But our history reminds us that we remain capable, through amendments, of making corrections. Prohibition seemed like a good idea at the time, and only caused problems; it probably should have been a law, not an amendment. And 75 years ago, we corrected that. As stable as it seems, the Constitution retains a pliability, and that's something to be happy about.

So tonight at 9pm (when Prohibition was officially ended), raise your glass for the Constitution!

For more fun information, try here; to hear about some places in your neck of the woods where they are celebrating, try here or here.

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