Party Like It's 1933

An archival video shows the roaring '20s and prohibition's repeal.

“Beer was back after 13 years,” says the narrator. “A long time between drinks.” Eighty years ago today, when Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st amendment, alcohol was once again legal in the United States. This archival video highlights the good and the bad (but mainly the fun) of prohibition and its eventual repeal. The glimpse into the past includes a two-minute montage of speakeasies, dancers, and prohibition officers, who break bottles and dump barrels of alcohol out into the streets. The images are accompanied by famous jazz musician Fats Waller’s 1935 song “There’s Going to Be the Devil to Pay.” The montage is followed by newsreel-type footage in which the narrator hails the end of prohibition and the dawn of a new era.

For more archival videos visit archive.org

Paul Rosenfeld writes and produces for Atlantic Video. His work has also appeared on The Daily Beast and CNN.com.

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