This Week in 1933 Michigan Was The First State to End Prohibition
Did you know Michigan was the first state in the nation to bring drinking back?
Southwest Michigan is now known for its craft beer, but the history of alcohol in Michigan goes much deeper. In April of 1933, after 14 years of being dry as a bone, Michigan said no to prohibition and said yes to beer according to the Detroit Historical Society,
This moment was a long time coming, Michigan was not only the first state to ratify the 21st Amendment, but also the first state to implement prohibition statewide.
Even though the 21st Amendment was ratified by Michigan on April 10th, 1933, prohibition wasn't repealed until late December of that same year. The wait wasn't a big deal as bootleggers were very busy in the state of Michigan moving beer and harder liquor throughout prohibition.
Al Capone was allegedly pulling in $100 million a year thanks to bootlegging alcoholic beverages alone according to History.com. This helps explain why we hear about the numerous Capone "hideouts" in Southwest Michigan.
If you'll allow me to connect a couple more dots. Prohibition began in 1919 and ended in 1933. The Great Depression took place between 1929 and 1933. If Al Capone was pulling in $100 million a year all by himself in the early 1900s in alcohol sales while local businesses made zero dollars in that industry, not to mention, no State or Federal taxes, maybe prohibition was a big piece of the depression puzzle.
Michigan has been a trendsetting state for generations. The number of world-changing things that started first in Michigan is mindblowing. For example, did you know about the fun Michigan facts below?