21st Amendment

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Crowd cheers the end of prohibition on the sale of liquor, as crates of liquor are brought into a store, Marietta, Georgia, April 1935. Courtesy of Georgia State University.

Prohibition in the United States officially ended after 14 years, with the ratification of the 21st Amendment to the Constitution. This amendment specifically repealed the 18th Amendment (which prohibited the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors in the United States) and returned control of alcohol regulation to individual states, only banning transportation of alcohol when it violated local laws. Many states opted to remain dry, though none are completely dry today. Many states now delegate alcohol regulation to counties and municipalities. 

The 21st Amendment is the only constitutional amendment to date to repeal a previous amendment, and also the only one to have been ratified by state ratifying conventions rather than state legislatures; this method was chosen so that average citizens could weigh in on this sensitive issue without political pressure from the temperance lobby. 38 state conventions ratified the amendment, which officially took effect on December 15, 1933.