At midnight on this day in 1933, Prohibition began to ease away, as beer with a noticeable quantity of alcohol -- a whopping 3.2% -- became, as if by magic, legal.
President Roosevelt had just come into power thanks to the support of anti-Prohibitionists known as "the wets", and passed the Cullen-Harrison Act, enabling beverages as strong as - gasp! - 3.2% to be legally sold. In 21 states, at least. The emotions of drinkers in the other 27 can only be imagined. Breweries had dispatch trucks loaded and ready to go on the dot of 12.01am, some of them carrying cases of beer for Congress. Over 1.5 million barrels of beer were sold within the first 24 hours, raising $7.5 million in tax, or over $130 million today.
In some parts of the US, today is known as New Beer's Eve. We're toasting the occasion with an Anything Else. We're also looking forward to tomorrow, as America celebrates the passing of the Cullen-Harrison Act every year on 7th April with National Beer Day.
This day in 1896, Athens hosted the Summer Olympics, the first international Olympics of modern times.
The city was the natural choice, given that the games originated in Ancient Greece sometime around 776 BC, although these first contemporary Olympics were relatively low key. The whole affair ran for a mere ten days and included just nine different sports. As at the original Ancient Greek Olympics, only men were allowed to compete. Unlike in Ancient Greece, they did so fully clothed.
Honour champions past, present and future, as well as the first-ever Olympic gold medallist, America's James Connolly, with an aptly named Golden Fizz. A long, gin-based cooler, it's the perfect post-workout refreshment.
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