This may be the last post (maybe) based on Last Call: The Rise
and Fall of Prohibition. In case you couldn't tell, I think the
history of the era is fascinating. I also think that Daniel Okrent is
an engaging and entertaining writer.
"In September 1930 Morris Sheppard, author of the Eighteenth
Amendment, said, 'There is as much chance of repealing the
Eighteenth Amendment as there is for a hummingbird to fly
to the planet Mars with the Washington Monument tied to its
tail.' Few argued.
The 21st Amendment to the Constitution, which repealed the 18th,
was ratified in 1933.
"In October 1928 Irving Fisher, the Yale economist who
remained Prohibition's leading intellectual defender, offered
a comment that would earn him a place in American memory
far more enduring than would his ground-breaking work on
interest rates or even his loopy statistical analyses of beer's
effect on the ability to memorize. 'Stock prices have reached
what looks like a permanently high plateau,' said Fisher on
October 15, nine days before the earth gave way on Black
Thursday. At least he believed it: his considerable fortune,
invested in the market, followed the Dow Jones Industrial
Average into a death spiral.