85 years ago today, Utah voted to end alcohol prohibition

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SALT LAKE CITY — It was on this day in 1933 that Utah cast the deciding vote to repeal alcohol prohibition in America.

Headlines across the country blared that Utah was the vote that approved prohibition repeal under the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“Utah Swings Nation to Repeal as Wet Forces Lose 2 States” proclaimed The Salt Lake Tribune.

“Uncertainty Faces the Nation as Liquor Ban Falls,” was the headline in the Deseret News, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (whose members do not drink).

“Nation Waits for Utah Vote Making Liquor Legal Again,” said the now-extinct Salt Lake Telegram.

Here’s a gallery of newspaper headlines from 1933:

Ironically, Utah still maintains a tightly controlled alcohol distribution system. Spirits can only be purchased in state-run stores and beer sold in grocery and convenience stores is weaker than brews in other states. Liquor also makes a lot of money for Utah. Last year, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control reported more than $453 million in sales.

Money from liquor sales goes to the state’s general fund, public safety and school lunches for needy children.

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