If Franklin Delano Roosevelt were alive today, he might say, “I think this would be a good time for beer.” That’s because April 6 marks the anniversary of the end of Prohibition in the United States, which Roosevelt approved when he signed the Cullen-Harrison Act on March 23, 1933.
Roosevelt said this famous quote while signing the legislation, which allowed the sale and consumption of beer in the U.S. for the first time in more than 13 years. While the president signed the measure in March, it didn’t go into effect until 12:01 a.m. on April 7, 1933. People were so eager to get their hands on legal alcoholic beverages that they gathered outside breweries on the night of April 6 in anticipation of the big event, the Chicago Tribune reported at the time.
That year, people dubbed April 6 “New Beer’s Eve,” and the name has stuck. April 7 is now known as National Beer Day, but the fun shouldn’t be limited to just one day a year.
At the time, the legislation only made beer legal if it contained less than 3.2 percent alcohol. Prohibition officially ended Dec. 5, 1933, when the 21st Amendment to the Constitution repealed the 18th Amendment.