This Sunday, April 10, is the anniversary of Michigan ratifying the 21st amendment. It was the first state to do so. To commemorate this I thought I would run an encore post from 2008. Is it still an encore post if the only one calling for it is the writer of the post? Probably not but here it is anyway.
The big topic of conversation in 1933 was beer. The papers were full of daily updates of when we would be allowed to legally imbibe. Articles ran helping people brush up on the terminology of beer and even propaganda that sided with the “wets”. Some states were able to drink 3.2 beer on April 7th but Michigan had to wait until May 11th. However, Michigan did lead the way by being the first state in the Union to pass the 21st Amendment- by a vote of 99 to 1 with the lone vote being from the now great beer city of Hastings, MI. The lone dry delegate, Eugene Davenport, did get a dinner in his honor from the rest of the delegates for his “dry” vote. Maybe it was to honor his steadfastness in sticking to his guns on the issue. Or maybe they just felt sorry for the guy. In any case, thank goodness attitudes have changed in Hastings or their would be no Walldorff Brewpub and Bistro.
The story goes back to February of 1933 when the U.S. Congress introduced the 21st Amendment which repealed the 18th Amendment. The vote would be taken by having a special convention (the first of its kind) in each state. The citizens would elect predetermined “wet” or “dry” candidates that would only be discussing the matter of repealing the 18th Amendment. The amendment would have to pass by a three-fourths majority of the states in the Union. That meant that 36 states to would have to give their approval in order for the 18th Amendment to be repealed. That number was reached on December 5,1933.
For Michigan, the vote was a forgone conclusion. The citizens had already repealed the state constitutional provision in November. They also overwhelmingly voted for the wet candidates on the April 3, 1933 special election. All that was left was the official vote. Monroe’s representative was Rev. Henry F. R. Frincke, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church. When the time came to serve the citizens of Monroe he voted “wet”. Thank you Henry, job well done.
The images shown here were taken from various issues of the Monroe Evening News from March through May of 1933. The first image is of an article explaining all the terms that are associated with beer. The second is a graph of where the money will go for each beer you drink.