Seventy-Five Years Ago: Beer = "Wholesome Food"

Counting Down to April 7, the Anniversary of the Return of Legal Beer

March 20, 1933:

The Senate spent much of the day debating its version of the beer bill, which called for legalizing beer with 4 percent alcohol content. The subcommittee that presented the bill had relied on advice from "doctors and scientists," who argued that "such high dilutions would not intoxicate." Indeed, it "would serve as a healthful stimulant and a wholesome food."

Better yet, said one Senator, it would bring "young people" back to beer and away from "dangerous, habit-forming hard liquor."

Liquor schmiquor, said Representative Thomas Cullen, author of the beer bill that originated in House. Just get on with it.

"I sincerely hope," he said,

that before another week goes by the beer bill will be finally passed by both houses of Congress" and on its way to the President. "I feel that this is the beginning of the end of an era of fanaticism, intolerance, and lawlessness in our country.

He didn't have to wait a week. By day's end the Senate had approved its version and sent it back to the House. Beer was just one signature away. ____________________________ Source: New York Times, March 20, 1933: "Cullen Predicts 300,000 Beer Jobs," p. 3 and "Text of the Report of the Committee Advocating 4 Per Cent Beer," p. 19.