Updated on: 11/6/2019
Alcohol has been a significant part of American culture for centuries, and while alcohol has served many religious and medicinal purposes in the past, its popularity today comes largely from its function in social settings.
The history of alcohol certainly dates back long before the 20th century, but the infographic below illustrates some of the more recent historical events related to alcohol that have shaped how we view and consume alcohol in today's world.
1920 - Prohibition of alcohol goes national. Prohibition became increasingly unpopular during the Great Depression. Conservative Democrats and Catholics emphasized that repeal would generate enormous sums of much needed tax revenue, and weaken the base of organized crime.
1933 - Prohibition is lifted after 13 years of increased crimes, speakeasies and unregulated sales of alcohol.
1932-1983 - Drinking age varies from state to state, between 18 and 21. States appeal for national drinking age and alcohol reform with thousands of alcohol related deaths amongst minors.
1984 - National drinking age established as 21 in all states. States that refused this would receive less funding for state and national highways.
Alcohol Use Among U.S. Teenagers
Alcohol use remains extremely wide-spread among today's teenagers. Nearly three quarters of students (72 percent) have consumed alcohol (more than just a few sips) by the end of high school and more than a third (37 percent) have done so by eighth grade.
Underage drinking costs American taxpayers approximately $61.9 billion annually; the public cost includes the effects of drunk driving accidents, healthcare costs, and other tax-related burdens that result from alcohol consumption.
History of Alcohol by Davis Law Group is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.