This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
December 18 is the 352nd day of the year (353rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 13 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1918, the House of Representatives passed the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, along with the Volstead Act, which defined “intoxicating liquors” excluding those used for religious purposes and sales throughout the U.S., established Prohibition in the United States. Its ratification was certified on January 16, 1919. It was repealed by the Twenty-first Amendment in 1933, the only instance of an amendment’s repeal. The Eighteenth Amendment was also unique in setting a time delay before it would take effect following ratification and in setting a time limit for its ratification by the states.
Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.
Section 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
The amendment and its enabling legislation did not ban the consumption of alcohol, but made it difficult to obtain it legally.
Following significant pressure on lawmakers from the temperance movement, the House of Representatives passed the amendment on December 18, 1917. It was certified as ratified on January 16, 1919, having been approved by 36 states. It went into effect one year after ratification, on January 17, 1920. Many state legislatures had already enacted statewide prohibition prior to the ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment.
When Congress submitted this amendment to the states for ratification, it was the first time a proposed amendment contained a provision setting a deadline for its ratification. The validity of that clause of the amendment was challenged and reached the Supreme Court, which upheld the constitutionality of such a deadline in Dillon v. Gloss (1921).
Because many Americans attempted to evade the restrictions of Prohibition, there was a considerable growth in violent and organized crime in the United States in response to public demand for illegal alcohol. The amendment was repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment on December 5, 1933. It remains the only constitutional amendment to be repealed in its entirety.
218 BC – Second Punic War: Battle of the Trebia – Hannibal’s Carthaginian forces defeat those of the Roman Republic.
1271 – Kublai Khan renames his empire “Yuan”, officially marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of Mongolia and China.
1642 – Abel Tasman becomes first European to land in New Zealand.
1777 – The United States celebrates its first Thanksgiving, marking the recent victory by the Americans over General John Burgoyne in the Battle of Saratoga in October.
1787 – New Jersey becomes the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
1793 – Surrender of the frigate La Lutine by French Royalists to Lord Hood; renamed HMS Lutine, she later becomes a famous treasure wreck.
1878 – John Kehoe, the last of the Molly Maguires is executed in Pennsylvania.
1878 – The Al-Thani family become the rulers of the state of Qatar
1888 – Richard Wetherill and his brother in-law discover the ancient Indian ruins of Cliff Palace in Mesa Verde.
1898 – Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat sets the first officially recognized land speed record of 39.245 mph (63.159 km/h) in a Jeantaud electric car.
1900 – The Upper Ferntree Gully to Gembrook Narrow-gauge (2 ft 6 in or 762 mm) Railway (now the Puffing Billy Railway) in Victoria, Australia is opened for traffic.
1912 – The Piltdown Man, later discovered to be a hoax, is found in the Piltdown Gravel Pit, by Charles Dawson.
1915 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson marries Edith Bolling Galt Wilson while president of the United States.
1916 – World War I: The Battle of Verdun ends when German forces under Chief of Staff Erich Von Falkenhayn are defeated by the French and British, and suffer 337,000 casualties.
1918 – The United States House of Representatives approves the Eighteenth Amendment to repeal Prohibition.
1932 – The Chicago Bears defeat the Portsmouth Spartans 9-0 in the first ever NFL Championship Game. Because of a blizzard, the game was moved from Wrigley Field to the Chicago Stadium, the field measuring 80 yards (73 m) long.
1935 – The Lanka Sama Samaja Party is founded in Ceylon.
1944 – World War II: 77 B-29 Superfortress and 200 other aircraft of U.S.
Fourteenth Air Force bomb Hankow, China, a Japanese supply base.
1956 – Japan joins the United Nations.
1958 – Project SCORE, the world’s first communications satellite, is launched.
1966 – Saturn’s moon Epimetheus is discovered by Richard L. Walker.
1969 – Capital punishment in the United Kingdom: Home Secretary James Callaghan’s motion to make permanent the Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965, which had temporarily suspended capital punishment in England, Wales and Scotland for murder (but not for all crimes) for a period of five years.
1971 – Capitol Reef National Park is established in Utah.
1972 – Vietnam War: President Richard Nixon announces that the United States will engage North Vietnam in Operation Linebacker II, a series of Christmas bombings, after peace talks collapsed with North Vietnam on the 13th.
1973 – Soviet Soyuz Programme: Soyuz 13, crewed by cosmonauts Valentin Lebedev and Pyotr Klimuk, is launched from Baikonur in the Soviet Union.
1978 – Dominica joins the United Nations.
1987 – Larry Wall releases the first version of the Perl programming language.
1989 – The European Community and the Soviet Union sign an agreement on trade and commercial and economic cooperation.
1996 – The Oakland, California school board passes a resolution officially declaring “Ebonics” a language or dialect.
1997 – HTML 4.0 is published by the World Wide Web Consortium.
1999 – NASA launches into orbit the Terra platform carrying five Earth Observation instruments, including ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS and MOPITT.
2002 – 2003 California recall: Then Governor of California Gray Davis announces that the state would face a record budget deficit of $35 billion, roughly double the figure reported during his reelection campaign one month earlier.
2006 – The first of a series of floods strikes Malaysia. The death toll of all flooding was at least 118, with over 400,000 people displaced.
2009 – The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference, held in Copenhagen, Denmark, closes, with the signing of the Copenhagen Accord.
* Christian Feast Day:
o O Adonai
o Sebastian (Eastern Orthodox)
* International Migrants Day (International)
* National Day (Qatar)
* New Jersey Day (New Jersey)