Repeal Day is December 5th

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Those who know me well are aware that I’ve been going on about this for years, but for some reason I’ve only just now remembered that I have my own website and can carry on the effort here.

Folks, there are a few drinking holidays here in the United States, but I’m here to tell you that none of them are as important as the new celebration I’m proposing for this great country of ours.  Allow me to start from the beginning:

Saint Patrick’s Day

Drunk on St. Paddy’s Day

Saint Patrick’s Day (March 17th), a national holiday in Ireland, is a feast day that commemorates Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.  It was brought to the United States by Irish immigrants and is now celebrated by Irish and non-Irish alike.  Cities with large Irish populations host huge celebrations with parades, where scores of drunken fraternities swallow huge amounts of Guinness Stout, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Bailey’s Irish Cream, and Mickey’s Malt Liquor. Sometimes corned beef is eaten.

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) is a Mexican holiday that celebrates the the victory of Mexican troops over the French occupational army in the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862.  It has been adopted as a commercialized drinking holiday by the United States, where people flock to chain Mexican restaurants to gulp down huge quantities blended margaritas, shots of Jose Cuervo tequila and bottles of Corona beer. Chips and salsa are served.


Halloween (October 31st) began as a Celtic Pagan festival, named as the evening (e’en) before All Hallow’s Day on November 1st.  Halloween wasn’t widely celebrated in the United States until the middle of the 20th century, and is now the sixth most profitable holiday for retailers.  It is celebrated by this country’s drinking-age population in the form of dressing up in very slutty costumes and consuming large amounts of alcohol. Any kind. Dry ice is often involved.

Repeal Day
Repeal Day (December 5th) is not celebrated by anyone in this country, yet it is the only day which truly has any connection with alcohol. December 5th is the anniversary of the day the United States repealed the Eighteenth Amendment and gave us all the constitutional right to consume alcohol.  I’ve been celebrating Repeal Day for years by forcing this information down the throats of my customers, and now I’m forcing it on you.  Here are a few reasons why I think Repeal Day should be a major drinking holiday in the United States:

  1. We have the constitutional right to do so.  How many forms of pleasure are guaranteed by the Constitution?  None, unless you’re one of those who get an inflated sense of ego from holding a firearm or speaking in public. Me, I’m going to stick with alcohol.
  2. It’s at the right time.  Conveniently located about halfway between Thanksgiving and Christmas, at a time when we’re probably not with our families, the Fifth of December represents a great time to get together with friends and celebrate our constitutional rights.
  3. Repeal Day doesn’t exclude.  Are you an American, or are you located in the United States? Congratulations, you’re invited to join our party!  Sorry, gay leprechauns, but Saint Patrick’s Day is off limits.  Being French on Cinco de Mayo is about as cool as being British on the Fourth of July.  But December Fifth is a day that’s open to anyone!
  4. It’s easy!  There are no outfits to buy, costumes to rent, rivers to dye green.  Simply celebrate the day by stopping by your local bar, tavern, saloon, winery, distillery, or brewhouse and having a drink.  Pick up a six-pack on your way home from work.  Split a bottle of wine with a loved one.  Buy a shot for a stranger.  Just do it because you can.

Thanks for reading about what I hope will become a more widely-celebrated day in this country. Please help spread the word about Repeal Day, and tell a friend. Cheers!

69 Replies to “Repeal Day is December 5th”

  • Michael from Florida says:

    Well done my friend!

  • Arena Mexico Conciertos says:

    Think we can raise a glass across the border for one day every year.

  • Jen says:

    Love it – can’t believe I’ve just now found this site. We are having a Repeal Day party for the most important day in US history (fine, fine, July 4th is up there, too…), and we’ll be sharing your website. Cheers!

  • Jeffrey,

    This was delightful.
    Thank you for sharing

  • Mak Olsen says:

    Repeal Day is a great idea! What better reason to celebrate with a couple of cocktails to mark the event! I’ll go with the others to promote it as a new public holiday.

  • I love the idea of a Repeal Day holiday. We have a couple of holidays just for us down here in key west like Fantasy Fests and we can always come up with a good reason to drink every day 😉 but Yes, I’m with you Jeffrey, I’ll start doing my part to promote Dec. 5 Repeal Day as a national holiday.

  • Peter A. says:

    The boys at Spur Gastropub in Seattle published a link to your site and I am so glad to see others promoting Repeal Day so that it can finally be recognized as one of our greatest (if not *the* greatest) U.S. holiday. I’m currently celebrating by posting a series on the oldest bars in Seattle to the blog.


  • Rhiannon says:

    Please see the parallel between alcohol prohibition and the current drug prohibition. Drug prohibition is just as unfair and deadly. Please repeal it.

  • Rhiannon says:

    Please see the parallel between alcohol prohibition and the current drug prohibition. It is just as unfair and deadly. Please repeal it.

  • Alicia says:

    Just found your excellent website when searching for a good ginger beer recipe. As a homebrewer in juneau alaska I’ve found your suggestions and complimentary links especially invigorating and served with that special bit o’ flair. Just a note on repeal day: we’ve been celebrating for years now (all through college and the aftermath) and are proud to say our homestate of maryland is well on the way of possibly making this a national holiday (not really). But truthfully we’ve gotten stories from our friends who have carried on the torch to their own places of settlement.
    As theme-party geeks we used to go all out by making our 1930’s home look the part of a barbershop closed for the night, making the partygoers enter from the back door, going to the local vintage store and dressing the part, a bathtub full of gin, and plenty of jazz and blues and our pool table in full use.
    It was always the best party of the year and I am glad to see public references to its existence.

  • John says:

    today is my first repeal day celebration. jeff, you are a hero.

  • Agatha says:

    Its my birthday too, so i guess its an all drink day for me and friends you all can join too………

  • Jason says:

    On your main page you stated that Repeal Day is the only holiday that celebrates a law that guarantee our rights, but that is not correct.

    December 15th is Bill of Rights day.

    It has been around since 1941. It celebrates “All of the Bill of Rights for all Citizens” It’s also a Presidentially declared holiday.


  • Greg says:

    I wanted to make a few handouts to educate those we may encounter on our crawl around Birmingham. May I have permission to use some of your graphics? I love the banners.

  • Niv says:

    I’ve never given serious thought to Repeal Day until now. I’ll be sure to celebrate and spread the word!

  • Justin Time says:

    inflated sense of ego from holding a firearm or speaking in public?

    Are you for real? If someone dares speak up or owns a firearm they are just stroking their ego according to you?

    Insane.. but then again.. drunks are like that.

  • Jeremy says:

    I will make Repeal Day an event at my place.

    Jeremy J. J. Allen
    Tin Spirits
    Grapevine, TX

  • Thank You Jeff

    Hope you had a great time in Manhattan.

    I did my part here in Indianapolis. I looked at my Cocktail book collection and picked my 1930 “World Drinks and How To Mix Them” by Cocktail Bill Boothby. Grabbed a few friends and off we went to spread the word……
    Everywhere we went we picked drinks out of the book with some great results. I also found a new favorite watering hole.
    Win Win Win

    Next year. The big 75th

    Now on to the next holliday’s.
    To all a Marry Christmas and a Liquid new year.

  • Nathanael

    We all celebrate Repeal Day in our own way, I suppose.



  • Nathanael Nerode says:

    I want a way for a teetotaller to celebrate Repeal Day.

    After all, the social pressure to drink alcohol was never higher than during Prohibition, and the amount of drunkenness was never higher. So I certainly approve of the end of Prohibition.

    But I’m not about to celebrate by drinking alcohol!

  • Tim says:


    Let’s not argue the petty details (although I would submit that, the repeal of prohibition re-established the right to drink free of government interference. In the U.S. we are free to do whatever we want unless the state or Federal governments pass a law restricting those rights. Some rights cannot be abridged by law, the Constitution being the highest form of law in the U.S., but that does not negate the inherent or natural rights that exist without legislation), let’s drink to the triumph of individual freedom over the well-intentioned but misguided nanny-state that was Prohibition. CHEERS!!!

  • Chris says:

    I am stationed in Japan and I have brought tomorrow’s holiday to an international audience! The guys on my ship are going out to show that though we should “Remember, remember, the 5th of November,” we’ll never remember the 5th of December!

  • AShley says:

    I am so glad that someone else has as much passion about this day and I do! I try telling everyone to come out and join the best day of the year…a to celebrate the fact that we can drink! Yay for Repeal Day! Thanks for getting the word out!

  • Danno says:

    You, sir, have just won the internets.


  • wyzowl says:

    It’s my birthdy.

  • John says:

    We’re having a party. Dec. 5th. Check out our blog for the complete story. Thanks.

  • Bimburg says:

    I sprained my drinking muscle a couple of weeks ago. I made a promise that I wouldn’t drink again until January 2. I made that promise before I learned of this holiday. I plan on trying the muscle again on that day. Just a light workout, you understand. No heavy lifting.

  • blingdawg says:

    awesome. i will now spread the wonders of december 5th to everyone who even makes eye contact with me

  • Andrew says:

    Hahaha! This is on my birthday! Awesome!

  • Tammi says:

    Great article! I can’t wait to celebrate. It’s going on my permanent special dates calendar…..Now where to celebrate….

  • REF says:

    however i am all for celebrating repeal day. screw the 18th amendment

  • REF says:

    in college we actually used to celebrate December 5th as “the fifth day of christmas.” christmas decorations went up, santa hats were worn, and you couldn’t come in the door without your own fifth of liquor.

  • nathan says:

    Halloween is the 6th most profitable event for retailers? I would have guessed 2nd. (Unless you count “Black Friday”, the day after thanksgiving, as a holiday separate from Christmas. Then maybe third.)

  • DW says:

    Shouldn’t it be “Repealment Day”? I realise that grammar is hardly a priority in discussing a new drinking holiday–but, that aside, I really think that Repealment has more of a satisfying ring to it than Repeal, and that’s important if we want this to catch on.

  • Richard

    Thank you for writing.

    I agree with your argument that Prohibition still exists in the United States, and I feel I should mention that this celebration is not limited to the alcohol industry.

    I, a bartender, started this celebration as a way to enlighten Americans about the years this country spent in a very dark time, a time that should be remembered today.

    Repeal Day belongs to all of us and was created by someone who wants to change the way Americans think and act about Prohibition of all sorts.

    Thank you for commenting.


  • Richard says:

    Last month on November 5th, a date popularized recently by the movie V for Vendetta, over $4 million dollars was raised online in a single day for a presidential candidate who has worked tirelessly for Americans’ liberty in Washington DC for decades. You probably haven’t heard of him.

    December 5th seems like a fitting date for a campaign donation to the candidate YOU think best defends your liberty. Maybe one who understands and cares that taxpayers’ money is being wasted on the new Prohibition, the war on drugs. One who realizes that the solution that is far worse than the problem, and always has been. Just like Prohibition.

    Celebrate alcohol prohibition, and do something about full prohibition.

  • John

    That sounds great! Keep us updated about the Brotherhood, I’d love to know what you have planned for this year!


  • John says:

    Love the site. Here in Western PA we actually started a club call the B.O.A.R.D. (The Brotherhood of Appreciating Repeal Day) We have five members and are planning our first party for Dec. 5th 2007.

  • Anastacia says:

    I’m late for 2006 but there is no way I’ll miss this for 2007! Thanks for the great suggestion.

  • Brian says:

    No one discriminates against gay leprechauns! *cough* Tom Cruise *cough*

  • Sara R says:

    I love it. A truly creative way to celebrate America’s freedom. Who knew learning could be so very fun!!

  • Tom says:

    Excellent idea, I am fully on board. It’s celebratory, and civic-minded.

    This could, perhaps, spark a rash of new holidays celebrating each of the most important amendments. I look forward to it.

  • jasonfifi says:

    i’ve been going nuts about repeal day sense my first year as a legally drinking adult. it’s my favorite holiday; openly secular, openly all about getting a buzz on, and the only holiday that is based on actual people in this country gaining a freedom. it’s an excellent thing.

  • December 5th is Veteran’s Day for bartenders. Buy them a drink on their special day.

  • Jeffrey says:

    Okay, so the 21st Amendment doesn’t guarantee us all the right to consume alcohol. But it did repeal the amendment that did, and I stick by my guns: the fifth of December is a day to be celebrated.

    Thanks for the info, guys! I need to shower and put on my Repeal Day outfit. There are drinks to be consumed, and service staff to be tipped!

    Talk to you all tomorrow.


  • Kurt says:

    Daniel is right. There is a difference between having a Constitutional right (freedom of assembly) and the lack of a constitutional ban (alcohol and, I suppose, chicken dancing). It is 100% false to say “We have the constitutional right to do so. How many forms of pleasure are guaranteed by the Constitution? ” While I like the idea of this celebration, I dislike willfully uninformed masses — especially when drunk. Anyway, drink up!

  • NYD says:

    Great post. Thanks for the history lesson. Will be marking it down on my calendar, spreading the news and celebrating… Responsibly of course.

  • Daniel says:

    Sorry, no. The Twenty-First Amendment was written to ensure that it did not guarantee such a right: “Section 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.” The effects of Section 2 are at least two-fold. First, Federal control over interstate commerce was abridged; in the absence of this section, states could have prohibitted domestic manufacture and purely intra-state transactions, but inter-state sales would have remained the province of the national government. Second, any significance here of the Fourteenth Amendment is also negated. In fact, the Twenty-First Amendment doesn’t even prevent the Congress from now outlawing inter-state commerce in alcohol. And, if Congress more ambitiously sought to impose national prohibition by ordinary statuory law, then courts could entertain the same specious arguments as are now being used to prevent states such as California from decriminalizing some drug use.

  • boobs says:

    Sounds like a great reason to celebrate. I’m canadian but i totally support any reason for friends to get together and a have a couple of drinks for a good reason. Even though i’m not an american i will still join in americas new reason to drink, because we all can.

  • boobs says:

    Sounds like a great reason to celbrate. I’m canadian but i totally support any reason for friends to get together and a have a couple of drinks for a cause. Even though i’m not an amaerican i will still join in americas new reason to drink, because we all can.

  • MAIRZ says:

    I read this story a while back, and was literally blown away when I opened my New York Times this morning and saw what your article had led to. You’ve singlehandedly created a day we can all be proud of, mr. Morgenthaler.

  • StB says:

    Fantastic idea. Time to help get the word out!

  • tBoner says:

    This is freaking GENIUS!!!!!

  • FlaLiquorMan says:

    Great Idea !

    I wish I thought about this…

  • evilrose says:

    It must of worked because tonight I saw a commercial for Repeal Day December 5th. Way to go and Happy Celebrating.

  • JON says:

    you are my hero

  • raincoaster says:

    Canadians won’t be jealous; American Prohibition was certainly good for Canadian business, but I think we can raise a glass across the border for one day every year. On your part in celebration, on our part in congratulations on returning to the wet side.

  • doug says:

    good sir, you deserve a medal!

  • Shanee says:

    Since the 5th is also my birthday, and this year being the 25th, I will do everything in my will to make this day known to everyone possible. Thanks so much for clueing me in.

  • Jeffrey says:

    Thanks for the heads-up, but it was more of a typo than anything! It’s corrected now, and all is well with the world…

  • bivialtor says:

    great idea!
    sorry to play the pedant (prefer playing the fool: better lines), but Halloween (aka All Hallow’s Eve, i.e., the evening preceding All Saints Day (“All Holies Day,” thence “All Hallow’s Day”)) would be expressed as “e’en” as an abbreviation for “evening” (or, more literally, “even,” often used interchangeably with “evening,” as in “eventide”).

    and, no, I’ll not proffer any citations for the above. I made it all up. No, really.

    But thanks for the Dec. 5th message.

    “Bottoms up!”
    cheers, biviator

  • Conveniently liquor is sold in “5ths” I believe You can somehow tie this in.

    Keep up the good work.


  • paul says:

    I hear ya Jeff. I’m going to start promoting this day as well. It should also be recognized as the end to one of our country’s biggest mistakes, prohibition. Never forget.

  • Stephan Fox says:

    Thank you very much for this information, Jeffrey! I manage a bar in Columbus Ohio and there are definitely going to be drink specials and a major celebration that night!

  • Scooter says:

    This is so fucking brilliant. Plus, Canadians would be sooooo jealous.
    I’m down. I want in on the ground floor. Fuck Halloween.

  • McAuliflower says:

    I’m putting this on my calendar now. Sounds like a perfect holiday.

    ps- you should boing boing this post… seriously.

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