ATLANTA (Reuters) – In more than 100 cities and counties in Georgia, it will soon be legal to buy a six-pack of beers in a supermarket or a bottle of bourbon in a liquor store on Sundays. MENDOZA: In the decades since, the movement has mixed politics, alcohol and race. Fueled in part by racist accusations blaming immigrants and African-American saloons for a 1906 racial uprising, alcohol was banned nationwide within two years. Over the next ten years, there were also saloons and breweries. Kilgour: It`s doubtful that Calhoun was referring to alcohol when he made his remarks, but several laws have been passed that benefit brewers and consumers in Georgia. Especially in 2011, cities and counties across the state could decide whether or not to sell alcohol on Sundays. GPB interns Kevin Kilgour and Isabeth Mendoza tell us a brief history of alcohol consumption – and prohibition – in Georgia. Although prohibition was not achieved until the early twentieth century, efforts were made to restrict alcohol consumption soon after alcohol appeared in the colony. To curb public intoxication among settlers and Native Americans, the trustees issued a decree in 1735 prohibiting the sale of hard liquor. However, this first law was repealed just seven years later amid growing protests from merchants who claimed it was interfering with the colony`s trade. While Georgia has several museums and festivals dedicated to moonlight, there is only one Prohibition Museum.
The American Prohibition Museum is exactly where you`d expect it to be: Savannah. Take a journey through history to truly understand how the anti-alcohol movement became fashionable in the early 1900s and the impact of the 18th Amendment on the country. KILGOUR: With alcohol on the shelves, moonlight was the focus. To transport the drink from hidden distilleries to major city centers like Atlanta and evade the police, vendors adapted their trips with turbocharged engines. It turns out that banning alcohol is pretty straightforward, but preventing people from drinking is another matter entirely. Nationally, only two states, Indiana and Connecticut, have banned the statewide sale of alcohol on Sundays, said Jim Tudor, president of the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores. The ratification of the 21st Amendment marked the end of federal laws prohibiting the production, transportation and sale of intoxicating spirits. But the 21st Amendment returned control of liquor laws to states, which could legally ban the sale of alcohol in an entire state or let cities and counties decide to stay “wet” or “dry.” The Georgia legislature passed a bill earlier this year that allows city and county voters to decide the issue by referendum. Georgian law already allowed similar votes on allowing Sunday purchases of alcohol through drinking in restaurants.
While Georgia`s alcohol laws can vary widely, many cities have taken steps to ease some restrictions to support businesses during the pandemic. Other states, including Florida, Ohio, Texas and Indiana, have taken similar steps and revised their liquor tax laws. Hopefully, these temporary and permanent changes will allow businesses to survive and overcome the financial challenges posed by COVID-19. Proponents of abstinence continued their efforts with limited success in the early nineteenth century. Evangelical Protestants formed the Georgia State Temperance Society in 1828, but the organization was dissolved after adopting an abstinence pledge in 1836, and its successor organizations struggled to gain momentum for their cause. The Reformers had modest success in the 1870s with a series of legislative victories, including the abolition of the sale of alcohol on election days, the imposition of an annual tax of twenty-five dollars on all liquor dealers, and the prohibition of the consumption of alcohol in gambling establishments. Yet it wasn`t until the 1880s, when the Woman`s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) arrived in Georgia, that reformers enjoyed the support of an impressive national organization. ISABETH MENDOZA: If you trace the history of alcohol in our state, Native American tribes across the country made their own fermented beverages long before James Oglethorpe arrived on the coast in 1733. Oglethorpe was a British general and Member of Parliament who attempted to resettle indebted prisoners in Georgia. Because of the colony`s financial ties to England, Georgia had alcohol restrictions to the point where Georgia was “dry” by law.
The fight is expected to continue next year, when voters in nearly 500 other jurisdictions will have a chance to speak on the issue, said Matt Carrothers, spokesman for Georgia`s office of secretary of state. You can buy alcohol in retail stores on Sundays from 12:30 to 23:30. Some cities also allow bars and restaurants to serve alcohol from 11am to 11am. 5am. The Cullen-Harrison Act, enacted about 10 months before the ratification of the 21st Amendment, allowed people to drink low-alcohol beer and wine. New President Franklin D. Roosevelt amended the Volstead Act in April 1933 to allow people to drink a beer or two pending ratification of the 21st Amendment. The first team of Budweiser Clydesdales was sent to the White House to present President Roosevelt with a case of ceremonial beer. In some cases, special laws extend the hours during which alcohol can be sold. Bars and restaurants are open until 2.30am on St. Patrick`s Day, New Year`s Eve, October 3 and 4. July and the Sunday before the Memorial and Labor Day sell alcohol.
On the other hand, many counties prohibit the sale of alcohol on Christmas Day, Thanksgiving and New Year`s Day.