Hanover College Triangle on

Newly Legal Beer,

April 11, 1933

Prohibition in the United States sparked many controversies. In March of 1933, Congressional action made it permissable to sell beer once again, as long as it was less than 3.2% alcohol. With talk of repealing prohibition, some Hanover students and faculty spoke out.

Legal prohibition of alcohol began after the 1919 ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment, which prohibited the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages in the United States. Controversial before and after the amendment's ratification, it split politics for twenty-four years and beyond. The presidential election of 1924 produced a "dry" president, Herbert Hoover. Re-elected in 1928, he promised to reassess the government's support of prohibition legislation. By 1929, popular support was beginning to wane as people questioned the effectiveness of Prohibition. The Great Depression drove people to a more capitalistic mindset, and eventually, in March 1933, Congress met to revise the Volstead Act to allow for the manufacture and sale of beer. - Luke Zwanziger '08

Source: Victor Bondi, ed., American Decades, 1930-1939 (Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1994), 445-447.

N.B. The text below is transcribed verbatim, including the occasional typographical error.

"Parker Gives College Side of Question - Business Men Agree Not To Sell Drink - NO BEER ADS - Statement Given After Interview" Hanover College Triangle, 11 April, 1933.

The Beer question has caused much excitement all over the country and in Hanover has been tabooed. The College has taken a definite stance against any alcoholic beverages as has always been the rule. Dr. Parker in an interview last night gave the following statement:

"Old faculty records show frequent cases of the expulsion of students for being drunk. Either the present faculty sees much less than the faculty of former days or we have a much more self-respecting student body. We prefer to believe the latter.

"Drinking alcoholic drinks of any percentage has always been and still is a social habit which Hanover faculty and students are expected to forego while they are associated with the College. The college deals with any known case of the lack of compliance with this regulation.

"There is universal agreement in all countries that the use of alcohol is a social practice which brings untold social harm by its seemingly inevitable misuse. The College takes the stand of denying its members this practice which causes people with inadequate self-control to harm themselves and others."

The business men of Hanover have agreed not to sell the legalized drink for several reasons. The main being that the college has taken a definite stand against such. Another reason is that beer will be sold in Madison and Milton. And the last reason is that the tax is such that the sale would hardly be offset. Likewise, the Triangle will carry no beer ads in order to conform with the policy throughout.

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