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Friday, January 24, 2020


Looking properly presidential except for his foamy mug of beer Franklin Delano Roosevelt poses against the red and white stripes of the American flag.  The illustration by Miguel Covarrubias appeared on the September 1932 cover of Vanity Fair magazine.

Was it publisher Conde Nast’s salute to endorsing the repeal of prohibition? Oddly, there was not a story inside the edition to go with the cover image.

Prohibition began 100 years ago this week.  The booze ban wasn’t well thoughtout.  Many believe the repeal cost the nation’s treasury tax revenue enormously and aided in causing the Great Depression.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt had campaigned for repeal, suggesting that reintroducing alcohol was a way to raise taxes during a time of economic hardship.  By a landslide, he was elected on November 8, 1932.

Thus, the Vanity Fair cover—as news--was a nod to Roosevelt’s anti-prohibition stance and a not-so-veiled endorsement of his presidential aspirations.

Prohibition officially ended on December 5, 1933 following the ratification of the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

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