Friday, April 7, 2017

April 7, 1933: The Return of Beer

My great-grandfather was a poet. An unpublished one, but I have his poems in a little green book with little red labels saying "My Poetry Book" and Vol. 1 on the side. It's not full, so I don't know that there ever was a Vol. 2.

He wrote about his world, what was happening to him, and his own family. On April 7, 1933 he penned his only poem with a date. That was the day that Congress repealed the Volstead Act, allowing the sale of beer with less than 3.2 percent alcohol. Eight months later, Prohibition was repealed altogether. My great -grandfather wrote a poem rejoicing in the return of beer, but also sounding a cautionary note.

To the Return of Beer
April 7, 1933

Well, good old beer is here again
And has caused quite a sensation
And with it comes prosperity,   
And an income to the nation

Now a man can drink a glass, 
And not feel he's doing wrong, 
He has gained a new freedom, 
That he has wanted, so long.

Let's hope he will enjoy it,
and not abuse, this new right,
Let's hope he'll be contented, 
And drink in a way that's right.

There is no harm in drinking, 
Amongst a gathering of friends, 
But the beer, let's have cheer, 
And good fellowship to the end. 

                                               ~ John F. Henderson, Sr.

What do you think of the message of this poem? 

Do you have any writers in your background who have left a perspective on history?

For more information on the repeal of the Volstead Act and Prohibition, go here: 

April 7, 1933: Gimme a Tall, Cold One - Wired


  1. Love it! I have a "book" of my father's poems. (Sheets of paper that were never bound). My sister and I recently found some letters that my great-grandmother wrote my mother when my mother was in college. Nothing of historical significance, but it was fun to read them.

    1. Yes, great fun. "Gampie Downstairs'" poems have much more family history than otherwise, but this one was a bit broader. Always good to have a family treasure.