Candle-counters found on the Napoleon Lions Club calendar for the period Dec. 6-13 include: Charis Ann Hesterman Smith, Kenny Bostelman, Joe Aschemeier, Laralyn Sasaki, Jim Bebler, Joe Lavin, Aric Graham, Doris Zumfelde, Lydia Smith, Peggy Mossing, Emaline Eggers, Gary Rowland, Kyle Bergstedt, Roger Hicksted, Sophia Good, Erin Jenny and Jeff Sonnenberg.

The other birthday list is ready to announce, so let’s get to it right away. Those from the Henry County Senior Center for the period from Dec. 7-11 are: Emma Maassel, Frances Aderman, Connie Beltz, Patsy Carlston, Roger Naugle, Harold Dorrington, Cecelia Kern, Pauline Smith, Bernice Elling, Sharon Donnett, Larry Groves, Sandra Dickman, Rebecca Marchal, Margeruite Meyer, Pamela Myles, Dennis Cheney Sr., Doris Zumfelde, Suzanne de Roth, Jane Hunt, Robert Hatfield, Bill Devrow and Vickie Uggen.

Ann has been helping this week to get St. Augustine’s annual Christmas House ready for this weekend. The doors open at 9:30 a.m. on Friday and after Santa’s visit that evening from 5 to 7, along with the soup and sandwich supper, everything will be closed down by 8 p.m. Saturday morning things get rolling again at 9:30, with a soup and pie lunch that day and a baked steak supper Saturday evening from 5-7. Breakfast is served Sunday morning from 9 through noon. In between there are many Christmas items (as well as baked goods, cheese balls and frosted cookies) for everyone who is getting ready for Christmas.

The 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified on this date in 1933, repealing the 18th Amendment and bringing an end to the era of national prohibition of alcohol in America. Utah became the 36th state to ratify the amendment, achieving the requisite three-fourths majority of state’s approval. Pennsylvania and Ohio had ratified it earlier in the day (although there was a strong opposition from the southern edge of Henry County, just south of Holgate).

The movement for the prohibition of alcohol began in the early 19th century, when Americans concerned about the adverse effects of drinking began forming temperance societies. These groups had become a powerful political force, campaigning on the state level and calling for national liquor abstinence. Several states outlawed the manufacture or sale of alcohol within their own borders. In December 1917, the 18th Amendment, prohibiting the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes, was passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification. On Jan. 29, 1919, the 18th Amendment achieved the necessary three-fourths majority of state ratification. Prohibition essentially began in June of that year, but the amendment did not officially take effect until Jan. 29, 1920.

In the meantime, Congress passed the Volstead Act on Oct. 28, 1919, over President Woodrow Wilsons veto. The Volstead Act provided for the enforcement of Prohibition, including the creation of a special Prohibition unit of the Treasury Department. In its first six months, the unit destroyed thousands of illicit stills run by bootleggers. However, federal agents and police did little more than slow the flow of booze, and organized crime flourished in America. Large-scale bootleggers like Al Capone of Chicago built criminal empires out of illegal distribution efforts, and federal and state governments lost billions in tax revenue

Prohibition, failing fully to enforce sobriety and costing billions, rapidly lost popular support in the early 1930s. In 1933, the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was passed and ratified, ending national Prohibition. After the repeal of the 18th Amendment, some states continued Prohibition by maintaining statewide temperance laws. Mississippi, the last dry state in the Union, ended Prohibition in 1966.

”One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.” (Andy Rooney)

“Got all my Christmas shopping done. Now to shop for other people.” (Conan OBrien)

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I started at the Northwest Signal in 1994 and became editor in 2004. I graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1994.

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