929 - Caliphate of Cordoba is established by Emir Abd-ar-Rahman III
1913 - British House of Commons accepts Home Rule for Ireland (but the Great War gets in the way of it happening)
1956 - Egyptian President Nasser pledges to reconquer Palestine
1980 - Paul McCartney jailed in Tokyo for 10 days on marijuana possession
1991 - 7th Soap Opera Digest Awards - Days of Our Lives wins
1995 - UPN (Universal-Parmount Network) begins telecasting (WWOR in NYC)
1872 - Henri-Paul Busser, composer
1908 - Ethel Merman, American stage and screen actress (Anything Goes, Call Me Madam), born in Queens, New York (d. 1984)
1914 - Roger Wagner, American choral musician (d. 1992)
1937 - Lorraine Bayly, Australian actress
1960 - Richard Elliot, Scottish-born American jazz saxophonist (When a Man Loves a Woman cover), born in Glasgow, Scotland
1967 - Jeff Branson, Waynesboro Miss, infielder (Cincinnati Reds)
1979 - Fred Elizalde, composer, dies at 71
1987 - Earl Wilson, Bdwy columnist (Midnight Earl), dies in Yonkers at 79
1996 - Harry Potts, footballer/manager, dies at 75
2002 - Ron Taylor, American actor (b. 1952)
2007 - Ron Carey, American actor (Barney Miller), dies of a stroke at 71
2014 - Russell Johnson, American television and film actor, best known for his role as "The Professor" on Gilligan's Island, dies of kidney failure at 89
The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, prohibiting the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes,” is ratified on this day in 1919 and becomes the law of the land.
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. By the late 19th century, these groups had become a powerful political force, campaigning on the state level and calling for total national abstinence. In December 1917, the 18th Amendment, also known as the Prohibition Amendment, was passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification.
Prohibition took effect in January 1919. Nine months later, Congress passed the Volstead Act, or National Prohibition Act, over President Woodrow Wilson’s veto. The Volstead Act provided for the enforcement of prohibition, including the creation of a special unit of the Treasury Department. Despite a vigorous effort by law-enforcement agencies, the Volstead Act failed to prevent the large-scale distribution of alcoholic beverages, and organized crime flourished in America. In 1933, the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was passed and ratified, repealing prohibition.