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Celebrate the 80th anniversary of legalized beer

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Raise your glass, America. April 7, 2013, is National Beer Day!

While there are several holidays throughout the year that celebrate beer, National Beer Day actually commemorates an important event in American history.

It's hard to believe that back in the day, it was illegal to consume alcohol. But after a long dry spell, the Cullen-Harrison Act allowed the brewing, sale and consumption of 3.2 percent beer and wine in the United States.

When the Cullen-Harrison Act went into effect in 1933 on this day, thirsty customers could buy a beer that was 3.2 % alcohol by weight instead of the "near beer" they had suffered with all through Prohibition.

The public lined up on "New Beer's Eve" at breweries in 20 states and Washington, DC, and purchased 1.5 million barrels. April 7th has remained an unofficial holiday celebrating beer in the U.S.

When United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the bill into law in 1933, he reportedly said, “I think this would be a good time for a beer.”

On April 6, 1933, also known as New Beer's Eve, thousands of parched people waited in line at their favorite pub for the new law to go into effect. When the 21st Amendment was finally ratified on Dec. 5, 1933, Prohibition in America ended for good.

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