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December 25, 2019

Here’s What New Year’s Looked Like During Prohibition Era

As we head out to the bars and nurse hangovers this weekend, let’s take a moment to remember how our grandparents and great-parents used to celebrate this holiday.

For many during the 1920s and early ’30s, the occasion was observed without the help of champagne. If alcohol was present it was often illicit, as under the Constitution the United States was a “dry” country.

So how did people celebrate? Take a look through the photos below:

American actress Clara Bow (1905–1965) holds up a large card while actor Larry Gray inscribes a New Year’s greeting with a giant pen, 1925.

A New Years Eve party in Chicago, 1927.

The proprietor of the new Maison Arthur Grill distributed $100,000,000 in German marks to be used for confetti on New Year's Eve in New York, 1923.

New Year’s Eve Film still with Marion Davies as Columbine in the movie Beauty’s Worth, 1924.

On New Year’s Eve, a waiter takes an order from a man who sits, seemingly alone, at a large table in the restaurant of the Gibson Hotel, Cincinnati, 1925.

American actor Georgia Hale (1905–1985, far right) stands on a bar with a gun in each hand as she and a crowd of people celebrate the new year, in a still from director Charles Chaplin’s silent film, The Gold Rush, 1925.

Richard Tauber and Lee Perry starring in Happy New Year, ca. 1920s.

Sig Haugdahl gets the checkered flag as he wins the opening event of the New Year's Day Races in his Daytona Cyclone race car, Daytona Beach, 1926.

A New York butcher supplies the New Year demand for whale meat. The meat resembles horse in color and texture, but has a slightly fishy flavor, ca. 1920s.

New Year’s Eve. Happy New Year. Woman sitting on a watch at twelve o’clock, 1928.

Streamers and champagne for revelers at a New Year’s party, 1930.

A couple ring in the New Year with party blowers and streamers, ca. 1930s.

Partygoers celebrate the arrival of the New Year amidst a shower of streamers, ca. 1930s.

Six tumbling members of the Olympic Club try and work up the courage to jump in the 54 degree Pacific Ocean on the annual New Year’s Day event, San Francisco, California, 1932.

New Years party in Hollywood. Girl dancing on a table, ca. 1930s.

(Photos: Getty Images, via Houston Chronicle)


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