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What did Iceland prohibit from 1915 to 1989?Answer – Beer – Say, “Skál!” and raise a glass of beer on your next trip to Iceland — something local residents were not able to do for more than seventy years. All alcohol was banned in Iceland in 1915, with 60% of the population voting in favor of prohibition. But just as in the United States, banning something didn’t prevent all consumption and distribution. Doctors began prescribing alcohol for treatment (wine for the nerves and cognac for the heart, of course), and artists were ordering impressive amounts of alcohol for cleaning their supplies. Wine was the first prohibition chip to fall, when Parliament voted in 1921 to legalize importing wine (mainly to preserve a trading relationship with Spain). In 1933, the ban was lifted for all alcohol, except beer containing more than 2.25% alcohol. Why was beer the bad guy? It was cheaper and thus thought to be easier to abuse. The people of Iceland continued to find ways to get their brew, and into the 1980s most people, and even legislators, supported lifting the ban on beer. In 1988, the Icelandic Parliament, the Althing, voted to legalize beer, and on March 1, 1989, Icelanders could order a legal beer for the first time since 1915. And now “Bjordagur,” or Beer Day, is celebrated annually!:
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