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75th Anniversary of the End of Prohibition

NYC Hospitality Association

For Immediate Release

New York State and City of New York Joins Nation in 75th Anniversary of the End of Prohibition with at Famous Speakeasy

Hon. Alfred E. Smith IV, great grandson of New York State Governor Alfred Smith (who served during Prohibition) will join with State and City Government Officials, as well as members of the NYC Hospitality Industry, to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the End of Prohibition. (New York State Assembymen Richard N. Gottfried, Andrew Raia, and Micah Kellner, members of the New York City Council and Mayors office will be making a special presentation.)

They will also be holding a news conference on December 5, 2008 at 11a.m. at Frankie and Johnnies located at 269 West 45th Street in Manhattan. Frankie and Johnnies is one of three remaining original Speakeasies in New York City and one of the city's oldest continual dining establishments.

Prohibition ended in the United States on December 5, 1933, when Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, repealing the 18th Amendment. Imagine the celebrations that went on across the nation that day.

At the news conference, members of the hospitality industry will be celebrating this historic date, as well as announcing an upcoming "End of Prohibition" gala for over 500 people. The party will duplicate the nation's largest modern speakeasy to benefit local charities. The event will be free for any staff that works in restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, pubs, taverns in the City of New York.

Prohibition from 1920-1933 banned the use of all alcohol in the United States. Those who wanted a cocktail during those dry years did so in establishments called "speakeasies." The term "speakeasy" comes from a patron's manner of ordering alcohol without raising suspicion -- a bartender would tell a patron to be quiet and "speakeasy."

Frankie & Johnnies Steakhouse has been a celebrated New York fixture since 1926, having opened as a speakeasy at the height of Prohibition. To gain access, patrons knocked on an unmarked door and used the password "FRANKIE" when a small peephole was opened. With admittance, a confirmation reply of "JOHNNIE" was heard. The business began operation as a steakhouse when Prohibition was lifted 75 years ago.


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