Monday, April 2, 2018

Spirited: Prohibition in America

Spirited: Prohibition in America, a traveling exhibition organized by the National Constitution Center, in partnership with Mid-America Arts Alliance, and with support from NEH on the Road, opens April 5 at the Lyman Allyn Museum in New London, CT.  It will run there until May 25, 2018.
Prohibition Administrator Woodcock (left) 1930 (LC)
In a tumultuous era spanning thirteen years, Americans could no longer manufacture, sell, or transport intoxicating beverages. Prohibition was now a part of the Constitution, holding the same status as freedom of speech and the abolition of slavery. Ratified in 1919, the 18th Amendment stirred up a passionate and sometimes volatile debate between “wets” and “drys” that will forever cement Prohibition’s place in history

[The exhibition] brings visitors back to this period of flappers and suffragists, bootleggers and temperance lobbyists, and real-life legends, such as Al Capone and Carry Nation. Visitors will learn about the complex issues that led America to adopt Prohibition through the 18th Amendment to the Constitution in 1919 until its repeal through the 21st Amendment in 1933.

Through the exhibition, visitors will learn about the amendment process, the changing role of liquor in American culture, Prohibitions impact on the roaring 20’s, and the role of women, and how current liquor laws vary from state to state.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the museum will host Let the Good Times Roll: Race, Crime and Prohibition, by David Canton, Connecticut College, on Thursday, April 12, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM:
The Roaring Twenties were known for a booming economy, flappers, Progressive Reform, and the Harlem Renaissance. For some Americans the twenties roared, and for many others the 1920’s were business as usual. While middle and upper middle class American enjoyed the twenties, they went out of their way to make sure European immigrants and southern black migrants could not. This presentation examines the nexus between Prohibition, race, and crime.