Museum presents traveling exhibit on Prohibition

(April 1, 2019)

The Prohibition era is examined in a traveling exhibit presented Tuesday, April 9, through Saturday, May 25, at the Chippewa Valley Museum in Carson Park.

“Spirited: Prohibition in America” explores the time when flappers and suffragists, bootleggers and temperance lobbyists, and legends such as Al Capone and Carry Nation took sides in a battle against the bottle.

In 1830, the average American drank 90 bottles — or about four shots a day — of 80-proof liquor each year. Saloons gained notoriety as the most destructive force in American culture, and a growing movement against alcohol led to ratification of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1919.

Through the exhibit, visitors will learn about the Amendment process, the changing role of liquor in American culture, Prohibition’s impact on the Roaring ‘20s, the connections between women’s suffrage and the temperance movement, and how current liquor laws vary from state to state. Local history will also be explored.

“Spirited” has been made possible through NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities.