Spirited: Prohibition in America

Spirited: Prohibition in America


January 27 - March 16, 2018


A traveling exhibition from the National Constitution Center in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities, transports visitors back to the time of flappers and suffragists, bootleggers and temperance lobbyists, and real-life legends, such as Al Capone and Carry Nation.


The project explores the history of Prohibition, including the dawn of the temperance movement; the enactment of the 18th Amendment prohibiting the manufacture, sale or transport of intoxicating beverages; and the unprecedented repeal of a constitutional amendment in 1933. Visitors experience 1920s America, as the country was split between "wets" and "drys," speakeasies flourished, legal authorities gave chase to gangsters, and people creatively discovered ways to circumvent the law.


Spirited surveys the inventive and ingenious ways lawmakers and the American public responded to Prohibition. The project features semi-immersive environments that encompass the sights, sounds, and experiences of this fascinating period in American history. Through the exhibition, visitors learn about the amendment process, the changing role of liquor in American culture, Prohibition's impact on the roaring 20s, the changing role of women, and why current liquor laws vary from state to state.

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