During the era of Prohibition, Americans could not manufacture, sell, or transport intoxicating beverages from 1920 until 1933. “Spirited: Prohibition in America” opens June 16th, 2017 at the Branigan Cultural Center, 501 North Main St. This exhibit explores this tumultuous time in American history, when flappers and suffragists, bootleggers and temperance lobbyists, and legends, such as Al Capone and Carry Nation, took sides in this battle against the bottle.
Organized by the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in partnership with Mid-America Arts Alliance, “Spirited: Prohibition in America” explores the era of Prohibition, when America went “dry.” 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, Prohibition’s impact on the roaring ‘20s, and the role of women, and how current liquor laws vary from state to state.
The exhibition draws on the histories told from both sides of this divisive issue that riled passions and created volatile situations. After a decade of wide-spread corruption, wavering public opinion, and the need to generate revenue from an alcohol tax, the 18th Amendment was the first to ever be repealed. With the passing of the 21st Amendment, Prohibition ended on December 5th, 1933 to a very different America. Today, Prohibition’s legacy can be traced through state laws regulating alcohol, created to avoid the excesses before Prohibition and the corruption and lawlessness experienced during the roaring ‘20s.
The Branigan Cultural Center hosts changing cultural exhibits, as well as educational programs, classes, and other special events. The building is on the National and State Registries of Historic Buildings.
The Branigan Cultural Center is dedicated to engaging our visitors in the rich heritage of the Southwest and the world at large through artistic, cultural, and historical exhibitions and programs.