American Spirits

American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

October 19, 2012 – April 28, 2013

American SpiritsStep back in time to an era of flappers and suffragists, bootleggers and temperance workers, and real-life legends like Al Capone and Carry Nation. Created by the National Constitution Center, American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition is the first comprehensive exhibition about America’s most colorful and complex constitutional hiccup. Spanning from the dawn of the temperance movement, through the Roaring ’20s, to the unprecedented repeal of a constitutional amendment, this world-premiere exhibition brings the whole story of Prohibition vividly to life.

American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition is curated by Daniel Okrent, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition.

Experience the Prohibition era through:

  • Over 100 rare artifacts including flapper dresses, temperance propaganda, a 1929 Buick Marquette, and original ratification copies of the 18th and 21st Amendments
  • A re-created speakeasy where you can learn to Charleston and explore the fashion, music, and culture of the Roaring ’20s
  • Films, music, photos, and multimedia exhibits including the dazzling Wayne Wheeler’s Amazing Amendment Machine, a 20-foot-long, carnival-inspired contraption that traces how the temperance movement culminated in the 18th Amendment
  • A custom-built  video game where you serve as a federal agent tracking down rumrunners
  • An engaging iPod audio-visual tour featuring curator Daniel Okrent along with filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, who created the PBS documentary Prohibition

Admission to American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition is free on Sundays throughout the run of the exhibition.

View the Exhibition Teaser Site »

View Video from the Announcement of the Exhibition's World Premiere »

American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.
 

National Endowment for the Humanities