The Rise and Fall of Prohibition
Interactive journey through the history of Prohibition at the National Constitution Center
October 19, 2012-April 28, 2013
Explore the fascinating era of flappers, suffragists, bootleggers and temperance lobbyists and real-life legends like Al Capone during the world-premiere exhibition American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition at the National Constitution Center.
The first comprehensive exhibition about Prohibition, American Spirits spans the dawn of the temperance movement in the early 1800s through the Roaring Twenties to the unprecedented repeal of a constitutional amendment during the Great Depression.
The 5,000-square-foot exhibition features more than 120 rare artifacts including:
- Original ratification copies of the 18th and 21st Amendments
- A hatchet used by Carry Nation during one of her barroom-smashing raids
- A Prohibition Bureau Badge issued by the Department of Justice in 1931
- Temperance propaganda, including pamphlets, school lesson manuals, speeches, and hymnals
Interactive elements and immersive environments will bring to life the sights, sounds, and experiences of the time period. Wayne Wheeler’s Amazing Amendment Machine, a dazzling 20-foot-long, eight-foot-tall carnival-inspired contraption, will trace how the temperance movement culminated in the 18th Amendment. In addition, visitors can:
- Sit in a pew of a recreated early 1900s church to learn about the rise of the Anti-Saloon League and take a quiz to find out if you would have been a “wet” or a “dry.”
- Test their knowledge of what could and could not be consumed under the rules of the 18th Amendment during the “Is it Legal?” interactive touchscreen game.
- Explore a re-created speakeasy complete with a bar, dance floor, bandstand, and powder room and learn how to dance the Charleston.
- Play the role of a federal Prohibition agent chasing rumrunners in a custom-built video game where you drive your own speedboat.
- Join gangsters in a criminal lineup for a memorable photo opportunity.
Visitors will have an opportunity at the end of the exhibition to explore the legacy of Prohibition in today’s regulatory landscape. Displays will show why and how laws differ from state to state and how the idea of drinking responsibly has evolved since the 1930s to reflect what we know about alcohol today.
Daniel Okrent, Ken Burns, and Lynn Novick will lend their voices and commentary to a special iPod audio tour that will guide visitors through the exhibition. Additionally, a theatrical performance – a hallmark of the Center’s exhibition experience – will take place inside the speakeasy. There, an actor playing the role of a bartender will explore the impact of the speakeasy on fashion, music, and culture during the Roaring Twenties.
American Spirits will debut at the Center from October 19, 2012 to April 28, 2013, before embarking on a nationwide tour. The tour will extend into 2016, bringing the exhibition to cities across the country, including Seattle, WA; St. Paul, MN; St. Louis, MO; Austin, TX; and Grand Rapids, MI.
Tickets and Hours
Admission to American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition is $17.50 for adults, $16 for seniors and students, and $11 for children ages 4-12. Group rates also are available.
Admission to the Center’s main exhibition, The Story of We the People, including the award-winning theatrical production Freedom Rising, is included.
For ticket information, call 215-409-6700 or visit constitutioncenter.org
Prohibition Hotel Package
Plan your visit to American Spirits in advance and save with the Prohibition Hotel Package. Get overnight accommodations, tickets to the exhibition at the National Constitution Center and more. Browse participating hotels, below.
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Latest American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition at the National Constitution Center Stories from Uwishunu.com
April 22, 2013Reminder: The National Constitution Center’s American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition Comes To An End On Sunday, April 28
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April 2, 2013Raise A Glass To The Final Days of American Spirits: The Rise And Fall Of Prohibition This Thursday Night At The National Constitution Center’s Cheers To Beer Tasting Event
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