Spirited: Prohibition in America

In a tumultuous era spanning 13 years, Americans could no longer manufacture, sell, or transport intoxicating beverages. Prohibition was now a part of the Constitution, holding the same status as freedom of speech and the abolition of slavery. Ratified in 1919, the 18th Amendment stirred up a passionate and sometimes volatile debate between “wets” and “drys” that will forever cement Prohibition’s place in history.

Spirited: Prohibition in America brings visitors back to this period of flappers and suffragists, bootleggers and temperance lobbyists, and real-life legends, such as Al Capone and Carry Nation.

Adapted from the National Constitution Center’s flagship exhibition, Spirited explores the history of Prohibition, from the dawn of the temperance movement to the unprecedented repeal of a constitutional amendment in 1933. What made the country go “dry” and how did America change during this period in history? Visitors to Spirited will learn about the amendment process, the role of liquor in American culture, the cultural revolution of the roaring ’20s, and how liquor laws vary from state to state today.

The morality and illegalization of liquor split American opinion and created a subculture of rampant criminality. Organized crime grew from localized enterprises to a national network for manufacturing, distribution, and sales of alcohol. The issue catalyzed a number of federal regulations and the passing of the Volstead Act, but little resources were provided for enforcement. Spirited draws on histories told from both sides of the law. Through strong visual and interactive elements, the exhibition demonstrates how America went from a nation drowning in liquor in the 1800s, to campaigns of temperance, and the upswing and downfall of outlawing prohibition.

The exhibition surveys the inventive and ingenious ways lawmakers and the American public responded to Prohibition. Legal provisions for sacramental wine, medicinal alcohol, and the preservation of fruit and the efforts of breweries to stay in business led to popularization of products such as “Dr. Welch’s Unfermented Wine,” “near beer,” and Coca-Cola. Visitors will learn how transportation networks and clever disguises were used to run liquor from state to state, how speakeasies gave way to the popularization of jazz, and the Charleston dance craze.

Spirited features semi-immersive environments that encompass the sights, sounds, and experiences of this fascinating period in American history. Hosting venues will receive educational and public programming materials that outline ideas for interactive workshops on “speakeasy slang,” ’20s-themed socials, speaker suggestions for topics, such as the women’s suffrage movement, and lesson plans on today’s battle with drugs and alcohol.

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Spirited: Prohibition in America is touring June 2014–May 2019.

This exhibition is fully booked. Please inquire about being added to its waiting list.

Contact: MoreArt@maaa.org or (800) 473-3872, ext. 208

  • June 16–August 11, 2014 Living History Farms
    Urbandale, IA
  • September 1–October 20, 2014 Tampa Bay History Center
    Tampa, FL
  • November 10, 2014–January 7, 2015 Butler County History Museum/Kansas Oil Museum
    El Dorado, KS
  • January 28–March 16, 2015 Panola College
    Carthage, TX
  • April 6–May 25, 2015 Wyandotte County Historical Society & Museum
    Bonner Springs, KS
  • June 16–August 11, 2015 William F. Laman Public Library
    North Little Rock, AR
  • September 1–October 20, 2015 Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum
    Wichita, KS
  • November 10, 2015–January 7, 2016 Museum of History and Art
    Ontario, CA
  • January 28–March 16, 2016 Brigham City Museum
    Brigham City, UT
  • April 6–May 25, 2016 Rolling Hills Consolidated Library
    St. Joseph, MO
  • June 16–August 11, 2016 West Baton Rouge Museum
    Port Allen, LA
  • September 1–October 20, 2016 Refurbishment
    Kansas City, MO
  • November 10, 2016–January 7, 2017 Fullerton Museum Center
    Fullerton, CA
  • January 28–March 16, 2017 Washakie Museum & Cultural Center
    Worland, WY
  • April 6–May 25, 2017 Park City Museum
    Park City, UT
  • June 16–August 11, 2017 Branigan Cultural Center
    Las Cruces, NM
  • September 1–October 20, 2017 Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research & Studies
    Athens, GA
  • November 10, 2017–January 7, 2018 Coronado Quivira Museum/Rice County
    Lyons, KS
  • January 28–March 16, 2018 Upcountry History Museum
    Greenville, NC
  • April 6–May 25, 2018 Lyman Allyn Art Museum
    New London, CT
  • June 16–August 11, 2018 Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center
    Enid, OK
  • September 1–October 20, 2018 Joliet Area Historical Museum
    Joliet, IL
  • November 10, 2018–January 7, 2019 The High Desert Museum
    Bend, OR
  • January 28–March 16, 2019 The History Museum
    South Bend, IN
  • April 6–May 25, 2019 Chippewa Valley Museum
    Eau Claire, WI

Exhibition Details & Specifications

  • Curated By

    The National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, PA in collaboration with Daniel Okrent, author of Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

  • Organized By

    The National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, PA in partnership with Mid-America Arts Alliance, Kansas City, MO
  • Content

    The exhibition will feature several freestanding units focused on thematic areas; a collection of objects, artifacts, photographs, and paper ephemera; audio/video features; interactive stations, semi-immersive environment settings; and wall-mounted banners and graphics.

  • Duration

    7 Weeks

  • Rental Fee


  • Grant


  • Support

    On-site support is free to the opening venue for every new NEH on the Road exhibition and to first-time hosting venues on a limited basis.

  • Shipping:

    Each exhibitor is responsible for the first $1,000 of the outgoing shipping fee to the next venue; NEH on the Road covers the remainder.

  • Security


  • Square Feet

    Maximum 2,000

  • Number of Crates/Total Weight


  • Insurance

    The exhibition is fully insured by NEH on the Road at no additional expense to you, both while installed and during transit.


Download this glossary here.


Alcohol proof is a measure of how much alcohol (ethanol) is contained in an alcoholic beverage. In the United States, the proof of an alcoholic beverage is twice its alcohol content expressed as percentage by volume at 60°F. An 80-proof whiskey is 40% alcohol. Recently, the United States began labeling bottles containing wine and spirits with the percentage of alcohol by volume, instead of proof.

Al Capone

Prohibition-era criminal Alphonse Capone (known as Al or Scarface) was born in Brooklyn, New York, and got involved in gangs at a young age. He worked for New York gangster Frankie Yale (1893–1928) who sent him to Chicago in 1919 when Capone hospitalized a rival New York gang member. Capone became a prominent gang member in Chicago by working for John Torrio (1882–1957) and helped him manage his bootlegging business. Capone eventually took over the Chicago Outfit (previously run by Torrio) and controlled speakeasies, brothels, distilleries, nightclubs, breweries, and more. He was Chicago’s “public enemy number one” after multiple murders including the 1929 St. Valentine Day’s massacre. He served a one-year sentence for gun possession and later eight years of an eleven-year sentence for tax evasion.


A change in the words or meaning of a law or document (such as the Constitution); the process of amending by constitutional procedure. The following are amendments (in full text) that relate to the Prohibition era.

  • Fourth Amendment—The right of the people to be secure in their persons, house, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probably cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
  • 16th Amendment—The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States and without regard to any census or enumeration.
  • 17th Amendment—The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures. When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
  • 18th Amendment—After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the transportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
  • 19th Amendment—The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
  • 21st Amendment—The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

Anti-Saloon League

The ASL was one of the leading organizations in favor of prohibition and was founded by Howard Hyde Russell (1855–1946). The ASL called itself “the Church in Action against the Saloon” and used political force through national legislation, congressional hearings, and religious leaders to eliminate liquor in America.

Billy Sunday

Billy Sunday (1862–1935) was a baseball player who played for the Chicago White Stockings, Pittsburgh Alleghenys, and Philadelphia Phillies from 1833–90. He gave up his baseball career to become a preacher and preached against liquor. When Prohibition was finally enacted, he said “The reign of tears is over—men will walk upright now, women will smile, and the children will laugh. Hell will be forever for rent.”


The term black-and-tan refers to nightclubs in larger cities in which social mingling of blacks and whites took place united by jazz music, dancing, and drinking.


A bootlegger is a person that makes or sells alcohol illegally. Moonshine was also known as “bootleg” during Prohibition.

Carry Nation

Carry Nation (1846–1911) was born Carrie Amelia Moore in Kentucky in 1846 and lived in Missouri during the Civil War. Married to a doctor, Nation had a marriage that fell apart as a result of alcohol abuse. Her husband died, she then married David Nation and settled near Medicine Lodge, Kansas where she organized a local branch of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) and campaigned for enforcement of the state’s liquor laws. Nation supported women’s suffrage and women’s rights. She is most famous for conducting raids on saloons, smashing bottles and barrels, and using a hatchet in support of Prohibition. Carry Nation’s group of followers were known as the “Home Defenders.”


This dance became popular in the 1920s and defines the flapper era. The Charleston was danced to ragtime jazz music in a fast paced rhythm and consists of moving ones’ knees (twisting in and out) and swinging ones’ heels (sharply outward) and kicking sideways on each step.


A constitution is a charter that establishes how the government will operate, what the roles are, and how power is balanced. The Constitution of the United States in the supreme law of our country and defines how the government works. It was written in 1787 at a convention in Philadelphia and went into effect (after being ratified by nine states) in June of 1788. Constitution Day is celebrated on September 17, the day the document was signed by the convention delegates in 1787.

Cotton Club

The Cotton Club was a famous Harlem, New York speakeasy originally located on Lenox Avenue where jazz musician Duke Ellington became famous. It was one of the city’s most famous nightclubs in the 1920s–1930s and hosted noted musicians such as Cab Calloway and Louie Armstrong. The Cotton Club practiced a bizarre form of segregation—it was located in an all-black neighborhood and featured black musicians for an all-white clientele.


A special glass bottle into which wine, whiskey, or other alcoholic spirits is poured into from its original bottle and from which it is served.

Denatured Alcohol

The process of adding other substances to alcohol that makes it unfit to drink but still useful for other purposes such as medicinal use.

Diocletian Lewis

Diocletian Lewis (1823–1886) was a Temperance leader, preacher, food and health eccentric who traveled the country lecturing about the evils of alcohol. He wrote and sold books that promoted temperance. The stop he made in Hillsboro, Ohio, in 1873 inspired Eliza Thompson, famous for leading “Mother Thompson’s Crusade” against alcohol.

Dr. Benjamin Rush

Benjamin Rush (1745–1813) was a colonial physician and writer who advocated that Americans change their drinking habits. He published a moral and physical thermometer temperance diagram that showed the effects of hard liquor and other spirits on one’s psychological and physical health.


Marked by the absence of alcoholic beverages. If a person is ‘dry’ they don’t drink. If a state or county is ‘dry’ alcohol is prohibited.

Eliot Ness

Eliot Ness (1903–1957) was a Chicago police officer who became a Prohibition agent and was famous for his efforts to enforce Prohibition in Chicago. He destroyed numerous breweries owned and operated by Al Capone was responsible, in part, for Capone’s arrest and eviction for tax evasion. The Chicago Tribune newspaper dubbed Ness and his squad of agents “the Untouchables” because they couldn’t be bought by corruption “to look the other way” at organized crime.

Eliza Thompson

Eliza Thompson (1816–1905) was the daughter of former Ohio governor and the wife of a local judge who became inspired by travelling lecturer Diocletian Lewis took up action against alcohol. Eliza led a group of women through Hillsboro Ohio saloons to protest the effects of liquor and drinking establishments. They knelt in the snow and prayed outside the door of the town’s saloons. Within days of this act, nine of the town’s 13 drinking establishments closed. This act known as “Mother Thompson’s Crusade” spread across the country.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902) was an author, lecturer, and chief philosopher of the women’s rights movement. She formulated the agenda for women’s rights that has guided the struggle to the present. She with Susan B. Anthony were the leaders in the women’s suffrage movement.


A young woman in the 1920s who dressed and behaved in a way that was considered very modern was known as a Flapper. Flappers wore loose fitting clothing and shorter skirts and bobbed hair.


Flip was a colonial-era mixed drink made from eggs, sugar and alcohol. Recipes added rum, brandy, or ale to the egg and sugar mix. Flip was served in a special glass.

Frances Willard

Frances Willard (1839–1898) was a temperance leader, suffragist, and progressive reformer who was the second President for the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union in 1879 until her death. She rallied women around the concept of “Home Protection” and “Do Everything” to save families from the devastating effects of alcohol. She eventually became President of the Evanston, Illinois College for Ladies in 1871 and in 1873 was the first Dean of Women at Northwestern University.


Gin is a colorless alcoholic beverage made from distilled or redistilled neutral grain spirits flavored with juniper berries and aromatics (as anise and caraway seeds).

Grape Bricks

Grape bricks were solid blocks of grape juice concentrate that became juice just by adding water. Grape bricks were sold as a way for companies to legally market products useful in the manufacturing of alcohol. Instructions printed on grape bricks advised users to not add yeast or sugar or leave it in a dark place for too long because “it might ferment and become wine.”


A growler is a metal galvanized pail with a lid that was used to carry beer from the tavern home. Their insides were often smeared with lard to keep the foam down leaving more room for beer. In urban slums, housewives and children often stood outside the salon door and lunchtime waiting for someone to come outside to fill the growlers.

Hard Cider

Distilled liquor was added to cider to keep it from spoiling giving it an alcoholic content of at least 10%. Hard cider was common in rural communities because apples were plentiful and easy to grow.

Howard Hyde Russell

Howard Hyde Russell (1855–1946) was the founder of the Anti-Saloon League (1893). He was a successful lawyer who became an ordained minister and who felt that the ASL was founded by god. His goal was to close saloon by administering political retribution to those public officials who opposed the anti-alcohol cause.


A law is a system or set of rules made by the government of a town, state, country, etc.


Liquor is a distilled rather than fermented beverage.

Lydia Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound

Lydia Pinkham (1819–1883) founded the Lydia E. Pinkham Medicine company in order to market an herbal medicine, Lydia Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound, that she developed to treat medical problems of her female friends and family. The compound was made of black cohosh, life root, unicorn root, pleurisy root, fenugreek seed and a substantial amount of alcohol. In 1925 her annual profits peaked to $3.8 million.

Mabel Willebrandt

Mabel Willebrandt (1889–1963) was Assistant Attorney General from 1921–29 who prosecuted violators of Prohibition. She was a Prohibition agent who was nicknamed “Prohibition Portia.”

Medicinal Alchol

During Prohibition, certain distilleries were granted licenses to manufacture liquor for the pharmaceutical trade. Physicians sold prescriptions for a variety of ailments. Patients could redeem prescriptions at the pharmacy (one pint of liquor a week).


Illegal, homemade liquor was called moonshine from the nighttime secrecy its manufacture required. Moonshine is made from a “still” using a mixture of crushed grains, water, and sugar and placed in a boiler with added yeast. As the alcohol from the steam evaporates, it travels into another container. The cooled steam condenses into a liquid, drinkable alcohol and is filtered into a jug.

National Crime Syndicate

The National Crime Syndicate was the name given by the press to a loosely organized, multi-ethnic group of gangsters who bootlegged liquor. When they met in 1929 in Atlantic City at a strategic conference, criminals from Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Newark, and New York City (including Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, and Meyer Lansky) divided up territories, fixed prices, and made cross-territorial distribution deals that transformed crime from local organizations into a national network.


In the 19th century in the United States, nativists favored the interests of established inhabitants over those of immigrants. The Anti-Saloon League enlisted the support of nativists in its cause to close saloons. Nativists thought closing saloons would undermine the comfort and influence of new immigrants in big cities, especially the Germans, Jew, Irish, and Italians.

Near Beer

Near beer is a malt liquor that does not contain enough alcohol to be considered an alcoholic beverage.

Pauline Morton Sabin

Pauline Morton Sabin (1887–1955), although an initial supporter of Prohibition, founded the Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform (WONPR) in 1929. Sabin’s women’s organization challenged the long-held assumption that virtually all women in the United States supported National Prohibition. The ineffectiveness of the law, growing power of bootleggers, and decline of temperate drinking prompted her to work toward the repeal of Prohibition. She had 300,000 members in WONPR in 1931.


A populist is a supporter of the rights and power of the people. The Anti Saloon League enlisted the support of populists in its effort to close saloons. Organizations like the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) believed liquor was a weapon used by capitalists to weaken the working class.


A progressive is a person who actively factors or strives for progress toward better conditions, as in society or government. The Anti Saloon League enlisted the support of progressives in its effort to close saloons. Progressives considered alcohol an evil that stood in the way of their efforts to reform society, such as eliminating political corruption and strengthening families.


The forbidding law of the manufacture, transportation, sale, and possession of alcoholic beverages; the period from 1920–1933 during which the 18th Amendment forbid the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages in force in the United States.

Prohibition Agents

These agents enforced the law that forbid the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages and were assigned to the Bureau of Prohibition under the U.S. Treasury Department. Some prohibition agents were not effective and many were corrupt.


The systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or propagation of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause. Material disseminated by the advocates or opponents of a doctrine or cause.

Public House

A public house is a tavern, saloon or public drinking establishment where alcoholic drinks are served.


A racist is someone who believes that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that one race is superior to others. Discrimination or prejudice is based on race. The Anti Saloon League enlisted the support of racists in their cause to close saloons. Racists, including the Ku Klux Klan, used the stereotype of the “drunken Negro” to demonize African Americans and protect their own power in the segregated South.


“To ratify” is to formally confirm approval, and it’s the final step in the amendment process. Without approval of the amendment by three-fourths of the states, an amendment can’t become part of the Constitution.


Repeal is to revoke or rescind, especially by an official or formal act. Prohibition was repealed by the ratification of the 21st Amendment.


A rumrunner is someone who illegally transports alcohol over water or by sea. A bootlegger is one who transports alcohol illegally overland.


A saloon is another word for tavern or social hall where alcoholic drinks are served.

Search and Seizure

During Prohibition, the Supreme Court issued dozens of decisions related to the enforcement of the Fourth Amendment that protects a person’s privacy against unreasonable searches and seizures. Twenty cases arose during Prohibition surrounding issues of wiretapping, warrantless searches of homes, boats and cars and entrapment.


A speakeasy is a place for the illegal sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks during Prohibition in the United States.


The right or privilege of voting and the exercise of such a right.


Suffragists were women or men who lobbied for womens’ right to vote. The Anti Saloon League enlisted the support of Suffragists for the cause of closing saloons. Suffragists had close ties to the Temperance Movement, viewing both causes and integral to the improvement of women’s lives.

Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906) was a school teacher from upstate New York who entered public life in the 1840s as a temperance worker with the Daughters of Temperance. By the 1850s, she worked alongside fellow suffrage campaigner Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902) to secure the vote for women so they could vote to close the saloons.

Temperance Movement

Temperance may be defined as moderation in all things healthful and total abstinence from all things harmful. The temperance movement supported abstinence from alcoholic drink and originated as a mass movement in the late 18th and 19th centuries as a concern over drinking, drunkenness, and alcoholic excess as a culture rose. The temperance movement in 1830s and 1840s in America was rooted in America’s Protestant churches. After the Civil War, women began to protest and organize politically for the cause of temperance and formed the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.

Volstead Act

The Volstead Act is another name for the 1919 Prohibition Act. Andrew Volstead (1860–1947) was a Republican member of the House of Representatives from Minnesota who managed the legislation. He served as the House Judiciary Chairman as a member of Congress and collaborated with Wayne Wheeler to draft the Volstead Act.

Wayne Wheeler

Wayne Wheeler (1869–1927) was the chief lobbyist for the Anti Saloon League who rallied major support for the war on alcohol. He rallied votes by enlisting support state by state to send ‘dry’ candidates into office in state and federal elections. Wheeler was the driving force behind the 18th Amendment.

Women’s Christian Temperance Union

The WCTU grew out of the American temperance movement begun in the late 1800s and 1900s. In 1874, discussions were held by women to act against the harmful effects of alcohol and a national convention was held—the WCTU was formed. The primary objective for temperance reform was “protection of the home.” A white ribbon bow was the symbol for the WCTU and symbolized purity. Frances Willard (1839–98) was the WCTU’s most famous member and second President whose leadership made the WCTU a 250,000 army. They soon realized however that without the right to vote (suffrage) their political power was limited. Suffrage became an important element in the campaign. Agitate, educate, and legislate was and still in the mantra for the WCTU.


Wet is the term for someone who drinks alcohol or a place that allows the sale of alcohol.


An alcoholic liquor distilled from grain, such as corn, rye, or barley, and containing approximately 40 to 50 percent ethyl alcohol by volume.

William Jennings Bryan

William Jennings Bryan (1860–1925) was a famous speaker and statesman (a congressman from Lincoln, Nebraska). Inspired by his political and religious views, he thought Prohibition could improve the lives of ordinary Americans. He supported women’s suffrage and Prohibition. Bryan ran three times for President but lost. While serving as Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson (1856–1924) he served grape juice instead of wine at formal diplomatic functions.

Exhibition Reference Materials

Download this bibliography here.

Materials accompanying the exhibition are marked with an asterisk (*).


Allen, Frederick Lewis. Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920s. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics (1st perennial classics edition), 2010.

Altman & Company. 1920s Fashions. Dover Publications, 1998.

Bondurant, Matthew. The Wettest County in the World: A Novel Based on a True Story. New York: Scriber, 2007.

Burns, Eric. Spirits of America: A Social History of Alcohol. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2004.

Courtaway, Robbi. Wetter than the Mississippi: Prohibition in St. Louis and Beyond. St Louis: Reedy Press, 2008.

Currell, Susan. American Culture in the 1920s. Edinburgh: Edinburg University Press, 2009.

Davis, Marni. Jews and Booze: Becoming American in the Age of Prohibition. New York: New York University Press, 2012.

*Duis, Perry R. The Saloon: Public Drinking in Chicago and Boston, 1880-1920. Urbana:
University of Illinois Press, 1983.

Eighmey, Rae. Soda Shop Salvation: Recipes and Stories from the Sweeter Side of Prohibition. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2013.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Beautiful and the Damned. New York: Scribner and Sons, 1922.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. Flappers and Philosophers. New York: Scribner and Sons, 1959.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner and Sons, 1925.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Jazz Age. New York: New Directions Publishers, 1996.

*Gourley, Catherine. Flappers and the New American Woman: Perceptions of Women from 1918 through the 1920s. Minneapolis: Twenty First Century Books, 2008.

Gourley, Catherine. Gibson Girls and Suffragists: Perceptions of Women 1900 to 1918. Minneapolis: Twenty First Century Books, 2007.

Hallwas, John E. The Bootlegger: A Story of Small Town America. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998.

Hill, Jeff. Defining Moments: Prohibition. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 2004.

Hirschfeld, Al and Gordon Kahn with an introduction by Pete Hamil. The Speakeasies of 1932. Milwaukee: Glen Young Books, 2003.

*Kuenzle & Streiff. One Hundred and One Drinks As They are Mixed: Recipes for Cocktails and Other Beverages Served During Prohibition. Chicago: Compass Rose Technologies, 2011.

*Kyvig, David E. Repealing National Prohibition. Kent: Kent State University Press, 2000.

Laubner, Ellie. Fashions of the Roaring 20s. Atglen: Schiffer Publishing, 1996.

Lehman, La Lonnie. Fashion in the Time of The Great Gatsby. New York: Shire, 2013.

Lerner, Michael A. Dry Manhattan: Prohibition in New York City. Boston: Harvard University Press, 2008.

Lieurance, Suzanne. The Prohibition Era in American History. Berkeley Heights: Enslow Publishers, 2003.

*Mappen, Marc. Prohibition Gangsters: the Rise and Fall of a Bad Generation. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2013.

Mills, Eric. Chesapeake Rumrunners of the Roaring Twenties. Centreville: Tidewater Publishers, 2000.

McCutcheon, Marc. The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life from Prohibition through World War II. Cincinnati: Writer’s Digest Books, 1995.

*Murdock, Catherine Gilbert. Domesticating Drink: Women, Men and Alcohol in America 1870-1940. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 1998.

Ness, Eliot and Oscar Fraley. The Untouchables. Cutchogue: Buccaneer Books, 1993.

Ogren, Kathy. The Jazz Revolution: Twenties America and the Meaning of Jazz. New York: Oxford
University Press, 1992.

*Okrent, Daniel. Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. New York: Scribner, 2010.

Patterson, Martha. The American New Woman Revisited: A Reader, 1894-1930. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2008.

Peak, Kenneth J. and Patricia Peak. Kansas Temperance: Much Ado About Booze 1870-1920. Manhattan: Sunflower Press, 2000.

Peck, Garrett. The Prohibition Hangover: Alcohol in America from Demon Rum to Cult Cabernet. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2009.

Pegram, Thomas R. Battling Demon Rum: The Struggle for Dry America, 1800-1933. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1998.

Powers, Madelon. Faces Along the Bar: Lore and Order in the Workingman’s Saloon, 1870-1920. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.

*Rorabaugh, W.J. The Alcoholic Republic: An American Tradition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979.

Rose, Kenneth D. American Women and the Repeal of Prohibition. New York: New York University Press, 1996.

Sagert, Kelly Boyer. Flappers: A Guide to an American Subculture. Santa Barbara: Greenwood Press, 2010.

Sanders, Paul (editor). Lyrics and borrowed tunes of the American Temperance Movement, Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2006.

Steel, William C. The Woman’s Temperance Movement. Ulan Press, 2012 (a reprint the originally published text from 1923).

*Stewart, Bruce E. Moonshiners and Prohibitionists: The Battle Over Alcohol in Southern Appalachia. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2011.

Thornton, Mark. The Economics of Prohibition. Auburn: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2012.

Walker, The Night Club Era. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.

West, Elliott. The Saloon on the Rocky Mountain Mining Frontier. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1979.

Zeitz, Joshua. Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern. New York: Broadway Books, 2007.

Books for Younger Readers

Altman, Linda Jacobs. The Decade That Roared: America During Prohibition. Springfield: 21st Century Books, 1997.

*Blumenthal, Karen. Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition. New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2011.

Dunn, John. Prohibition (American History). Farmington Hills: Lucent Books, 2010.

Feinstein, Stephen. The 1920s from Prohibition to Charles Lindbergh. Berkeley Heights: Enslow Publishing, 2006.

Hanson, Erica. A Cultural History of the United States Through the Decades: The 1920s. Farmington Hills: Lucent Books, 1999.

*JusticeLearning.org. The United States Constitution: What it Says, What it Means: A Hip Pocket Guide. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Lieurance, Suzanne. The Prohibition Era in American History. Berkeley Heights: Enslow Publishers, 2003.

*Slavicek, Louise Chipley. The Prohibition Era: Temperance in the United States. New York: Chelsea House Publications, 2009.

The Jazz Age: The 20s (Our American Century). Time Life Books, 1998.

Worth, Richard. Teetotalers and Saloon Smashers: The Temperance Movement and Prohibition. Berkeley Heights: Enslow Publishing, 2009.


Black and Tan Fantasy. DVD. Written by Dudley Murphy. 1929; New York: Kino Video, 2001.

Boardwalk Empire. DVD. Directed by Martin Scorsese. Burbank: HBO series, 2012.

Capone. DVD. Directed by Steve Carver.1975; Beverly Hills: Twentieth Century Fox, 2011.

The Cotton Club. DVD. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola. 1984; Beverly Hills: MGM Video, 2001.

The Flapper. DVD. Directed by Andie Hicks and Alan Crosland. 1920; Los Angeles: Image Entertainment, 2005.

The Great Gatsby. DVD. Directed by Baz Luhrman. Burbank: Warner Home Video, 2013.

Izzy & Moe. DVD. Directed by Jackie Cooper. 1985; New York: Screen Media, 2004.

Little Caesar. DVD. Directed by Elmer Clifton and Mervyn LeRoy. 1931; Warner Home Video, 2005.

Miller’s Crossing. DVD. Directed by Ethan and Joel Cohen. 1990; Beverly Hills: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, 2003.

Once Upon a Time in America. DVD. Directed by Sergio Leone. 1984; Burbank: Warner Home Video, 2011.

*Prohibition. DVD. Directed by Ken Burns. Culver City: PBS Home Video, 2011.

The Public Enemy. DVD. Directed by William Wellman. 1931; Burbank: Warner Home Video, 2005.

The Untouchables. DVD. Directed by Brian De Palma. 1987; Hollywood: Paramount, 2004.

The Roaring Twenties. DVD. Directed by Raoul Walsh. 1939; Burbank: Warner Home Video, 2005.

Smart Money. DVD. Directed by Alfred Green. 1931; Burbank: Warner Home Video, 2008.

What? No Beer? DVD. Directed by Edward Sedgwick. 1933; Beverly Hills: Metro Goldwyn Mayer, 2011.


Bessie Smith Greatest Hits. Fabulous, 2005. Compact disc.

Duke Ellington Classic Tracks of the 1920s and 1930s. New York: BMG. 1998. Compact disc.

King Oliver Off the Record: The Complete 1923 Jazz Band Recordings. Champaign: Archeophone Records, 2007, Compact disc.

*The Music of Prohibition. New York: Columbia/Legacy, 1997. Compact disc.

The Roaring 20s Rare Original Music. Hollis: Vintage Music Productions, 2009. Compact disc.

The Speakeasy Times. New York: Sony Music Commercial Music Group, 2011. Compact disc.

*Vintage Music: Original Classics from the 1920s and 1930s. 2009. Compact disc.

Online Tools

Prohibition (General)

Ken Burns: Roots of Prohibition

Ken Burns: Educator Activities

Ken Burns: Lesson Plans

Did Prohibition Really Work?

Speakeasies, Loopholes, and Politics


Prohibition and Gangsters

18th and 19th Century American Drinking Habits

Drinking in Colonial America

Alcohol, Temperance, and Prohibition: Rhetoric

Drinking in America: A History

Temperance Reform in the Early 19th Century

History of the Growler

Dr. Benjamin Rush

Rush’s writing

Rush biography

Lydia Pinkham

Pinkham biography

The Saloon

Chicago Saloons

Old West Saloons (video)

Chicago Saloons (2)

Susan B. Anthony


Elizabeth Cady Stanton


Women’s Suffrage

National Archive

The Anti-Saloon League


Howard Hyde Russell


Carry Nation

Kansas Historical Society

State Historical Society of Missouri


Billy Sunday

Timeline, sermons, and more

Wayne Wheeler

PBS video

The Volstead Act

National Archives

The 18th Amendment

Explanation for youth

Constitution transcript


Ratification Process

National Archives

Minnesota Constitution explanation

1920s Era



1920s Slang

Jazz Age Slang

Atlantic Slang Dictionary


Jazz by Ken Burns

Inside NYC Speakeasies

Counting NYC Speakeasies

1920s Music/Jazz

Jazz, Ragtime, and Musicals



Costume History

Women’s Fashions

Charleston Dance

How-to video 1

How-to video 2

Non-Alcoholic Products during Prohibition

Root beer

Bootlegging during Prohibition

Beer history

How Moonshine Works

Organized Crime/Prohibition Gangsters

National Crime Syndicate

University of Michigan history

St. Valentine’s Day Massacre


Eliot Ness

FBI Archives

Mabel Walker Willebrandt

LA Times

Repeal of the 18th Amendment

NYTimes Front Page

Roaring 20s

Prohibition Ends

FDR Legalizes Sale of Beer and Wine