Spirited: Prohibition in America at the Park City Museum

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SPIRITED: Prohibition in America, is the temporary exhibit at Park City Museum appropriately located in the Saloon.

Donna Kozlowski, Park City Chamber staffer assigned to the museum says, “This is one of the best exhibits we've ever had. It's so much more than just prohibition, it’s about the whole era.” Videos, photos, fashion, memorabilia and storyboards illustrate life in the USA during that era and the concerns which led up to the enactment of the 18th amendment.

The Arbella arrived in 1630 at Massachusetts Bay Colony with 700 settlers and 10,000 gallons of wine. A hundred years later, Benjamin Franklin, never at a loss for words, managed to put together a list of 228 synonyms for “drunk” and a fun story boards lists a dozen of them. By 1830, the average American over the age of 15, consumed 90 bottles of 80 proof liquor a year, the highest measured volume of consumption in US history and 3 times greater than today.

Meander through the exhibit and through time to learn how the 20's 'roared' through music, dance, fashion, speakeasies and waves of crime.

Women of the WCTU (Women's Christian Temperance Union) were in the forefront of advocating for prohibition and years later women advocated for its repeal through WONPR (Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform). It took 6 decades to put prohibition into the Constitution and less than 14 to get it removed.

Obviously, prohibition brought out the worst in people and bootlegging was the trending crime of the era. The infamous Al Capone, topped the most wanted list and the G-men and Feds who pursued him often became as famous.

One amazingly good aspect of prohibition is that it accidentally improved race relations within some of our large cities. The rise of Jazz, most often played by musicians of color, found a home in clubs known as “black and tans”, integrated cabarets and nightclubs located in black neighborhoods. They were definitely America's most democratic institutions of the times.

Be sure to visit before it closes on May 25.