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National Constitution Center Examines the Legacy of Prohibition

Although it did not explicitly ban drinking, the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibited the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors. Ratified in 1919, it took effect in 1920. By the time of its repeal, 13 years later in 1933, prohibition had triggered major changes in the American social, political and economic landscape.  The National Constitution Center is now staging an exhibition about that era.


WRTI's Susan Lewis looks at Prohibition’s incubation, short life, and ultimate repeal, as well as its legacy of lessons about the nature of government.  We hear from Daniel Okrent, exhibition curator and author of Last Call, the Rise and Fall of Prohibition, as well as Stephanie Reyer, the Constitution Center's vice president of exhibitions.

American Spirits: the Rise and Fall of Prohibition is at the National Constitution Center through April 28th, 2013.

Susan writes and produces stories about music and the arts. She’s host and producer of WRTI’s TIME IN online interview series, and contributes weekly intermission interviews for The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert series. She’s also been a regular host of WRTI’s Live from the Performance Studio sessions.