2015 Press Releases

National Archives Presents Ken Burns’ -Prohibition- Series in May
Press Release · Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Washington, DC

This month, the National Archives will screen the film Prohibition. Directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, Prohibition is a three-part, five-and-a-half-hour documentary film series that tells the story of the rise, rule, and fall of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the entire era it encompassed.

These screenings are free and open to the public and will take place in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Museum. Attendees should use the Special Events entrance on Constitution at 7th Street NW. The National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, is Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial station. For upcoming programs, visit the Calendar of Events.

Prohibition: A Nation of Drunkards
Friday, May 15, at noon

Episode one of the 2011 PBS series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick describes how immigration, alcoholism, women’s suffrage, and the temperance movements led to the passing of the 18th Amendment. (91 minutes.)

Prohibition: A Nation of Scofflaws
Friday, May 22, at noon

Episode two addresses how the enforcement of Prohibition was inconsistent and caused unintended consequences, including making criminals of a large portion of the population. (110 minutes.)

Prohibition: A Nation of Hypocrites
Friday, May 29, at noon

Episode three follows the gradual swing toward repeal of Prohibition as the Great Depression focuses attention on other priorities. (104 minutes.)

Related exhibit: Spirited Republic: Alcohol in American History
Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery, through January 10, 2016
Who was the lady hooch hunter? What is a drunkometer? And why did some Americans campaign against the spirit ration? Find these answers and more in this fascinating collection of alcohol-related posters, films, patent drawings, petitions, photographs, and artifacts. Visit Spirited Republic and learn about American debates about alcohol and its place in society.

Spirited Republic is presented in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of HISTORY® and the Lawrence F. O'Brien Family.

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For press information contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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