Prohibition was the end result of nearly a century of activism and protest. Although it was nobly intended to better the lives of Americans and protect society from the devastation of alcohol abuse, it had the unintended consequences of turning law-abiding citizens into criminals, making a mockery of our justice system, and permitting government officials to skirt and even break the law. With Prohibition in place, but unevenly enforced, one observer noted, America had hardly freed itself from the scourge of alcohol abuse – instead, the "drys" had their law, while the "wets" had their liquor.
The story of Prohibition's rise and fall goes far beyond the oft-told tales of gangsters, rum runners, and speakeasies, revealing a complicated and divided nation in the process of major transformation. Prohibition: Hatters & Hooch in “Dry” Danbury will explore this fascinating era—the intersection of temperance, prohibition, suffrage, and immigration—from a variety of angles. The exhibit opens on Saturday, June 9th and will continue through Saturday, November 10.