Teetotalers & Moonshiners: Prohibition in Virginia, Distilled

Grants  •  History

Courtesy of Library of Virginia.
Courtesy of Library of Virginia.

Library of Virginia

800 E. Broad Street Richmond, VA
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The Library of Virginia will tell the story of Virginia Prohibition and its legacy through an exciting exhibition and associated programming. Teetotalers & Moonshiners: Prohibition in Virginia, Distilled addresses the important and long-lasting effects of Prohibition on commonwealth and America.

Installed in the Library’s 1,200 square foot gallery, Teetotalers & Moonshiners uses the Library’s deep and compelling collections on this era, from humorous sheet music mocking the absurdities of Prohibition to blazing headlines in anti and pro liquor newspapers and broadsides. At the core of the exhibition are the records of the state’s Prohibition Commission, which record the daily activities of its agents. Key artifacts from the “Moonshine Capital of the World,” Franklin County, will also be on display, on loan from the Blue Ridge Institute. Digital interactive components, film clips, and music and recorded narration will document statewide prohibition trends and tell the personal stories of commission agents, bootleggers, and moonshiners.

The exhibit examines the prohibition movement as part of a social reform movement and outlines the economic and social costs of Prohibition as well as an array of other topics, including the rise of illegal alcohol production and sale as an underground culture and economy, the role of government in overseeing public health, and prohibition’s legacy from NASCAR to the creation of the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to the rise of the modern brewing and distilling industry.

The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Teetotalers and Moonshiners is funded in part by a grant from Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

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