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Prohibition

The story of the rise, rule, and fall of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the entire era it encompassed.

 

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Local Focus: DC - A Model City of Prohibition?

Local author and historian Garrett Peck discusses Washington's history as a "drinking city" and the failed attempted by the Temperance lobbyists to transform it in the Model Dry City of Prohibition. 

 

 

Make Your Own Wanted Poster

Is there anything more reminiscent of the Prohibition era than a WANTED poster? Use our tool below to make your own!

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Meet the Bootlegger to Congress

Local historian Garrett Peck and Fred Cassiday profile George Cassiday, who worked as a bootlegger to Congress from 1920-1930. George Cassiday actually had an office in the House office building and supplied both "wet" and "dry" Congressmen before being arrested in 1930. Afterwards, he wrote a tell-all expose for the Washington Post, which helped turn public opinion against the Dry cause.

 

 

 

Prohibition in Washington, D.C. Historical Photos

  • Representative William D. Upshaw of Georgia
    Representative William D. Upshaw of Georgia
  • John Phillip Hill was a Baltimore lawyer and Congressional representative
    John Phillip Hill was a Baltimore lawyer and Congressional representative
  • Spencerville (Montgomery County, Maryland) Woman's Christian Temperance Union
    Spencerville (Montgomery County, Maryland) Woman's Christian Temperance Union
  • W.A. Green, Chief Prohibition Inspector
    W.A. Green, Chief Prohibition Inspector
  • G. G. Beyer, of the Internal Revenue Bureau
    G. G. Beyer, of the Internal Revenue Bureau
  • Moonshine still confiscated by the Internal Revenue Bureau
    Moonshine still confiscated by the Internal Revenue Bureau
  • Internal Revenue Service officials pose with a large still
    Internal Revenue Service officials pose with a large still
  • Aftermath of bootlegger car chase in Washington, D.C., 1922
    Aftermath of bootlegger car chase in Washington, D.C., 1922
  • Prohibition enforcement officers, Washington, D.C., 1923
    Prohibition enforcement officers, Washington, D.C., 1923
  • Wrecked car and cases of moonshine, Washington, D.C., 1922
    Wrecked car and cases of moonshine, Washington, D.C., 1922
  • Two Navy nurses tried for smuggling liquor, 1925
    Two Navy nurses tried for smuggling liquor, 1925
  • Shriners' barbecue held in Silver Spring, Maryland, in 1922 featuring new non-alcoholic beverages
    Shriners' barbecue held in Silver Spring, Maryland, in 1922 featuring new non-alcoholic beverages
  • Helen G. Sweeney, Miss Washington for 1924
    Helen G. Sweeney, Miss Washington for 1924
  • Shoomaker's was a popular Washington saloon prior to Prohibition
    Shoomaker's was a popular Washington saloon prior to Prohibition
  • A women's social group sitting at tables inside the Hollywood Cafe
    A women's social group sitting at tables inside the Hollywood Cafe
  • Heurich Brewery delivery truck
    Heurich Brewery delivery truck
  • Woman concealing a liquor flask in her Russian boot, 1922
    Woman concealing a liquor flask in her Russian boot, 1922
  • George Cassiday was arrested for bootlegging to members of Congress
    George Cassiday was arrested for bootlegging to members of Congress

Learn to Make the Official Drink of D.C.

Watch Columbia Room bartender and mixologist, J.P. Fetherston, demonstrate how to make a Rickey, an "air conditioning in a glass" cocktail that was invented in Washington in the 1880s and recently named the official drink of D.C.