Women and Prohibition

There are several ways to connect this year (the 100th anniversary of the 18th Amendment) to the story of women’s activism against alcohol – both locally and nationally. This story reveals the critical nature of this issue for women and the broad reach of temperance activism into many other areas of social reform. In addition to Dry Evanston: the Untold Story which opened earlier this summer, you can visit the Evanston History Center and the Willard House for two new exhibits that tell more of the story.

Spirited: Prohibition in America, a new exhibition opening September 1, 2019 (running through October 20, 2019) at the Evanston History Center, explores this tumultuous Prohibition era, when flappers and suffragists, bootleggers and temperance lobbyists took sides in the battle against the bottle. Evanston was an epicenter for alcohol reform, and visitors to Spirited can also experience the local story in Dry Evanston: The Untold Story, an exhibit at EHC that runs simultaneously. An opening reception featuring the Chris Mahieu Trio will be held on September 19th from 6:30-8 pm. Light refreshments and non-alcoholic drinks will be served. More details can be found here.

Women and Prohibition: A War of Mothers and Daughters, Sisters and Wives is a new exhibit at the Frances Willard House Museum that highlights the work of women to expand their public lives, advocate for themselves, and protect their families from the serious problems that alcohol can cause. Visitors can learn how women acted in the political arena before they were able to vote and how they worked to gain the vote to extend their reach. Women and Prohibition will open Thursday, September 5, 2019. The Frances Willard House Museum is open Thursdays and Sundays from 1-4 p.m. and admission is $10 ($5 for students).

Special joint tours of the Willard House and the Dawes House are offered in conjunction with these exhibits. Purchase an admission to either museum to receive your coupon for half-off tours at the other museum.