On This Day: Prohibition

Before Prohibition, America was literally awash in alcohol, according to one historian of the topic. When the Eighteenth Amendment was enacted, loopholes allowed Americans workarounds, such as the ability to make up to 250 gallons of wine a year. Video clips examine varying perspectives of the Eighteenth Amendment, including its ties to other Progressive Era movements, its effectiveness, and its unintended consequences.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Offer clips to discuss the connections between Prohibition and other issues, such as the women's movement and organized crime
Classroom Considerations
  • Users may create a free account to view the resources or use the credentials Username: students, Password: C-SPANCLASSROOM
  • Discussion of alcohol may not be appropriate for all class members
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
  • Clips feature prominent writers on the topic, such as Ken Burns and Dan Okrent
  • Discussions allow individuals to see how historians interpret history for deeper understandings of an era
  • Some video is not cut well and appears to jump around