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Teetotalers & Moonshiners: Prohibition in Virginia, Distilled

March 21, 2018 | 5 pm
Bristol Public Library
(276) 645-8780 | MAP | WEBSITE

Virginians imbibed their last legal drink on Halloween night in 1916, more than three years before national prohibition was enacted. Newspapers reported bacchanalian scenes in the Old Dominion’s cities as “wets” drank up and bought out of the stocks of saloons and bars. Most of the state’s liquor, beer, and wine producers quietly shut down. Many farmers worried that a major part of their livelihood from corn and fruit had disappeared overnight, while supporters of prohibition exulted in the promise of a morally upright “Dry Virginia.” For the next 18 years the state became a laboratory for a grand social experiment that ultimately left many Virginians with a serious hangover – and led to repeal.

Teetotalers & Moonshiners: Prohibition in Virginia, Distilled, a traveling exhibition from the Library of Virginia, tells the story of Virginia Prohibition and its legacy through an exciting exhibition and associated programming. The exhibition addresses the important and long-lasting effects of Prohibition on the commonwealth and America, including its effects as a social reform movement, its costs, and its legacy in the creation of NASCAR and the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

To celebrate the arrival of Teetotalers & Moonshiners at Bristol Public Library, the library will host a gallery reception on March 21 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience a tour of the new gallery exhibition and enjoy light refreshments. Teetotalers & Moonshiners will be open to the public in the Virgie R. Fleenor Gallery during the library’s hours of operation from March 20 to April 28, 2018.