by Stephen Krock
It’s Last Call at the National Constitution Center! April 28th marks the tragic conclusion of American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, the NCC’s current exhibition.
Curated by Pulitzer Prize finalist Daniel Okrent, the exhibition boasts over 100 historical treasures from the roaring 20s: flapper dresses, a 1929 Buick Marquette, temperance propaganda. What is temperance propaganda? I sure don’t know. But I bet the museum educators and other NCC staff do! They can take you on the History of Liquor in the United States Tour or, if you catch them at the recreated speakeasy, they can spin you an engaging tale from a meny of Prohibition-era topics as part of the NCC’s “Order A Story” program. Also at the speakeasy, you’ll find a series of footprints on the floor. Follow them as instructed and you’ll be doing the Charleston in no time. Not to be confused with the Carlton. That’s different.
Among the myriad of multimedia exhibits are Wayne Wheeler’s Amazing Amendment Machine, a carnival-esque contraption that traces the birth of the 18th amendment, and an iPod audio-visual tour featuring the curator, as well as notable documentarists Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. My personal favorite, though, is the custom-built video game where you play as a federal agent ransacking the rumrunners and bootleggers. Just like every kid pretended to do when they were little!
Then, once you’ve had your fill, you can top off the night with a trip to The Farmers’ Cabinet on Walnut Street for an even more… ahem… intoxicating speakeasy experience.
Don’t forget, the American Spirits exhibition is FREE on Sundays! You have three more chances to catch this roaring display without even grazing your wallet. Hurry down to the National Constitution Center before they go dry!