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National Archives Explores the History and Impact of Alcohol Regulation

National Archives Explores the History and Impact of Alcohol Regulation


September 30, 2015

Washington, DC – On Thursday, October 22, at 7 p.m., the National Archives hosts a special panel discussion on the history and impact of alcohol regulation. Author and alcohol historian Garrett Peck (The Prohibition Hangover) will moderate a discussion on the origins, effects, and current debate over the regulation of alcohol—exploring topics including the three-tier system of alcohol distribution, recent industry changes, and privatization of state controlled outlets. Panelists will include Jim Sgueo, President and CEO of the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association; T. Kelley Spillane, Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Castle Brands; and Brien Fox, Chairman of the Board, Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America.

​This event is free and open to the public and will take place in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, and streamed live on the YouTube. Attendees should use the Special Events entrance on Constitution at 7th Street NW. Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial station. National Archives, Special Events Entrance, 7th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, www.archives.gov Reservations are recommended and can be made online. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The doors to the building will open 45 minutes prior to the start of the program.


Spirited Republic and related programs are presented in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of HISTORY®, the Lawrence F. O’Brien Family, The Tasting Panel Magazine, and Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America. Additional exhibition funding provided by the Beer Institute, the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S., the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, and the National Beer Wholesalers Association.


*** In the event of a government shut-down, the National Archives will be closed and this event will not be held. Please check our website and Calendar of Events.

Related program: “Beer Garden Blues”, Thursday, October 8 at 7 p.m.


In Prohibition-era America, alcoholic beverages were outlawed and speakeasies abounded. What else did people do? They wrote songs about it of course. With titles like “It’s the Smart Little Feller Who Stocked Up His Cellar,” “Bye Bye Mr. Dry, You’re All Wet,” and “One Little Drinko—I Go Boom,” Americans composed music to lament and laugh their way through. Tonight we present a concert of many obscure 1920s-era songs—some not performed for over 85 years—as well as old favorites. The trio Cocktails for Three, with vocalists Doug Bowles, Iyona Blake and, and pianist Alex Hassan, present an evening of delightful music rescued from history.


Related exhibit: Spirited Republic: Alcohol in American History

Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery, through January 10, 2016

Who was the lady hooch hunter? What is a drunkometer? And why did some Americans campaign against the spirit ration? Find these answers and more in this fascinating collection of alcohol-related posters, films, patent drawings, petitions, photographs, and artifacts. Visit Spirited Republic and learn about American debates about alcohol and its place in society. Preview the exhibit online.

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For press information contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.