October 13, 2011 Prohibition in the Nation's Capital Explored in Book Talk on Oct. 26

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara, (202) 707-9217
Public Contact: Center for the Book, (202) 707-5221

Prohibition ended in Washington, D.C. on March 1, 1934. The Washington Post reported that “Somehow, after 17 years without it, Washingtonians seemed to hold their liquor quite well.” One reason might be that the nation’s capital had been far from a model dry city, hosting up to 3,000 speakeasies since Prohibition began in 1917. As documented in a new book by Garrett Peck, even Congress had its own bootleggers, especially “The Man in the Green Hat.”

Peck will discuss and sign his new book, “Prohibition in Washington, D.C.: How Dry We Weren’t” (History Press, 2011) on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at noon in Dining Room A, located on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event, sponsored by the Center for the Book as part of its Books & Beyond author series, is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed.

The book includes 80 historic and modern images; half of them are from the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division. There also is a photograph of painter George Maynard’s Pompeiian panel “Temperance” on the second floor of the Great Hall in the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building.

In his book the author, who leads the Temperance Tour of Prohibition-related sites in Washington, D.C., includes five neighborhood maps and a chapter “Cocktail Interlude” that contains recipes for 11 vintage cocktails from Washington’s history.

Peck is a literary journalist and the author of “The Prohibition Hangover: Alcohol in America from Demon Rum to Cult Cabernet” (Rutgers University Press, 2009). A native Californian and graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, he lives in Arlington, Va.

Peck’s book is also the subject of a discussion on Facebook. The Books & Beyond Book Club is available at www.facebook.com/booksandbeyond/. Here readers can discuss books, the authors of which have appeared or will appear in this series. The site also offers links to webcasts of these events and asks readers to talk about what they have seen and heard.

Since its creation by Congress in 1977 to "stimulate public interest in books and reading," the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress (www.Read.gov/cfb/) has become a major national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages, nationally and internationally. The center provides leadership for 52 affiliated state centers for the book (including the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and nonprofit reading-promotion partners and plays a key role in the Library’s annual National Book Festival. It also oversees the Library’s www.Read.gov website and administers the Library’s Young Readers Center in the Thomas Jefferson Building.


PR 11-197
ISSN 0731-3527