Skip to main content

"Dry Days in the American West: The Prohibition Years” by Dr. Peter Kopp at Branigan Cultural Center

Dr. Peter Kopp will present a lecture entitled "Dry Days in the American West: The Prohibition Years,” at 1 p.m. Thursday, July 13, at the Branigan Cultural Center, 501 North Main St.

In January of 1919, Congress ratified the Eighteenth Amendment to prohibit the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” A year later the nation went dry, and would remain so until President Franklin D. Roosevelt helped pass the Twenty-First Amendment to overturn prohibition of alcohol in December 1933.

This presentation examines the consequences of Prohibition in the American West. In particular, it asks: How did Prohibition alter the lives and livelihoods of Westerners associated with the beer, wine, and spirit industries? From Oregon hop farmers and California viticulturists, to Seattle truck drivers and Denver restaurant owners, those individuals with ties to the banned industries faced immense challenges during the 1920s. Life also changed considerably in New Mexico, and a portion of this presentation will also explore Prohibition in the state.

Dr. Peter Kopp is an environmental historian with a specialty in the North American West. He teaches public history courses, including museums studies, oral history, and the public history seminar. Dr. Kopp joined the NMSU history department in the fall of 2012 as an assistant professor and the director of the public history program. Dr. Kopp’s current book is called Hoptopia: A World of Agriculture and Beer in Oregon’s Willamette Valley (University of California Press).

Admission to the Branigan Cultural Center is free. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday; from 1- a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. For more information, visit the website at: or call 575/541-2154.

If you need an accommodation for a disability to enable you to fully participate in this event, contact the museum 48 hours prior to the event.