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Virtual Headlines from History

Prohibition in Chicago

Wednesday, December 1st
7:00 PM CST Online via Zoom
Free program, but registration required


In this lecture we’ll take a look at the five or six key factors that created the perfect conditions for the passage of the Volstead Act: American drinking habits, religious fervor, the Suffrage movement, 19th/20th century immigration, WWI, and the 16th amendment. These factors over the course of about 100 years all came together to “create” Prohibition. From there we will cover rise of the gangsters, changes in social dynamics, changes in morals, and unintended consequences. We’ll go from the button down conservatism of temperance to the lavish partying lifestyles of the roaring twenties. To sum up: How prohibition came about, who backed it, who opposed it, the names it created (famous & infamous), and the litany of unintended consequences that came with it.
Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress


MEET THE SPEAKER: JONATHAN KNOTEK was born in Hinsdale IL and grew up in Downers Grove. He is the ancestor of Czech immigrants you grew up on the south side of Chicago and who’s Grandfather instilled in him a passion for history. He has a bachelors degree in theatre from Columbia College Chicago and like any good theatre major, had been working in the tourism business and bar industry his entire adult life before founding Chicago Prohibition Tours in 2014. He has been giving tours and lectures ever since and even started a virtual “cocktail/history class” for his companies online followers during the pandemic lockdown.

Are you a teacher?

Illinois teachers can earn 1.5 PD credits for watching the presentation and filling out a short PD activity.

Step 1: Register for the webinar above.

Step 2: Register to be on the teacher list for the PD activity and ISBE forms.


  This program includes built-in closed captioning through Zoom.