Kansas: Birthplace of Prohibition – Course 1 – Awash in Alcohol



Kansas: Birthplace of Prohibition is a series of three courses taught virtually via Zoom. Each course may be taken separately as a self-contained unit that covers specific topics in a 90-minute session. Each class is $25 per person.

Course One: Awash in Alcohol
Next session: Tuesday, November 10, 7 PM

Registration: After course has been purchased, the participant will receive an invitation by email that contains a link to a Zoom virtual chat and a password. On the day and time scheduled for the course, the participant will access the virtual course by clicking on the link and using the password via Zoom. 

Course description
Kansas once led wine production in the U.S. and was home to more than 90 breweries. Meanwhile, the Temperance movement rose and subsided in Kansas from the 1850s to 1890s. By 1881, the Kansas legislature legally abolished the statewide manufacture and sale of alcohol. It was the first state in the U.S. to do so. State prohibition led to the demise of grape-growing, winemaking, brewing, and distilling industries in Kansas. National Prohibition wouldn’t occur for another four decades.

This first course examines the prolific consumption of alcohol during the 1800s in the colonies and frontier that would become the United States of America. We discuss the origins and rise of the Temperance movement and how religious, moral, and social forces impacted the manufacture, sale and consumption of alcohol in the Kansas Territory leading up to statewide Prohibition. We’ll also examine key cultural figures, such as Carrie A. Nation and Clarina Nichols, who lead the charge for the temperance, abolition, and suffrage movements. We’ll also look at this conflict over alcohol against the backdrop of major events unfolding in the Kansas Territory, Missouri, and the U.S., including immigration, the Civil War, and growth of the railroad industry across the frontier.

About the Instructor
Pete Dulin has written about food, drink, travel and business for 20 years for many print and online publications. He is the author of four books, including Expedition of Thirst: Exploring Breweries, Distilleries and Wineries Across Central Kansas and Missouri (University Press of Kansas, 2017) and Kansas City Beer: A History of Brewing in the Heartland. Pete has taught courses on Kansas food and drink history, including Prohibition in Kansas, via the Osher Institute, and appeared as a paid speaker at numerous events. He has a master’s degree in writing and publishing from Emerson College.