By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The National Constitution Center has unveiled a new, temporary exhibit on America’s Prohibition era.

Curator Daniel Okrent (photo), author of a book about Prohibition, says there’s a lot to learn about the US Constitution by examining this period in American history.

“Prohibition… of course, the 18th Amendment which creates it, the 21st Amendment which puts it to an end.  But various other amendments come up in it.   The income tax amendment, the 16th Amendment.   Without the income tax amendment there wouldn’t have been Prohibition, because the federal government had been reliant on taxes on alcohol until then, so they needed a replacement.

“The 4th Amendment comes up — illegal search and seizure.  Freedom of religion, where Jews and Catholics and others who use wine in their sacramental services.  Would they be able to continue to do it?  So, it pops up with constitutional connections in many, many ways,” Okrent notes.


American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, runs October 19th through April 28th, 2013.

And tonight, the Constitution Center is hosting a preview of the exhibit with a “Bootleggers’ Ball,” 5:30 – 8:30pm.  Tickets, $40 each, will be available at the door.

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