New exhibit narrates Prohibition history

Randy Lane and Dr. Stephen Sloan, the producers of “The Waco History Podcast,” recorded an episode of their podcast at the “Spirited: Temperance, Prohibition, and Soda Pop” event, alongside guests Joe Coker and Andrew Anderson. Nathan de la Cerda | Multimedia Journalist

By Carson Lewis | Page One Editor

The Dr Pepper Museum opened a new exhibit Friday, “Spirited: Temperance, Prohibition, and Soda Pop,” which teaches guests about the history of prohibition and the impact that the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment had on the U.S.

The museum welcomed the exhibit to its second floor with an event in Friday evening, where for $30, guests could eat and drink before viewing the exhibit.

After the guests spent time chatting and savoring the food on the first floor, the second floor opened up so guests could start to wander the exhibit. The exhibit was composed of posters, games and experts that explained some of the history to those curious about the period.

One of the experts available to speak to guests was Audrey Ladd, education programs manager for the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame.

Ladd said it was important for guests to understand the part that history, especially the history of the Prohibition era, can have on their lives.

“We’re coming up on the 100th anniversary [of Prohibition],” Ladd said. “Plus, as you can see by some of the exhibits, it did create and help create some of the things we take for granted today. I know that ice cream and soda were some of the top benefiters of Prohibition, because they needed something else to drink, I suppose.”

As indicated within the museum, the traveling exhibition was made possible by “NEH on the Road,” an initiative from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

In addition to viewing the exhibit, guests listened to a special live recording of the Waco History Podcast, which focused on the Prohibition era and the actions that led up to the movement’s political successes. The recording will be released later to the public.

The Waco History Podcast, produced by Randy Lane and Dr. Stephen Sloan, the director of Baylor’s Institute for Oral History, said their live recording at the Dr Pepper Museum was only the second live recording they have done. The podcast featured two guests for the event, Joe Coker, a senior lecturer in the department of Religion at Baylor and a Princeton Theological Seminary graduate, as well as Andrew Anderson from Balcones Distilling.

Podcast participants said political efforts by women allowed for the success of the Prohibition movement.

“There was a big focus on family life — what was going on in the home,” Sloan said. “It was a unique movement because it, for the first time, did incorporate women’s opinion and voices into this campaign. You think about the 1800s and the first couple decades of the 1900s; Nowhere else could women come out and speak publicly before a crowd of men and basically tell men how to vote; it was unheard of.”

The Waco Ukulele Orchestra performed live music for entertainment during the event. Some of the period songs they played were “Buffalo Gals,” “Ain’t She Sweet” and “Sixteen Tons.”

Visitors received two drink vouchers with their ticket. They also could enjoy hors d’oeuvres and non-alcoholic drinks in the first floor of the museum.

The cuisine was prepared and donated by Rio Brazos Cuisine. They served an assortment of treats including goat cheese terrine, sirloin sandwich sliders, puff pastry franks, firecracker meatballs and Waldorf salad in endive.

While the special event was exclusive to Friday, guests can continue to enjoy the exhibit at the Dr Pepper Museum, which is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday.