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Cantigny to present Mob Museum speakers on Prohibition

WHEATON – The Museums at Cantigny Park announce two programs in February focusing on 1920s Prohibition and its ramifications. Historians from The Mob Museum in Las Vegas will present online via Zoom.

Both events are free, but require advance registration at Cantigny.org.

The Date With History program at 7 p.m. Feb. 3 will be “Water Is the War Drink: The Path From World War I to Prohibition.”

The First Division Museum at Cantigny Park welcomes Claire White, educational programs manager at The Mob Museum. She will discuss the role that World War I played in the passing of the 18th Amendment, ratified in 1919, and how cultural shifts during wartime affected Prohibition’s enforcement.

White is a public historian interested in the cultural and religious history of the United States. She earned a history degree at the University of Nevada and a master’s in public history from the University of South Carolina.

The Headlines From History talk at 7 p.m. Feb. 24 will be “The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.”

The Robert R. McCormick House at Cantigny Park welcomes Geoff Schumacher, vice president of programs and exhibits at The Mob Museum (themobmuseum.org). He will discuss one of the most horrifying acts of violence in organized crime history, Chicago’s St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, on Feb. 14, 1929.

News coverage of the event generated public outrage and dramatic responses from both supporters and opponents of Prohibition. Schumacher is a veteran newspaper journalist and the author of two books. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nevada, and a master’s in American history from Arizona State University.

The First Division Museum is closed in January, but open weekends in February, starting Feb. 4. McCormick House is closed for renovation and will reopen later this year. Cantigny museums offer free admission with paid parking. Visit Cantigny.org for additional details, including a calendar of upcoming events.