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Taverns, Temperance, Teetotalers, and Tommy Guns: The Long History of Prohibition – Virtual Lecture

March 10 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm


Grab a cocktail and join the Weston Historical Society for, “Taverns, Temperance, Teetotalers, and Tommy Guns: The Long History of Prohibition”, a virtual lecture with guest presenters, Dr. Francis Coan and Stephen McGrath on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 6:30pm via Zoom. The event is free, but registration is required. Register at Please consider supporting the Weston Historical Society, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, with a suggested donation of $5. Donate at:

As a lead-in to the Weston Historical Society’s 1920s exhibit, which will open later this year, the society’s virtual lecture series, Events that Shaped the 1920s, will explore significant historical moments that influenced and shaped the Roaring 20s. “Taverns, Temperance, Teetotalers, and Tommy Guns: The Long History of Prohibition” explores the 18th Amendment, Prohibition. Learn about the ubiquity of alcohol consumption in early America, the rise and influence of the temperance movement during the nineteenth century, and the progressive roots of Prohibition. Prohibition was one facet of old-stock American, rural, Protestant rule in the 1920’s that brought about severe restrictions on immigration from Eastern and Southern Europe, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, and the rise of organized crime. By the election of Franklin Roosevelt in 1932, the nation acknowledged prohibition to have been a colossal failure. Q & A to follow the lecture.

About the Presenters:
Francis Michael Coan, Professor of History at Tunxis Community College, has taught history and geography for thirty years. From 2007 until 2019, he served as Chairman of the Social Sciences and History Department at Tunxis. He holds a B.A. in Geography and M.A. in History from Central Connecticut State University and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Connecticut. Predominantly a military historian but with an interest in geography that dates to childhood, he grew up in a home replete with books, atlases, toy soldiers, model airplanes, and plastic armored fighting vehicles. Of Irish descent and proud of it, he resides in Bristol (where his family has resided since 1906) with his wife and Norwegian Forest cat, Mia. Despite—or perhaps due to—his Irish heritage, he is a teetotaler.

Stephen P. McGrath recently retired from teaching at Central Connecticut State University, where he taught American history and European revolutions. He earned an history at Trinity College, where his adviser was Glenn Weaver. He taught in the Ridgefield, New Milford and West Hartford school systems, and was a district history supervisor for 23 years. He has taught at the university level for 20 years. He is co-author, with Sarah Griswold of The First Congregational Church of Woodbury, Connecticut: 350 Years of Faith, Fellowship, and Service” (2020) as well as articles and book reviews for the Connecticut History Review. He has presented papers at meetings of The Association for the Study of Connecticut History, the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church, and the Anglican Church Historical Society of Canada. He is past president of the Connecticut Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History, a member of the Association for the Study of Connecticut History (past secretary), and served on the Board of Trustees of the Litchfield Historical Society for six years. He is also a member of the National Episcopal Historical Society. He and his wife, Christine, live in Avon.

The Weston Historical Society would like to thank its annual sponsors: Fairfield County Bank and KMS Partners at Compass. The Weston Historical Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. For more information and to donate, please contact the Weston Historical Society at, 203-226-1804 or visit

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