Los Alamos Historical Society Offers Mar. 9 Lecture On Local History Of Prohibition

Schön Levy/Courtesy photo

Join the Los Alamos Historical Society online at 7 p.m. on March 9 for a talk by Schön Levy on Prohibition in a Remote Place: Otowi (Los Alamos), New Mexico. Were there moonshiners in Los Alamos?

Historical Society lectures are free, but registration is required to provide you with the Zoom link. To register, visit www.losalamoshistory.org/lecture and follow the links to our EventBrite page.

Mention of American Prohibition in the 1920s and early 1930s may conjure images of gangsters and speakeasies, bathtub gin and poisoned alcohol. These are the tropes that have been immortalized in cinema and television. As popular documentation, they relate only to certain parts of the country, the heavily populated East Coast and Midwest, in particular. In sparsely settled states like New Mexico, the experience was very different.  New archaeological finds and new insights from the Los Alamos Historical Society Archive have expanded our previously meager understanding of early local alcohol consumption before and during Prohibition in Otowi (Los Alamos), New Mexico. The question of local alcohol production is examined in the context of necessary resources, anecdotal information, and newspaper accounts. How and why did some really strange bottles end up here? What might they tell us about how homesteaders found their own uses for the matériel of the moonshine business?

Schön Levy received a bachelor’s degree in earth science and psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a master’s degree in geology and civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. She assisted early efforts to bring new analytical techniques into the field of archaeology. During 30 years at LANL, she led research projects related to geologic disposal of nuclear waste. After retiring, she began investigating the 20th century archaeology of North and Kwage Mesas in Los Alamos as it relates to homesteading and the Manhattan Project.

The lecture series will continue with a 7 p.m. presentation on April 13 with Joseph Aguilar’s lecture San Ildefonso Pueblo Homelands: A Tewa History of Los Alamos and the Pajarito Plateau.

The Los Alamos Historical Society lecture series is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Enterprise Bank & Trust, Member FDIC; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the New Mexico Humanities Council; and Robin and Richard McLean.

The Los Alamos Historical Society preserves, promotes, and communicates the remarkable history and inspiring stories of Los Alamos and its people for our community, for the global audience, and for future generations. More information about the Historical Society can be found at www.losalamoshistory.org. Stay up to date with the latest news from the Historical Society by following @LosAlamosHistory on Facebook and Instagram. Our members make all our work possible. Join us today at https://www.losalamoshistory.org/membership.html