Behind These Doors ….


Behind these doors at the Westerville Public Library ...

Ken Burns came to town today to premiere his  latest  documentary, “Prohibition.”
First stop on his itinerary was the Westerville Public Library for a luncheon with civic leaders and library employees.

What? Ken Burns in Westerville? Why the great civic pride?

Besides the fact that Ken Burns is a great filmmaker — and who wouldn’ t want to have lunch with him? — behind those doors, Ken Burns and his research team poured over the

Burns raised a glass of iced tea in a toast to the library for its stewardship of the history of the Anti-Saloon League.

Anti-Saloon League Museum collection.

“Here’s the story of Prohibition – not the gangsters or the flappers” of popular imagination,   Burns said. In the local history collection at the Westerville Public Library, Ken Burns found the story of “ordinary people” who created an extraordinary national movement that led to the 18th amendment and the prohibition of alcohol production and consumption in the United States.

Directors Lynn Novick and Ken Burns with Beth Weinhardt, WPL Local History Coordinator

The Anti-Saloon League was founded in Oberlin in 1893. The organization moved to Westerville several years later, which earned the town distinction as “The Dry Capitol of the World.” Westerville remained dry until just a few years ago, but the local history collection at WPL is a favorite stop for temperance-loving historians.

What’s in your library?