Cocktails Across America:

A Postcard View of Cocktail Culture from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s

Thursday, May 6 at 7 pm via Zoom

The event is accessible through Zoom (video/audio on computer or smartphone) or phone dial-in (audio only), either of which requires registration so we can send you access information:

The Dutchess County Historical Society presents a special program with Diane Lapis and Anne Peck-Davis, authors of Cocktails Across America: A Postcard View of Cocktail Culture from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.. The presentation will showcase four stories from the book that intersect with Franklin D. Roosevelt’s time in office. Attendees will have an opportunity to create a cocktail and clink virtual glasses together during this entertaining and informative presentation.

In 1933, President Roosevelt signed into law a measure to legalize beer and wine. Later that year, the 21st Amendment effectively repealed Prohibition, commencing a whole new era of cocktail culture.  Atmospheric restaurants and cocktail lounges sprung up across the country offering guests an opportunity to escape the humdrum of their daily activities. From New York to California, vintage cocktails like the Aviation or new-fangled concoctions like the Zombie were served with a flourish.  Fun seekers enjoyed fantastic floor shows, musical ensembles and exotic food. A newly liberated America couldn’t get enough.

The unique cocktail lounges, hotel bars, and other more exotic venues defined this era of drinking culture and were immortalized in the colorful linen postcards used to advertise them. Authors Diane Lapis and Anne Peck-Davis present fascinating vignettes with vintage ephemera transporting the audience to an era of unbridled indulgence and distinct glamour, from the post-Prohibition years to the dawn of WWII.

Cocktails Across America Cover
Cocktails Images
Cocktails Diane Lapis Profile

Diane Lapis is an independent researcher and president at the Beacon Historical Society where she researches, writes, and presents topics on local history.  She has collected postcards for the past thirty-five years and revels in unveiling the hidden stories behind each image. She loves to travel and visit historic places, especially old bars and cocktail lounges.

Anne Peck-Davis is an avid collector of linen postcards, vintage cocktail books, and mid-century artifacts. Her significant collection of antique postcards has provided her the opportunity to lecture at interest groups, guest on podcasts, and contribute to national and regional periodicals. Formerly residing on a fir-lined street in a suburb of New York City, Anne earned her nickname “The Cocktail Queen of Evergreen.” Now a resident of Connecticut, she continues her tradition of mixing cocktails and sharing their history.

Diane and Anne’s work has appeared in the Antique Trader, Smithsonian, Time, Zocalo Public Square, and other magazines and newsletters on the topics of postcards and history.