April-Chrystal Holmes

New Jersey History Blog

  • Overview of digital archive & digital exhibit: The World's Playground

In 1919, the Prohibition era started in the United States with the ratification of the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution, prohibiting the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States.” The era’s restrictions gave way to illegal activities where the amendment wasn’t enforced. Atlantic City’s lack of police enforcement, strength of political bosses and frequent tourists, combined with curiosity and defiance, created an exceptional breeding ground for illegal activity.

Atlantic City, New Jersey identifies its Golden age with the Prohibition era. The smuggling of alcohol, backroom gambling and acts of prostitution became frequent acts in the city with the assistance of political boss, Enoch L. “Nucky” Johnson. Atlantic City’s popularity grew, with tourism at its peak and “Nucky” Johnson firmly believed that if American’s didn’t want the racy activities, profit margins would fall.


My digital archive will highlight The World’s Playground of the 1920s, focusing on “Nucky” Johnson and prohibition, showing the defiant culture of the era. The World’s Playground digital archive and web exhibit will bring you back to the thrilling world of rebel, risk, change and freedom, while displaying the inner workings of prohibition in the city that’s “always turned on."

  • Digital archive topic: The World’s Playground: Atlantic City in the 1920s
  • Digital exhibit topic: The World’s Playground: The inner workings of prohibition in Atlantic City
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