johnson ben
Dr. Ben Johnson
Author and historian Dr. Ben Johnson, a professor at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, will present "Making Arkansas Dry: The War Against Drink in Arkansas" at the South Arkansas Community College Library Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. on March 12. The program is part of an ongoing series of history lectures co-sponsored by SouthArk and the South Arkansas Historical Foundation.

The event is free and open to the public.

The presentation will describe the rise of anti-alcohol organizations in the late 19th Century, and the victory of the "dry" movement to outlaw alcohol consumption in Arkansas even before national prohibition. Statewide alcohol prohibition would not endure, but local option elections would leave Arkansas divided between wet and dry counties.
Johnson is the author of "John Barleycorn Must Die: The War Against Drink in Arkansas," published in 2007; and "Arkansas in Modern America," published in 2000. A native of west Texas, he has been at SAU since 2001. He was the dean of the College of Liberal and Performing Arts in 2007-'11. He also has been on the Board of Editors at the Arkansas Historical Quarterly and is a former chair of the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Humanities Council.
This project is sponsored in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.