Download Born Sober: Prohibition in Oklahoma, 1907-59 by Jimmie Lewis Franklin PDF

By Jimmie Lewis Franklin

Prohibition started in Oklahoma 13 years prior to passage of the Volstead Act and didn't finish till twenty-six years after the remainder of the United States had declared the “noble experiment” to be a failure. while kingdom electorate repealed prohibition in April, 1959, they ended a fifty-two-year drought and disproved Will Rogers’ assertion that Oklahomans could vote dry so long as they can stagger to the polls.

What prompted this alteration of perspective within the purely nation ever to go into the Union with a prohibition clause in its structure? Professor Franklin sheds new mild at the puzzle through describing the social forces that inspired Oklahoma’s liquor laws.

When Indian Territory was once opened in April, 1889, a wave of homesteaders swept right into a almost lawless land. throughout the first chaotic years, saloons have been extra abundant than faculties and churchs, yet order was once quickly tested and the saloons’ days have been numbered. The reform activities that shattered American complacency in to the past due 1800’s got here speedy to the hot territory. A decade later statehood, the Anti-Saloon League and the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union validated an organization carry in Oklahoma. Hatchet-wielding hold country arrange headquarters within the territorial capital of Guthrie, introduced in a printing press, and released her unstable Smasher’s Mail. strengthened by way of Bible-belt Protestantism, the temperance flow exerted a robust effect, an on November sixteen, 1907, the day sooner than statehood, gutters flowed with liquor as buyers rid themselves in their soon-to-be-illegal stock.

In 1933, after an extended, difficult fight, liquor advocates received passage of a degree legalizing 3.2 in line with cent beer. Repeal, within the type of laws permitting package deal shops, got here in 1959. however the conflict nonetheless rages, now over the debatable query of liquor by way of the drink.

In addition to placing country liquor legislation in nationwide point of view, this social and historic account explains why any liquor query brings out the battling spirit in Oklahomans.

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Additional resources for Born Sober: Prohibition in Oklahoma, 1907-59

Example text

117 He pointed out, for example, that Cain and his men had operated almost continually in Oklahoma City for several months, yet very few places had closed as a direct result of their action. 8 Cain countered Caldwell's attack with the charge that he had drawn a "nice fat salary," hired "sleuths," criticized more Democratic officials, advanced more theories, and gotten less done than any other one man. " Alluding to accomplishments under his leader­ ship, he noted that not less than $30,000 worth of goods had been turned over to the state for sale in nonprohibition terri­ tory.

Liquor ordinance, arrests are being made day after day and convictions imposed in municipal court ; the offenders uni­ formly avail themselves of the right to appeal to the county court, where each one has the right of trial by jury and where the docket is so crowded that only a very few days can be al­ lowed per term for the trial of city appeals ; the result being that these appeals are delayed for months and months, until the arresting officers cannot remember very clearly the facts of a particular case, or the other witnesses, if such there be, cannot be found, and conviction can then only be had in a very small per cent of the cases .

And further, it is fair to assume that comparatively few people in the state, however ardently they favor prohibi- 53 Waukomis Hornet quoted in Harlow's Weekly, 54 Daily Oklahoman, September 10, 1917. , September 8, 1917. 56 Tulsa Daily Democrat, October 13, 1917. -68- October 24, 1917. tion, approve of making prohibition an obnoxious religious tyranny. It would be regrettable indeed if any other assump­ tion were possible. Yet that is one of the results of the bone dry law. If the law is literally to be enforced it is only a ques­ tion of time when the Catholic and Episcopal churches will be unable to conduct their belief and custom.

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