Category: History

Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU)

The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) is the oldest voluntary, non-sectarian women’s organization in continuous existence in the world. It was also among the first organizations to keep a professional lobbyist in Washington, D.C. to promote its agenda. The organization is the “Woman’s” rather than “Women’s” Christian Temperance Union. That’s because it is the individual […]

Alcohol and the Bible (Doctrines and Evidence)

Alcohol and the Bible is an important subject. As with many religious matters, it is controversial. I. Traditional Christian Theology. The Bible makes it clear that Jesus drank wine (Matthew 15:11; Luke 7:33-35). It also documents that he approved of its moderate consumption (Matthew 15:11). On the other hand, Jesus was critical of drunkenness (Luke […]

Prohibition Party – The Oldest Third Party in U.S.

I. Background. The Prohibition Party of the United States began in 1869. Before the Civil War (1861-1865) temperance groups had promoted voluntary abstinence from alcoholic beverages. The  War diverted national attention to more pressing matters. Subsequently, the temperance movement wayned. Moral suasion had proved to be both difficult and frustrating. So after the War, temperance […]

Wilbur F. Crafts and His International Reform Bureau

I. Wilbur F. Crafts. Self-styled “Christian lobbyist” Wilbur F. Crafts formed the International Reform Bureau in 1895. He led it for 28 years until his death in 1922. Best known as a prohibition leader, Crafts also opposed movies and promoted their heavy censorship by government. The motion picture industry feared his Reform Bureau. It responded […]

Percy Andreae (Leader in Anti-Prohibition Movement in U.S.)

Percy Andreae was a major leader against alcohol prohibition in the U.S. Andreae was born on October 31, 1858 in London, England. After moving to the U.S., he became allied with brewers in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1908, state candidates supported by the Ohio Anti-Saloon League (ASL) had great victories. As a result, Andreae organized a […]

Lever Act (Lever Food and Fuel Act) Preliminary National Prohibition

I. The Lever Act The Lever Act was passed by Congress several months after the U.S. entered WW I in 1917. Its official name indicates its goal. It was “An Act to Provide Further for the National Security and Defense by Encouraging the Production, Conserving the Supply, and Controlling the Distribution of Food Products and […]

Events in Temperance and Prohibition History: Calendar Timeline

There are a number of events in temperance and prohibition history around the world. This is a calender of days for January through December. Typically, one event is listed for each day of the year. There are many thousands of events. Therefore, this is only a partial list from the many events in temperance history. A […]

The Non-partisan Woman’s Christian Temperance Union vs the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union

Many people have heard of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). But virtually no one has heard of the Non-partisan Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (NWCTU). The WCTU was formed in 1874. Within five years it had established over 1,000 local units or “unions.” It continued to grow during National Prohibition (1920-1933). Its peak membership was […]

“Alcoholism is a Disease and I Can Cure It”: Dr. Leslie Keeley and the Keeley Institutes.

Dr. Leslie Keeley. An early proponent of the disease theory of alcoholism was Dr. Leslie Keeley. He promoted the idea in the late 1800s. Keeley is now remembered for two things. First was his assertion that “alcoholism is a disease and I can cure it.” Second was his alleged “gold cure” for alcoholism and other […]

Roy Olmstead Biography: From Police Lieutenant to Major Bootlegger

Roy Olmstead was a major and highly successful bootlegger during National Prohibition (1920-1933). Yet he began his career in a most unusual way. Olmstead joined the Seattle, Washington, Police Department in 1907. He quickly rose through the ranks and become sergeant in 1910. I. Officer Olmstead In 1916, Washington implemented state-wide alcohol prohibition. The next […]

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