Woman’s Christian Temperance Union

songs about temperance

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 …

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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 …

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Ku Klux Klan or KKK and the WCTU: Partners in Prohibition

The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) shared common interests. They strongly promoted and defended alcohol prohibition. But they also favored women’s right to vote, Protestantism, and the protection of domesticity. They also shared hostility toward immigrants. For this reason, the two groups cooperated with each other. And they shared many …

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Edith Smith Davis: Major Prohibition Leader

Edith Smith Davis contributed greatly to the temperance movement. She was a dedicated and highly effective leader. Born on a farm near Janesville, Wisconsin, she attended Milton College and Lawrence University.  At the latter, she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She became superintendent of two departments of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). One …

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Ida B. Wise (Ida B. Wise-Smith, Ida Wise)

Ida B. Wise was a strong advocate for the prohibition movement. She became Ida B. Wise Smith upon her marriage. Early Commitment to Prohibition As a young woman she joined the Iowa Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). She showed commitment, determined and effective leadership. Therefore, she steadily advanced through the organization. For twenty years she …

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Martha McClellan Brown: Prohibition Leader

Martha McClellan Brown was a highly effective organizational leader in advancing the temperance movement. Martha McClellan was born in 1838 in Baltimore. She was orphaned by age eight. Martha and her sister were raised by a neighbor. At age 18 she married the Rev. W. Kennedy Brown. Shortly after, she began college and graduated from …

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