Archive for Monday, September 10, 2012

100 years later, Temperance Union fights on

September 10, 2012


— Much has changed in the 100 years since The Women's Christian Temperance Union first set up a booth at the Kansas State Fair, but the organization continues to preach its message that people should never use alcohol, tobacco or drugs.

Prohibition was in place in Kansas in 1913 when the state held its first official state fair and one of its vendors was the temperance union. Today, the fair offers a beer garden, and vendors can sell wine by the glass or bottle. But the temperance union's message has not changed, The Hutchinson News reported.

"Don't drink alcohol," said 90-year-old Glenna Dellenbach, the group's oldest active member.

The Women's Christian Temperance Union, which organized in 1874, led the drive to prohibit the use of alcohol across the country to "protect the home." It later added tobacco and drugs to its list of dangerous substances. Prohibition, a national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol, was in place from 1920 to 1933.

"Men were going to work and earning money, then spending it all on alcohol," said Patricia Jackson, of Meade, who has been a member of the organization for eight years.

Kansas had statewide prohibition from 1881 to 1948, longer than any other state. The state prohibited on-premises liquor sales until 1987, and 19 of its 105 counties are "dry," meaning on-premises liquor sales are prohibited, but the sale of 3.2 percent beer is permitted. Another 65 counties are partially dry, allowing liquor by the drink at establishments with 30 percent food sales.

Dellenbach said she thinks the organization has helped keep Kansas more conservative on alcohol laws than most others states. Currently, the union has 125 members in Kansas but Dellenbach said there is renewed interest in the group's message. She and others in Meade County restarted a union group in March after a liquor store moved in.

Jackson also said she thought the group was making an impact again.

"I just hope we're getting the message across," Jackson said.


consumer1 5 years, 9 months ago

who will be the first to lambast these women for using the right of free speech?

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 9 months ago

Hey, they can say whatever they want. But, since their mission is to impose their will upon others in their nanny-state world, we have every right to criticize their archaic perspective and objectives. So often we see this here: an zealot proclaims the absolute way things should be ~ but don't dare offer your perspective or a rebuttal, because you then don't believe in their "free speech". Fail.

Sarah St. John 5 years, 9 months ago

I looked up the WCTU not long ago when it made an appearance in the 100 Years Ago. I was quite surprised to find that it was still an active organization. Here are some tidbits from wikipedia. Interesting stuff!

"Requirements for joining the WCTU include paying membership dues and signing a pledge of abstinence from alcohol. The pledge of the Southern Californian WCTU for example, is 'I hereby solemnly promise, God helping me, to abstain from all distilled, fermented, and malt liquors, including beer, wine, and hard cider, and to employ all proper means to discourage the use of and traffic in the same.' Current issues for the WCTU include alcohol, which the organization considers to be North America's number one drug problem, illegal drugs, abortion and gay marriage. The WCTU has warned against the dangers of tobacco since 1875. They continue to this day in their fight against those substances they see as harmful to society. The WCTU strongly supports banning same-sex marriage, which it sees as a negative influence on families.

"The WCTU also attempts to encourage young people to avoid substance abuse through participation in three age-divided suborganizations: White Ribbon Recruits for pre-schoolers, the Loyal Temperance Legion (LTL) for elementary school children, and the Youth Temperance Council (YTC) for teenagers.

"The White Ribbon Recruits are mothers who will publicly declare their dedication to keeping their babies drug free. To do this, they participate in the White Ribbon Ceremony, but their children must be under six years of age. The mother pledges 'I promise to teach my child the principles of total abstinence and purity', and the child gets a white ribbon tied to its wrist.

"The LTL, Loyal Temperance Legion, is another temperance group aimed at children. It is for children aged six to twelve who are willing to pay dues annually to the LTL. Its motto is 'That I may give my best service to home and country, I promise, God helping me, Not to buy, drink, sell, or give Alcoholic liquors while I live. From other drugs and tobacco I'll abstain, And never take God's name in vain.'

"The Youth Temperance Council is the final type of group meant for youths and is aimed at teenagers. Its pledge is 'I promise, by the help of God, never to use alcoholic beverages, other narcotics, or tobacco, and to encourage everyone else to do the same, fulfilling the command, "keep thyself pure".'"

Joe Hyde 5 years, 9 months ago

Brings to mind the opening scene in the Sam Peckinpah western movie, "The Wild Bunch".

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

It didn't work the first time, it didn't work the second time and it certainly won't work the third time.

Prohibition does nothing but make criminals rich.

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