Well, it took the Methodists to set the record straight. The Independent Committee on Alcohol and Drugs for United Methodist now have given us some unvarnished facts, although Elizabeth Williams of Knoxville, Tennessee, and other lovely ladies of the Women's Christian Temperance Union had testified that, contrary to popular propaganda, Prohibition was a very peaceable time, that crime went to nearly zero and you could leave your doors unlocked without fear. But who would listen to these stodgy ladies? Movies said different.
Following the format of Fiction vs. Fact, let this column feature just a few.
FICTION: Prohibition started in Kansas in 1880.
FACT: The first statewide prohibition of the sale of alcohol beverages was June 2, 1851, when Governor Hubbard of Maine signed "The Maine Law."
FICTION: Congress submitted the 18th Amendment because of war hysteria.
FACT: This ignores not only that the Congress which submitted the 18th amendment was elected in 1916, or in 1912, 1914 and 1915... long before we entered World War One, but also the fact that between 1909 and 1916 twenty states adopted Prohibition as did four others in 1917. Writing the Annals of the Academy of Political and Social Science (September 1923, p. 193) Felix Frankfurter, later a U.S.S. CT. Judge stated: "It is sheer caricature to convey the impression that the Eighteenth amendment came
like a thief in the night. Prohibition was the culmination of fifty years of continuous effort."
FICTION: We got Prohibition when Congress voted for it in 1912. FACT: Congress has no authority to amend the U.S. Constitution by itself. The 18th Amendment was admitted to the 48 states on December 18, 1917, by a Congress elected in November, 1916. The amendment was declared ratified by the Secretary of State on January 16, 1919 as 36 States had admitted articles of ratification. In addition nine states ratified the Amendment after the formal statement by the Secretary of State. All in all, 45 of 48 states voted for the Eighteenth Amendment.
FICTION: Prohibition soon became unpopular leading to the repeal of the
18th Amendment. FACT: The 18th Amendment was the leading political issue in the 1928 election. The Republican Candidate, Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, favored the 18th Amendment. The Democratic Candidate, New York Governor, Alfred Smith, was opposed to it. This was a clear "wet/dry" election and one conducted at a time when the nation was at peace and prosperous so there were no other elements to influence the outcome. The result was a victory for the dry candidate, Herbert Hoover. The popular vote was 21,392,190, for Mr. Hover and 15,026,433 for Governor Smith. This was the largest popular vote in a Presidential Election to date and an Electoral Vote of 444 to 87 which gave Mr. Hoover the largest Electoral Vote that had been cast for a President ... Of particular interest is that Mr. Hoover carried the States of Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Texas... This is the first time a Republican candidate received the electoral votes of those states since the Grand Army of the Republic was withdrawn from each state, thus ending the Reconstruction era at the end of the Civil War.
Space will not allow continuance of the perpetrated myths which are exploded by the facts. It is pertinent here to mention that Confederate President Jefferson Davis, seeing the loose morals of his troops, ordered Chaplains to begin preaching throughout his army, and the topics of rebuke from these great old Chaplains related to alcohol, gambling, profanity, and violating the Lord's Day. Upwards of fifteen thousands of this Southern Army were converted and it is recorded that the beautiful music and singing of hymns often floated through the night over the roar of cannons and artillery.
Well, now here we are. A nation of enchanted drunks, gamblers, cursers, and Sabbath breakers, happily on our way to bankruptcy and more forced insurance where Pharaoh demands higher and higher premiums to cover the cost of believing a lie.
This little booklet may be ordered from the Independent Committee on Alcohol and Drugs for Untied Methodist, P. O. Box 532, Richardson, Texas 75080.
In reading this little pamphlet, it is important to note what great men ruled the nation at that time, wanting GOOD THINGS for the people, caring for their souls, and wishing to rid them of the plague of alcohol which in reality is The Well-Favored Harlot.