By Jimmie Lewis Franklin
Prohibition begun in Oklahoma 13 years earlier than passage of the Volstead Act and didn't finish until eventually twenty-six years after the remainder of the United States had declared the “noble experiment” to be a failure. whilst nation electorate repealed prohibition in April, 1959, they ended a fifty-two-year drought and disproved Will Rogers’ assertion that Oklahomans may vote dry so long as they can stagger to the polls.
What prompted this variation of angle within the purely nation ever to go into the Union with a prohibition clause in its structure? Professor Franklin sheds new gentle at the puzzle via 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. through the first chaotic years, saloons have been extra considerable than faculties and churchs, yet order was once quickly verified and the saloons’ days have been numbered. The reform events that shattered American complacency in to the past due 1800’s got here fast to the recent territory. A decade later statehood, the Anti-Saloon League and the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union demonstrated 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. bolstered through Bible-belt Protestantism, the temperance circulate exerted a strong effect, an on November sixteen, 1907, the day sooner than statehood, gutters flowed with liquor as purchasers rid themselves in their soon-to-be-illegal stock.
In 1933, after a protracted, challenging fight, liquor advocates gained passage of a degree legalizing 3.2 in step with cent beer. Repeal, within the kind of laws permitting package deal shops, got here in 1959. however the conflict nonetheless rages, now over the debatable query of liquor by means of the drink.
In addition to placing kingdom liquor legislation in nationwide viewpoint, this social and historic account explains why any liquor query brings out the struggling with spirit in Oklahomans.
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Additional info for Born Sober: Prohibition in Oklahoma, 1907-59
Jesus Christ," he said, "couldn't have been sheriff of the Kingdom of Creek 39 Message 36 Daily Oklahoman, March 20, 1915. 37 Session Laws, 1915, So 38 Harlow's Weekly, March 2 7 , 19150 - 62 of Governor Robert Lo Williams to the Sixth Legislature January 4, 1917, 35-360 40 Harlow's - Weekly, January 24, 19170 - 63 - o o • 1 J - B ORN SOBER [County] and closed the joints," because of inexperience. "41 The favorable voices in support of the measure, however, held sway. While many legislators agreed that the bill was drastic medicine for enforcement ailments, they acknowl edged that the disease was terrible and the remedy must be severe.
The proper respect for the law could only develop through uniform enforcement : 9 Daily Oklahoman, January 8, 1 9 1 1 . 10 For comments on the proposed legislation, see American Issue, January, To permit one sort of enforcement in Oklahoma County, another in Muskogee County, and still another sort in Carter County, amounts in the end to no enforcement. Laws statewide in their application should be statewide in their enforcement, and what is prohibited by state laws in Muskogee County should be prohibited in Oklahoma County and in every other county.
Readings) ; for related statements, see Vinita Weekly Chieftain, September 29, 1911, and Daily Oklahoman, June 2 7 , 1 9 1 1 . - 54 - -55- 14 Regular Biennial Message of Governor Lee Cruce to the Legislature of 1913, 15 (hereafter cited as Message of Governor Cruce) . 1 5 Message of Governor Cruce, 20 ; also Edward E. Dale and Jesse L. Rader; Readings in Oklahoma History, 734-35 (hereafter cited as Dale and Rader, BORN SOBER CRUCE AND WILLIAMS INHERIT A MOVEMENT . . laws of Oklahoma . . Clothed with this authority the question of local sentiment would play very little part.