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 USA had declared the “noble experiment” to be a failure. while nation electorate repealed prohibition in April, 1959, they ended a fifty-two-year drought and disproved Will Rogers’ assertion that Oklahomans may vote dry so long as they can stagger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 in simple terms country ever to go into the Union with a prohibition clause in its structure? Professor Franklin sheds new mild at the puzzle by means of describing the social forces that motivated Oklahoma’s liquor laws.
When Indian Territory was once opened in April, 1889, a wave of homesteaders swept right into a nearly lawless land. through the first chaotic years, saloons have been extra considerable than faculties and churchs, yet order was once quickly proven and the saloons’ days have been numbered. The reform activities that shattered American complacency in to the overdue 1800’s got here quick to the recent territory. A decade later statehood, the Anti-Saloon League and the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union demonstrated a company carry in Oklahoma. Hatchet-wielding hold state manage headquarters within the territorial capital of Guthrie, introduced in a printing press, and released her risky Smasher’s Mail. strengthened through Bible-belt Protestantism, the temperance flow exerted a robust effect, an on November sixteen, 1907, the day earlier than statehood, gutters flowed with liquor as purchasers rid themselves in their soon-to-be-illegal stock.
In 1933, after a protracted, difficult fight, liquor advocates received passage of a degree legalizing 3.2 in keeping 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 arguable query of liquor by means of the drink.
In addition to placing nation liquor legislation in nationwide viewpoint, this social and historic account explains why any liquor query brings out the battling spirit in Oklahomans.