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A Card: Prohibition, 1933

By: Ardis E. Parshall - September 30, 2010

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– From the Relief Society Magazine,
April 1933



7 Comments »

  1. Do you know the origins of this poster and poem? It looks like something from the Progressive-Era Prohibition movement–something that would have appeared before 1920.

    Comment by Steve C. — September 30, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

  2. A drunk driver killed a woman with an 8-year old and a 7-week old last week. 7 weeks! That baby still needs his mom; the 8-year old needs her mom; the husband needs his wife. I look at my 3-month old and my heart just screams. I know Prohibition didn’t work but by God do I wish the stuff was impossible to get.

    Comment by Proud Daughter of Eve — September 30, 2010 @ 2:47 pm

  3. Steve, there’s no identifying information in the magazine, It does look to me, though, like it’s a photograph of a three-dimensional sculpture, or maybe even a monument, so it’s possible that the original dates from an earlier time. I thought it was very provocative and moving.

    … but still not half as moving, PDoE, as a real life example of the consequences of alcohol use. People are always saying that Prohibition didn’t work, but the volume of alcohol available during Prohibition, and even the crime that went with producing and distributing it, is a fraction of what exists now with legal alcohol. Which is what I remember every time somebody boosts the decriminalization of pot or some other drug on the grounds that prohibiting it doesn’t eliminate it.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 30, 2010 @ 2:58 pm

  4. I should say that this was published just as legal sales of beer were resuming in fulfillment of one of FDR’s campaign promises, and the repeal of Prohibition was soon to follow (yes, with the irony that Utah’s vote was the last one needed for repeal). The Relief Society was campaigning as hard as they could in the first months of 1933 trying to reignite a determination to fight alcohol.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 30, 2010 @ 3:00 pm

  5. Further, I live in Ontario, Canada, which didn’t just repeal its own Prohibition laws. There’s a strong set of rules in place. Alcohol can only be purchased through government-run stores. You can get it at restaurants of course but even they can only buy it from the Liquor Control Board and EVERYONE who serves, sells or handles alcohol is required to go through specific safety certification. There are inspectors who ensure that the safe serving rules are adhered to; if they’re not, the establishment can lose its liquor licence and then will no no longer be allowed to purchase or serve alcohol.

    But of course individuals can still buy their own alcohol from The Beer Store (real name), the Wine Store (ditto) or the L.C.B.O. And of course people do break rules, intentionally and otherwise.

    I wonder what the alcohol-related injury and fatality statistics are for heavily regulated places like Ontario (I think Utah is also or at least used to be heavily regulated) and how they compare to more laissez-faire places.

    Comment by Proud Daughter of Eve — September 30, 2010 @ 8:50 pm

  6. The card suggests that only men were alcholics. Would that were true today.

    I’d also be interested in knowing whether there is a lower incidence of addiction in Ontario. I grew up in a state where liquor was only sold in State Stores.

    I remember thinking cyncially about General Conference addresses that warned against taking that first drink. I never did take that first drink, but my son did, and ultimately became addicted.

    Experience is a cruel teacher.

    Comment by Paul — October 1, 2010 @ 8:37 am

  7. http://thevictorianist.blogspot.com/2010/10/richard-dadd.html

    There is a painting in this post that reminds me somewhat of your above post. The one at fault and on the ground, however is the mother. The rest of the post is about victorian morals depicted in artwork and a particular painter.

    Comment by Marianne Egan — October 1, 2010 @ 1:44 pm

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