Vice Squad
Friday, November 05, 2004
Woman's Christian Temperance Union

The link will probably disappear soon, but last week's Chicago Tribune offered a fine story on the Evanston-based Woman's Christian Temperance Union. I'll note just a few highlights, but it really is worth reading in full:

(1) the WCTU still exists

(2) it's "Woman's," not "Women's," so no e-mail on that score!

(3) the WCTU continues to be about abstinence, not temperance. New members are asked to sign an abstinence from alcohol pledge

(4) there aren't many new members, and 5,000 members in total, somewhat down from their peak of 400,000

(5) besides Prohibition (18th Amendment), the WCTU was an important force in the passage of the 19th Amendment, which recognizes women's right to vote

(6) in its heyday, the WCTU typically was perceived as progressive or liberal, but now it champions causes, such as support for the Marriage Protection Act, that generally are considered conservative

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