Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Ahead of the curve: the anniversary of prohibition in Alabama

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(detail)

(back)
Alabama Prohibition Postcard, sent 1909


This bold political statement, in the form of a picture postcard from the Hoole collections, was sent to an Alabama voter in 1909. It urged "Mr. Voter" to vote for statewide prohibition in Alabama. While statewide prohibition did not go into effect until July 1, 1915, it is interesting to note that the ban of alcohol became state law in Alabama nearly five years before the Volstead Act (the national reinforcement of a ban on alcohol, most commonly known as "Prohibition") was passed in 1919.

An added point of interest with this postcard is that it is addressed to "Mr. Voter" -- this was written over a decade before the passing of the 19th amendment, granting women the right to vote, stating that "the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation". There were no Mrs. or Miss Voters until 1920. Ms. Voter came along a little later. So did zip codes. And a stamp that costs more than one cent. We've come a long way, baby.

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