Mid-week open thread: End of Prohibition edition

The 21st amendment to the U.S. Constitution went into effect 79 years ago today, ending the Prohibition era. Utah was the last state needed to reach the necessary three-fourths majority for approving the constitutional amendment.

Few Americans living today can remember the political environment that led to the failed Prohibition experiment. Public water fountains established by local chapters of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union are perhaps the only visible remnants of the temperance movement.

At the 1874 organizing convention of the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, the members were urged to erect drinking fountains in their towns so that men could get a drink of water without entering saloons and staying for stronger drinks. Often the drinking fountains that were erected offered a place for horses to drink, another place for dogs, and of course, a place for humans to drink.

Two WCTU fountains remain in Iowa: in Edgewood (Clayton and Delaware Counties) and Shenandoah (Page County). UPDATE: Added a photo of the fountain in Shenandoah below.

This is an open thread: all topics welcome.

Women’s Christian Temperance Union fountain in Shenandoah, Iowa

WCTU fountain in Iowa

  • I'll drink to that....

    Speaking of drinking – it is enough to make you get good and soused when you read something like this from the pages of City View.  It highlights the fact that this is what you will find in the halls of the Iowa General Assembly, tackling such important issues as mental health reform, property taxes, education, environmental concerns, etc.  Maybe this guy can party with the kid from Johnston…

    Who has the best record in the Legislature? Well, it depends on what kind of record. If it’s an arrest record, the title clearly goes to newly elected Republican Bobby Kaufmann from Wilton in Cedar County. According to Iowa Courts Online, Kaufmann has 17 arrest records, mainly for traffic and automobile violations, but earlier this year he pleaded guilty to a charge of public intoxication after being arrested in Iowa City. He told the Muscatine Journal that he completed his probation and the arrest has been “removed from my record.” (“No one’s perfect,” he added.) Indeed, it’s not on Iowa Courts Online.                

    Kaufmann, who is 27, was first stopped when he was 17 for failure to obey a stop sign in Muscatine. He’s also been picked up four times for speeding, eight times for registration violations and three times for “failure to maintain safety belts.”                

    Kaufmann easily beat Democrat Dick Schwab in the newly drawn 73rd district, which includes Cedar County and six precincts in Johnson County and one in Muscatine County. The arrest record was raised by Schwab, but it didn’t seem to bother the voters. …              

    • it is embarrassing

      that Republicans fell in line behind this guy just because his dad is important. They couldn’t find anyone else to represent them in the Iowa House?

      You have to wonder whether the other Democrat, David Johnson, would have been better positioned to run against Bobby Kaufmann.

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