Third Phase Of The Saloon Question

The story of the Thirty-sixth General Assembly is history brought down nearly to date, and with cumulative interest. Emerson well said: "I have no expectation that any man -will read history aright who thinks that what was done in a remote age, by men whose names have resounded far, has any deeper sense than what he is doing today." With this master key to the history of Iowa, we find the story of achievement at this legislative session unsurpassed by that of any previous session.

Take the measure of its achievement. Its new members, fresh from the people, had scarcely become accustomed to their seats, and had hardly more than established fraternal relations with one another, when, on Lincoln's birthday, the Senate celebrated the day by ratifying the woman suffrage resolution of two years before, and so sending it to the voters for its final judgment on the question.

A few days later, so far as it could go in the matter, it decreed, by an unmistakably decisive majority, the end of the traffic in intoxicants within the borders of Iowa, fixing the date of its demise the 1st day of January, 1916. The House by overwhelming majorities ratified the action of the Senate.

After two-score years of trial, and after the passage of several laws restrictive in character, the continued hostility of the liquor traffic to the enforcement of law, aroused the voters of the state to the dangerously exceptional nature of the traffic in intoxicants and to the expediency of ridding the state of the saloon, and, to that end, the vote to submit a constitutional amendment forever prohibiting the traffic. This action, ratified by the Thirty-seventh General Assembly, in 1917, brought the question to another test, a direct submission to the voters.

Other legislation tightening the hold of the law upon the traffic in intoxicants was passed—for the more effectual prevention of "boot-legging," and more effectually empowering the state to prevent a neutralization of the law by unsympathetic local officials. .

Iowa had now entered upon the third phase of the saloon question, and men and women inquired one of another: "Is it the last phase, or may we look for another?"

Iowa, Its History & Its Citizens, Volume 2, 1918
Submitted by Cathy Danielson

Copyright © Genealogy Trails
All data on this website is Copyright by Genealogy Trails with full rights reserved for original submitters.