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December2006
HOME Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus How High Can A Nine-Banded Armadillo Jump? Come On And Hear Alexander’s Ragtime Band Carry Nation . . . First Mother Against Drunk Driving You’re Supposed To Steep Tea In Boiling Water Take 5 In The Nation’s ‘Pleasure Grounds’
Carry Nation . . . First Mother Against Drunk Driving

Talk about someone you’d want on your team in a bar brawl, Carry Nation was a hatchet-wielding, 6-foot tall, 175-pound weapon of mass destruction who left the dust and rubble of early 20th-century saloons in her wake. A staunch supporter of the temperance movement, Nation was arrested some 30 times for her position against alcohol. Talk about an axe to grind!

Woman's holy war. Grand charge on the enemy's works. 1874 Carrie Nation. No date recorded

On Dec. 27, 1900, Nation brought her campaign to Wichita, Kan., where she smashed the bar at the Carey Hotel. This first public demonstration kicked off her harangue on hooch, which continued for 10 years. But her public protests didn’t stop there … Nation stood on her soapbox against foreign goods, corsets, tobacco, fraternal orders and, most importantly, short skirts.

The Library of Congress American Memory collections document the American experience through sound recordings, spoken words, moving images, pictures and more. To see what happened on any date of any month of any given year, check out Today in History, which mines these collections for known and unknown tidbits. Also search the collection for “temperance” to pull resources on the movement to prohibit alcohol in America, along with songs from the “Music for the Nation, Sheet Music 1870-1885” collection that Nation and her followers might have sung during their booze bashes.


A. Woman's holy war. Grand charge on the enemy's works. 1874. SUMMARY: The "Holy War" was the 19th-century crusade for temperance and prohibition, whose advocates were predominantly clergymen and women. Here a young woman in armor on a black horse leads a group of similarly garbed women on foot and on horseback. With large battle-axes they shatter barrels of beer, whiskey, gin, rum and "Wine & Liquors." The leg of a fleeing man is just visible at lower right. In the background are two banners: "In the Name of God and Humanity" and "Temperance League." Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Information: Reproduction No.: LC-USZ62-683 (b&w film copy neg.); Call No.: PGA - Currier & Ives--Woman's holy... (A size) [P&P]

B. Carrie Nation. No date recorded. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Information: Reproduction No.: LC-DIG-ggbain-05640 (digital file from original neg.); Call No.: LC-B2- 1131-3[P&P]