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Feb 25

Lincoln hates booze

The Daily Telegram never lost an opportunity to scold readers about the evils of drink. This house ad is from Sept. 30, 1911.

The Daily Telegram never lost an opportunity to scold readers about the evils of drink. This house ad is from Sept. 30, 1911.


When the Daily Telegram was founded in 1905 it was a temperance newspaper. It never lost an opportunity to scold readers on the evils of drink. Here the editors typeset a quote from one of the beloved icons of history and tried to bend it to to their cause. A quick google search did not turn up the source so I will have to take it on faith that the Telegram is giving us a square reading of the Great Emancipator’s words.
It was an admirable cause, given the lack of a social safety net in the early 20th century, a drunk man could destroy a family’s finances and there were very limited avenues for women in the job market at the time.
Unfortunately legislating morality is rarely successful for a variety of reasons.
By the time the prohibition law was enacted the Telegram was in a new editor’s hands and no longer scolding readers about what they drank. The paper had gone broke telling people the virtuous way to behave and was no longer a temperance mouthpiece.

Congratulations to Daniel Day Lewis for his Oscar for performance in the movie Lincoln.

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