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SENATES VOTES, 55-32 FOR DRY WASHINGTON – The New York Times, January 10, 1917
|| 4/19/2010 || 11:28 am || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

As I mentioned before, I thought it was interesting that the Senate would even consider a referendum on Prohibition in the District of Columbia. As it turns out, the Senate tyrannically voted the District of Columbia ‘dry’ without the referendum. Another interesting note that was definitely not taught to me in my American history class was that at the time of the passage of the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution (aka Prohibition) most jurisdictions in America had already voted on whether they wanted to be ‘wet’ or ‘dry’, with most jurisdictions throughout the United States choosing be ‘dry’. At the end of the article the author mentions a Prohibition Map of the United States, but I have yet to find it on-line. If I do find it, I’ll be sure to post it here.


SENATES VOTES, 55-32 FOR DRY WASHINGTON

Tie Vote on District of Columbia Bill Indicates National Prohibition’s Standing.


CAME OVER REFERENDUM


Only 355 Wet Counties Left in the 2,543 in All the States of the Union, W.H. Anderson Says.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 – The Sheppard bill for prohibition in the District of Columbia after Nov. 1 was passed by the Senate today and sent to the House after a long fight. The vote was 55 to 32. The decision followed the rejection of the Underwood amendment, proposing to submit the question to a popular referendum, by a tie vote of 43 to 43. As the Vice President was not present to cast the deciding ballot the amendment was lost under a rule of the Senate.

The vote on the referendum is being considered tonight as a fair indication of the line-up in the Senate on the proposed referendum is being considered tonight as a fair indication of the line-up in the Senate on the proposed referendum regarding a constitutional amendment for national prohibition which has been reported favorably by the Judiciary Committee, and which would require a two-thirds vote to pass.

Neither the vote on the referendum amendment nor that on the passage of the bill was on party lines. There were 26 Democrats and 17 Republicans voting for the referendum and 23 Democrats and 20 Republicans voting against it. Most of the Republicans of the Progressive group voted against it. For the bill itself there were 28 Democratic and 27 Republican votes, with 22 Democrats and 10 Republicans against it. All the Progressives voted for passage.

The says that after Nov. 1 “no person or persons, or any house, company, association, club or corporation, his, its or their agents, officers, clerks, or servants, directly or indirectly, shall, in the District of Columbia, manufacture for sale, or gift, import for sale, offer for sale, keep for sale, traffic in, barter, export, ship out of the District of Columbia or exchange for goods or merchandise, or solicit or receive orders for the purchase of any alcoholic liquors for beverage purposes or for any other than scientific, medicinal, pharmaceutical, mechanical, sacramental or other non-beverage purposes.


Scientific Needs Recognized

Another section says the measure cannot be construed to prevent the manufacture, importation, exportation or sale of denatured methyl alcohol or of ethyl alcohol for scientific, medical, and like purposes, but their manufacture and sale are limited to licensed druggists or manufacturers. The so-called locker system is specifically forbidden.

All common carriers bringing intoxicants into the District are required to keep a record of the shipper and consignee, who must make affidavit that the intoxicants are for personal use.

Heavy penalties are provided for violations, including a provision aimed at physicians who prescribe liquor for patients without a cause. Efforts to forbid absolutely manufacture in the District and from it were beaten without a a record vote. An amendment by Senator Phelan which would permit sale of “wine, ale, beer, and porter” also was defeated.

The vote was preceded by little debate on the terms of the bill, but many explanations were given by Senators of their reasons for voting for and against the Underwood referendum amendment.

There were fewer absentees than at any other vote this session. During the several hours after the bill automatically came up and before the vote was taken every seat in every gallery except that reserved for the Diplomatic Corps was filled, and scores were standing or sitting in the aisles. About half the spectators were women. The crowd made only one real demonstration, that of hearty approval when the final vote was announced.

[ Note transcribed: a listing of the Senators who voted For and Against the Referendum ]


PREDICTS A “DRY” NATION


W.H. Anderson Expects National Prohibition in Ten Years

“It looks like very dry times ahead, and in the very near future. The upholding of the Webb-Kenyon bill by the Supreme Court will precipitate a regular epidemic of State laws restricting interstate shipment of liquor, and in ten years I believe this country will be absolutely dry.”

This was the comment of William H. Anderson, Superintendent of the New York wing of the Anti-Saloon League, yesterday, on the action of the United States Supreme Court Monday, when it held the law prohibiting shipment of liquor from wet to dry States to be valid. The decision brought joy to the camps of all the different organizations that have been fighting liquor in various ways, some of them advocating total prohibition, some local option, and others temperance.

“This is rapid progress,” Mr. Anderson said. “The public scarcely realizes to what extent the United States has gone dry in recent years. All of the wet territory in this country today could be put into the State of Texas. Of the 2,543 counties in all of the States of the Union, there are only 355 wet counties left, and some of these are partly dry.

“It now appears exceedingly probable that Congress will submit the national prohibition amendment to the voters of the country before 1920.”

Mr. Anderson said that the Webb-Kenyon bill itself would not prevent liquor from being shipped to most of the present dry States, as only three of four of these had passed laws absolutely prohibiting shipments of liquor. But, Mr. Anderson said, the action of the Supreme Court could not have come at a more opportune time, as most of the State Legislatures were now in session.

The National Executive Committee of the Anti-Saloon League will hold a meeting tomorrow in Washington.

A map obtained yesterday from the Anti-Saloon League here shows graphically the onward march of prohibition throughout the United States. As done in black and white- the white representing the “dry” States, and the black the “wet” – New Jersey stands out as the only State in the Union where liquor is sold throughout all its confines. Next, as a States where license predominates, comes Nevada, where liquor is sold almost universally with the exception of two “dry” spots, one on the Northern border and one near the California line.

Entirely dry are Maine, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, George, Alabama, Michigan, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Washington. New York State is almost half “dry”; Pennsylvania more than half. The “dry” territory spreads over almost half Wisconsin. Minnesota is roughly a third “dry,” and the anti-liquor forces have conquered much of California.

States in which local option has driven nearly out, but which remain “wet” as States, are Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Texas, Florida, and Delaware.

Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio are dotted with “wet” spots, but the “dry” territory predominates.



SENATE TIE ON PROHIBITION – The New York Times, December 20, 1916
|| 4/14/2010 || 1:45 pm || 2 Comments Rendered || ||

This article discusses the Senate’s actions toward implementing Prohibition in the District of Columbia. I found it rather interesting that the Senators were willing to hold a referendum on Prohibition and let District residents vote for the first time since the 1870s. More importantly, the referendum was to include women, who did not earn the right to vote until the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution.


SENATE TIE ON PROHIBITION


But Suffrage Wins a Referendum Test Vote, 54 to 15
Special to The New York Times.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19- The first test of prohibition sentiment in the Senate came today when a vote on Senator Underwood’s amendment to Senator Sheppard’s bill providing for a referendum on the establishment of prohibition in the District of Columbia, resulted in a tie, 38 to 38. Immediately before the Senate had gone on record overwhelmingly for at least a limited degree of women suffrage, but voting 54 to 15 to accept an amendment giving the women of the District the right to vote under the terms of the referendum.

According to the Senate rules the tie vote defeated the referendum proposal, but as the Senate was at the time acting in Committee of the Whole, Senator Underwood announced his intention of bringing the amendment up again tomorrow when the bill will be reported by the committee to the Senate. A vote on the bill itself is also expected tomorrow.

The provision for a referendum was generally supported by the opponents of the prohibition movement, and today’s vote was commonly regarded as an accurate gauge of the strength of the prohibition forces. Both advocates and opponents of national prohibition have watched the course of the District prohibition bill in the Senate with increasing interest since the House Committee on Judiciary voted to report favorably the national prohibition amendment.

The two parties were very evenly divided today in the vote on the referendum. Twenty-three Democrats and fifteen Republicans voted in favor of the referendum and twenty Democrats and eighteen Republicans opposed it.

Before the vote was taken an amendment offered by Senator Williams of Mississippi was accepted, permitting women to vote, and inserting property and educational qualifications in the requirements for suffrage on the referendum vote. Senator Jones’s amendment making it possible for residents of the District who are citizens of other States to vote was also accepted.

The vote came unexpectedly after a long afternoon’s debate. As soon as the fate of the referendum was known Senator Underwood attempted to fix a definite time tomorrow at which his amendment could be voted on again by the whole Senate. The move was defeated, and the advocates of the prohibition measure attempted to force an immediate vote on the bill itself. They were forestalled by Senator Stone of Missouri, who made a motion that the Senate go into executive session to consider some appointments recently made by the President. The motion was carried, and the final decision on the Sheppard bill was postponed until tomorrow.


This newspaper article was transcribed from a scan of the original newspaper article. The document was obtained from the New York Times archives and is in the public domain. It is being republished here in order to continue my advocacy for full representation for the American citizens of the District of Columbia.





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