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Saturday, July 9, 2011



Oh my what to say about this real photo taken in 1919?  It was the start of the "temperance" movement inspired by none other than an American woman named Carrie Nation.

The women in this photo look scary enough to make men   unapproachable. And no doubt no man would have gotten near them period! But it wasn't these women standing like this that scared men and made them quit drinking--it was Carrie Nation who stood six feet tall, weighed 190 pounds and went into saloons and bars carrying an ax with her that scared men.

I don't know if it made them quit drinking or not as I was not alive at that time. But she had female cohorts with her and they were also carrying axes. Heaven help the unassuming men who were drinking in saloons or bars when these women descended upon them! They would head straight for the bar and whack their axes at all of the liquor bottles smashing them into a gazillion pieces and then vacate the place---leaving a bunch of men stunned out of their wits! Carrie Nation's words, echoed by her cohorts, were "SMASH LADIES SMASH!"

I read that one time Carrie Nation went into a saloon with her ax and there was John L.Sullivan, the well-known fighter at that time. One look at her and her ax and he ran and hid from her in another room. No wonder!

If you are wondering why Carrie Nation started this rampage it was because her husband [he must have been a brave and/or senseless man] was an alcoholic! No wonder! Go online and check out her photos: Frightening. 

If a group of women with axes pounced upon bars today they would all find themselves behind bars and facing lawsuits--oh and add lunacy warrants.  Did that happen to Carrie Nation and her female cohorts? They were jailed but not sued. Lunacy? No doubt. Some good might have come out of this rampage [who knows?] but these women of 1919 as well as Carrie Nation left their mark all right --scaring the heck out of drinking men  or those who were just sitting in saloons or bars is what they are most remembered for.  And I am pretty sure that all of those men retaliated. As for Carrie Nation's husband, wonder what happened to him? Now there's a disturbing thought all right!

Sherry Hill

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