Note: This is an encore post from 2007.
Feb. 14-26, 1907
The Rev. Ervin S. Chapman, a Presbyterian minister who heads the Anti-Saloon League of California, has won a victory through an address that persuaded an Indiana judge to rule that saloons are unconstitutional.
Chapman concluded his series of points by saying:
Our national Supreme Court, in decisions which it has rendered, has designated the liquor traffic as mala in se by characterizing it as
Harmful to material prosperity.
Injurious to life.
Destructive of manhood.
Disastrous to peace and happiness.
Fatal to morals and.
Productive of crime and misery.
That court having thus characterized the liquor traffic will surely declare that traffic mala in se and hence unlawful and incapable of being granted legislative standing or protection by any branch of civil government either national or local.
Whenever the public mind has become sufficiently enlightened and the public conscience sufficiently quickened to justify and make effective such a decision our national Supreme Court, which has always led public sentiment respecting this question, will place its brand of outlawry upon that traffic which McKinley characterized “as the most degrading and ruinous of all human pursuits.”
Los Angeles saloonkeepers shrugged their shoulders and said they believed the ruling would have no effect on them.
The Times quoted one bartender: “ ‘Stop saloons unt drinking!’ one barkeeper screamed in astonishment. ‘Go vay. You might as well try to stop kissing.’ ”
Chapman died in 1921, two years after the passage of the Volstead Act.