Board of Temperance Strategy

The Board of Temperance Strategy was established 1930 by the Anti-Saloon League as a "last ditch" effort to coordinate resistance to the growing public demand for the repeal of National Prohibition (1920-1933) that had been rising in the late 1920s.

The Board of Temperance Strategy consisted of representatives from an impressive list of 33 major anti-alcohol temperance organizations. However, the "dry" (prohibition) forces failed to recognize not only the failures but the counterproductive effects of National Prohibition.

Many prominent people such as John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and Henry Ford, who had financially supported the Anti-Saloon League became disillusioned with National Prohibition and publicly supported Repeal. Most of the public agreed. Repeal groups sprang up and quickly grew as public sentiment turned increasingly against Prohibition.

The Democratic Party platform in the 1932 election included an anti-prohibition plank and Franklin Roosevelt ran for the presidency promising Repeal, which occurred on December 5, 1933. The popular vote for repeal of prohibition was 74 percent in favor and 26 percent in opposition. By a three to one vote, the American people rejected National Prohibition; only two states opposed Repeal.

The Anti-Saloon had not failed, the Board of Temperance Strategy had not failed; Prohibition had failed and done so miserably, and most people had come to realize it.

Surprisingly, many people and organizations today support neo-prohibition ideas and strongly defend the many vestiges of Prohibition that still remain.

 

Resources on the Board of Temperance Strategy:

  • Roizen, Ron. The American Discovery of Alcoholism. Berkeley, CA: University of California at Berkeley, Ph.D. dissertation, 1991.
  • McConnell, D. W. Temperance Movements. In: Seligman, Edwin R. A., and Johnson, Alvin (Eds.) Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. New York, NY: The Macmillan Co., 1963.

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