READY TO “CARRY A NATION” TO TEMPERANCE
CARRIE NATION SMASHES UP BAR IN WICHITA
Wichita, Kansas (JFK+50) Anti-saloon activist Carrie Nation* smashed up a bar located in the Carey Hotel here in Wichita 115 years ago today, December 27, 1900, resulting in thousands of dollars in property damage and her arrest.
In 1880, Kansas had become the first state to ban the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages, but many saloon keepers blatantly ignored the law.
Mrs. Nation’s first husband had died of alcoholism fueling her temperance attitudes and following her second husband’s suggestion she began using a hatchet to smash up bars. Calling the idea the best one he ever had, Carrie Nation began to sell hatchets as souvenirs to raise money for her crusade.
It was in Medicine Lodge, Texas that Carrie became known as “Mother Nation.” In 1903, with the publication of her autobiography, Mrs. Nation officially changed the spelling of her first name to Carry. This sent the message that she was indeed prepared to “carry a nation” to temperance.
Mrs. Nation, who was arrested more than 32 times during her temperance campaign, paved the way for the passage of the 19th Amendment (Prohibition) and the 20th Amendement (Women’s Vote).
*Carrie Amelia Moore Nation (1846-1911) was born in Kentucky & nursed wounded soldiers in Missouri during the Civil War. She earned a degree in history and became a teacher. After the death of he first husband, she remarried David A. Nation, 19 years her senior. She started a branch of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union in Medicine Lodge, Texas. CAMN divorced her 2nd husband in 1901.
“Carrie A. Nation (1846-1911) Crusdaer For Prohibition and for the Rights of Women,” by Kate Kelly, www.americacomesalive.com/
Carry Nation Smashes Bar,” This Day in History: December 27, www.history.com/