In the latest edition of The National Prohibitionist, party chairman and presidential nominee Phil Collins reveals the party has officially secured ballot access in Colorado and Vermont, adding to the ballot access already achieved in Arkansas and Mississippi. This is the most states the party’s nominee has appeared on since 1984. The petition in Tennessee, however, did not succeed. Also in the newsletter was an article from Chuck Foland, about President Rutherford B. Hayes, titled, “The First ‘Dry’ President.” Read the article below:
He came to office after U.S. Grant and was elected in a controversial election. But, his honesty and reforms in government went a long way in cleaning up the image of government after the corruption eruption under Grant. A true hero of the Civil War, he was wounded four times. His wife, Lucy, was a nurse for his regiment and was loved by the troops.
Their family loved animals and were miles ahead of society in many ways regarding education, animals, and many other things. Lucy, nick-named “Lemonade Lucy” by detractors, was the first White House hostess not to serve alcoholic beverages there.
President and Mrs. Hayes felt that the President should set the moral tone for the nation. Despite no booze, parties and other social events given by the Hayes White House were noted for their fun and enjoyment.
Now, some have claimed that it was Lucy who implemented this alcohol ban, but she could not have done it alone. Rutherford himself was a member of the Sons of Temperance. Others have claimed that the Hayes were trying to stop dry Republicans from joining the Prohibition Party. There may have been some political thought in this, but myself, I think it a bit harsh to say that the Hayes, beforehand noted temperance advocates, did this for politics alone. Lucy never took a drink in her life, and they truly felt that the First Family should set an example for the rest of the nation.
Rutherford B. Hayes was for Prohibition in a wise way. You see, Prohibition will never work correctly if the public is not educated and made to understand it. Hayes wrote in his diary, in 1883: “Personally, I do not resort to force, not even the force of law, to advance moral reforms. I prefer education, argument, persuasion, and above all the influence of example, of fashion. Until these resources are exhausted, I would not think of force.”
Ed. Note: The 1993 Prohibition Party mid-term conference, held at Fremont, Ohio, included a field trip to the Hayes’ home, “Spiegel Grove.”