Chris wins with his 7:05 a.m. Tuesday guess 'Beer or? boys'?? They look like the Women's Christian Temperance Union gals who protested at bars around the country, especially in Pasadena, in the 40's. Or maybe they're that evening's live karaoke. The bartender likes them."
In the 1947 photo above, members of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union chide a customer in a Pasadena bar. The WCTU visited several drinking establishments in Pasadena that day, and they knew how to work a publicity machine.
Life Magazine covered their day-long mission and published several photos in the May 19, 1947, issue.
These marching grandmothers will seem strange to many younger Americans. But to older people, who can recall the violent days of hatchet-wielding, saloon-smashing Carry Nation, they will seem like nothing more than a wisp out of the past. In their own simple and direct way these women are exhibiting a peculiarly American penchant for reform by a peculiarly American form of enterprise.
These ladies have replaced the direct action of earlier days with persuasion. Like members of other dry organizations who are becoming active again, they are advocating measures short of an immediate campaign for outright prohibition. Using only prayer and petition, and guided, as they believe, by God, they paraded last week into barrooms of Pasadena, Calif. There they urged barkeepers to seek "more honorable" jobs. They pointed out possible law violations to proprietors. They pleaded with customers to sign no-drink pledges. At one bar they found a mother with her daughter, embraced the mother and prayed for her. Later the mother joined them in singing "Onward Christian Soldiers."
The marchers are, of course, Woman's Christian Temperance Union members. They are led by Mrs. Bessie Lee Cowie, 86, one of demon rum's most persistent foes. Tears came to Mrs. Cowie's eyes as she said, "Again and again girls have told me that their fall began with a glass of wine."
The barroom customers, however, appeared to have the attitude of Finley Peter Dunne's Mr Hennessy, who once remarked to the more famous Mr. Dooley, "Th' man who dhrinks modhrately ought to be allowed to have what he wants." Dooley's reply was, "What is his name? What novel is he in?"
There's a Southern California chapter of the WCTU.
I keep promising to do a post about how liquor was involved -- or not -- in Pasadena's founding. It's a fun and fascinating history, but too much info for this post. I will, I will!