The U.S. Constitution: Wet or Dry


Bill Requiring Wisconsin Pupils To Be Taught Document Is Voted Down in House.

By Universal Service.

MADISON, Wis., May 7. — Enforced teaching of the United States Constitution in public schools of Wisconsin is “verboten,” the Lower House of the Legislature decided Monday.

Assemblyman A.E. Matheson, dry leader, introduced a bill requiring teachers to explain the Federal Constitution to students.

Assemblyman Herman Sachtjen, wet leader, objected.

“There are wet and dry interpretations of the Constitution that might lead to controversies between teachers and pupils,” he said.

The bill was voted down.

San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas) May 8, 1923


The Massachusetts W.C.T.U. has entered the schools of that fair state with Mother Goose rhymes designed to acquaint the children with the desirability of prohibition.

Assuming that it is the purpose and desire of our educators to give youth both sides of all controversial subjects, we offer the other side of prohibition through the same medium.


“Purple clusters from the vine;
Pluck and eat them, they are fine.
Press the juice if you incline,
Into glasses, yours and mine.
If we drink it when we should,
While it’s fresh and sweet and good
Health and strength and joy combine
In the juice but not in wine.”

We propose:

Though ripened by the bright sunshine,
And nipped by frost while on the vine,
To luscious grapes we don’t incline
Unless they’re turned to sparkling wine.

The Massachusetts schools can take it for what it’s worth. They’re perfectly welcome. No charge.

— The Manitowoc Times.

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Nov 4, 1930

Constitution Day

TODAY will be observed more or less and probably chiefly less throughout the nation as Constitution Day. It is the anniversary of the ratification of the Constitution, which took place September 17, 1787, the government under the constitution being declared in effect the first Wednesday of March 1789.

Constitution Day was inaugurated in 1917 through efforts of the national society of the Sons of the American Revolution. That organization declares that the annual observance has

“produced a better understanding of the Constitution as the anchor and guide of the people, created a deeper individual consecration in its safeguarding, the enactment of laws by a number of states providing for the teaching of the Constitution as a part of the curriculum in the public schools and the participation by innumerable organizations in this annual patriotic remembrance.”

Purpose of Constitution Day is laudable. More than ever it is essential at a time when regard for law and our institutions — which after all is regard for the Constitution upon which our laws and our institutions are founded — is at a low ebb.

The Eighteenth amendment is not the only amendment to the Constitution which has caused turmoil and unrest and dissatisfaction. But the Eighteenth amendment, in the circumstances of its adoption, in the turmoil of its enforcement and in the nature of attacks designed to bring about alteration or repeal have created a situation which rapidly is becoming unbearable in its incessant sapping at the foundation of our national authority.

The Constitution should be taught in the public schools. It should be given more attention there than it is today. It is well that Constitution Day be set aside each year for various forms of observance — notably in the public schools for respect, loyalty and regard taught in the adolescent years carries its influence through adulthood.

Schools of Constitutional Study should be inaugurated for many otherwise fair minded, intelligent and educated citizens and leaders who seek to nullify a Constitutional amendment by denying its observance or to seek change through means not provided by basic law or to attempt to influence great numbers of people toward both a fallacious idea as to Constitutional facts and legal means of amendatory enactment or repeal.

Morning Herald (Uniontown, Pennsylvania) Sep 17, 1930

Our Answer To The Government

The editor of The Sheboygan Press received a letter from the Bureau of Prohibition, Department of Justice, accompanied by a questionnaire listed as confidential.
Our position is not confidential and for that reason we are herewith printing the entire questionnaire as it was answered and sent out by the editor.

1. Is your paper in favor of prohibition? No.

2. Is your paper against prohibition? Yes.

3. Is your paper neutral on the subject of prohibition? No.

4. Will you state briefly your reason for adopting the policy you are advocating?

We have consistently opposed prohibition for the following reasons:

First: Because it sets up a form of government contrary to the ideas and customs of the American people. It attempts by force that which we resented when this nation was born.

Second: It is an attempt to regulate the habits of our people by law, which always fails.

Third: Attempts at enforcement have produced evils and abuses, including disrespect for law, corruption of public officials, abuse of legal process; and violations of other constitutional rights of our people, such as immunity from double jeopardy and illegal search and seizure.

Fourth: Enforcement of the Eighteenth amendment violates the underlying spirit of our whole constitution.

Fifth: Prohibition has failed because it has substituted for a legal and lawful sale and distribution of intoxicating beverages an unlawful and illicit manufacture, sale and distribution, which is now beyond the power of government to control.

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Oct 18, 1930

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