PROHIBITION Humming Bird to Mars
Three years ago small, tight-lipped Senator Morris Sheppard, whose proudest boast is that he helped write the 18th Amendment, boasted proudly: "There's as much chance of repealing the 18th Amendment as there is for a humming bird to fly to Mars with the Washington Monument tied to its tail." Last week humming bird and Washington Monument were well on their way to Mars when Senator Sheppard's own mammoth Texas became the 23rd consecutive State to plump for Repeal. In a light vote, due to public apathy and a $1.75 poll tax, the 21st Amendment was ratified by a 114,000 majority. Even Senator Sheppard's own Texarkana turned Wet against him. Simultaneously the Texas constitution was amended to permit sale of 3.2% beer.
Senator Sheppard did all in his power to stay the humming bird's flight. He spent nearly a month stumping Texas against Repeal. He traveled 5,000 mi. in a Ford truck on which was loaded a pulpit and loud speaker. From behind this breastwork he addressed 45,000 persons on 48 occasions. Each time he spoke for about an hour, requiring no cough drops, no throat spray. His speeches were mostly prayerful rehashes of the address he has delivered in the Senate every Jan. 16 to commemorate Prohibition's birthday. Over & over he cried: "The millionaires want the drinking public to pay their taxes and the brewers and distillers want to make fortunes from your money. They offer you beer when your wives and children want bread." He urged Texans to break the march toward Repeal, "to drive the first of the 13 nails necessary in the lid of John Barleycorn's coffin."
W'orking with Senator Sheppard against Repeal were two onetime Governors, Pat Neff and Dan Moody. Working against them were Governor "Ma" Ferguson arid her husband Jim. The Roosevelt machine functioned with quiet efficiency on orders from Washington and Postmaster General Farley; theme: "The good old doctrine of States' Rights, so dear to the hearts of all Texans." Vice President Garner quit fishing long enough to announce that he was voting Wet.