Daily Almanac for Sunday, December 18, 2022

On this date in 1895, the National Anti-Saloon League was founded. Anti-Saloon League and the Woman’s Christian Temperance 1902 campaign against the producers and sellers of beers in Hawaii. By Rea Irvin, May 23, 1902 – http chroniclingamerica.loc.gov, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org


The Anti-Saloon League (now known as the American Council on Addiction and Alcohol Problems) is an organization of the temperance movement that lobbied for prohibition in the United States in the early 20th century.

Founded in 1893 in Oberlin, Ohio, it was a key component of the Progressive Era, and was strongest in the South and rural North, drawing support from Protestant ministers and their congregations, especially MethodistsBaptistsDisciples and Congregationalists. It concentrated on legislation, and cared about how legislators had voted, not whether they drank or not. Founded as a state society in Oberlin, Ohio, in 1893, its influence spread rapidly. In 1895, it became a national organization and quickly rose to become the most powerful prohibition lobby in America, overshadowing the older Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and the Prohibition Party. Its triumph was nationwide prohibition locked into the Constitution with passage of the 18th Amendment in 1919. It was decisively defeated when Prohibition was repealed in 1933.

However, the organization continued – albeit with multiple name changes – and as of 2016 is known as the American Council on Addiction and Alcohol Problems.

Organizational structure and operation ties to Westerville, Ohio

The League was the first modern pressure group in the United States organized around one issue. Unlike earlier popular movements, it utilized bureaucratic methods learned from business to build a strong organization. The League’s founder and first leader, Howard Hyde Russell (1855–1946), believed that the best leadership was selected, not elected. Russell built from the bottom up, shaping local leagues and raising the most promising young men to leadership at the local and state levels. This organizational strategy reinvigorated the temperance movement. Publicity for the League was handled by Edward Young Clarke and Mary Elizabeth Tyler of the Southern Publicity Association.

In 1909, the League moved its national headquarters from Washington to Westerville, Ohio, which had a reputation for supporting temperance. The American Issue Publishing House, the publishing arm of the League, was also in Westerville. Ernest Cherrington headed the company. It printed so many leaflets – over 40 tons of mail per month – that Westerville was the smallest town to have a first class post office.

From 1948 until 1950 the group was named the Temperance League, from 1950 to 1964 the National Temperance League, and from 1964 to 2015 the American Council on Alcohol Problems (ACAP); in 2016 the group rebranded as the American Council on Addiction and Alcohol Problems (ACAAP). As of 2020 the organization continues its “neo-prohibitionist agenda”, with the addition of “other drugs” such as opioids. ACAAP is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama.

A museum about the Anti-Saloon League is at the Westerville Public Library.


Hanukkah Begins

Hanukkah (also spelled “Chanukah”) is an eight-day Jewish festival which begins this evening at sundown. The festival commemorates events that took place in Judea more than 2,000 years ago, when the Syrian king Antiochus ordered the Jews to abandon the Torah and publicly worship the Greek gods. This act provoked a rebellion led by Judas Maccabeus, climaxed by the retaking of the Temple in Jerusalem, which had been desecrated by the Syrians. In an eight-day celebration, the Maccabees (as the rebels came to be known) cleansed and rededicated the Temple (Chanukah means “dedication”). According to the Talmud, there was only enough consecrated oil to relight the candelabra for one day, yet, miraculously, it remained lit for eight days. The central feature of the observance of Chanukah is the nightly lighting of the Chanukiah, an eight-branched candelabra with a place for a ninth candle, the shammes, used to light the others. One candle is lit on the first night of Chanukah, and an additional candle is lit on each successive night, until, on the eighth night, the Chanukiah is fully illuminated. Learn more about Hanukkah and see recipes!

Question of the Day

How long have people been sending out Christmas cards?

The first Christmas card is thought to have been printed in England in 1843. Wood engravers of the time often produced prints with religious themes, but this was the first time anyone produced these prints in quantity and sold them (1,000 copies in London). The design was of a family party, beneath which were the words “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.” In the mid-19th century in the United States, the owner of a variety store in Albany, New York, produced a card carrying Christmas greetings from “Pease’s Great Variety Store in the Temple of Fancy.”

Advice of the Day

Kindnesses, like grain, increase by sowing.

Home Hint of the Day

To remove the film from inside a wine glass, fill the glass with a strong solution of ammonia and water. Wait a couple of hours, then wash and rinse.

Word of the Day


Wisconsin was probably named from a Chippewa word that means “river of red stone” or “river of the great rock.”

Puzzle of the Day

Which is swifter — heat or cold?

Heat, because you can catch cold.


  • Edward MacDowell (composer) – 1860
  • Ty Cobb (baseball player) – 1886
  • Betty Grable (actress) – 1916
  • Steven Spielberg (director) – 1946
  • Ray Liotta (actor ) – 1954
  • Brad Pitt (actor) – 1963
  • Katie Holmes (actress) – 1978
  • Christina Aguilera (singer) – 1980
  • Billie Eilish (singer) – 2001


  • Chris Farley (actor) – 1997
  • Joe Barbera (half of the Hanna-Barbera animation team that made cartoon characters such as Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear, and the Flintstones) – 2006
  • Majel Barrett-Roddenberry (actress and producer) – 2008
  • Connie Hines (actress) – 2009
  • Zsa Zsa Gabor (actress and socialite) – 2016


  • The Great Comet reached perihelion– 1680
  • New Jersey became the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution– 1787
  • John William Draper took the first photo of the Moon– 1839
  • The 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, prohibiting slavery, went into effect– 1865
  • National Anti-Saloon League was founded– 1895
  • U.S. President Woodrow Wilson married Edith B. Galt, a descendent of Pocahontas– 1915
  • Civil rights activist Rosa McCauley married Raymond Parks– 1932
  • Giant panda, Basi, celebrated her 25th birthday at China’s Fuzhou Zoo. (She far surpassed the normal panda life expectancy of 12 years!)– 2005


  • Central Park in New York City experienced a record low temperature of 10 degrees below zero F– 1919
  • A sudden gale of wind of almost cyclonic force blew through Howe, Indiana, and caused snowballs to form spontaneously and roll along the ground like tumbleweeds– 1933
  • Freezing rain in the Memphis, Tennessee, area caused 170 evening auto accidents– 1989

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