Olive and Temperance

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    The WCTU (Women's Christian Temperance Union) was founded in Ohio in 1873 to combat what was seen as the social epidemic known as drunkenness (now alcoholism). It is most famously known as a driving force in the movement that lead to Prohibition in the United States. However, temperance in what one imbibes was not the only focus of the WCTU. The organization also looked to reform in other areas such as labor, prostituion, world peace, and sanitation.

    Olive Goodykoontz, like her mother before her, was a member of the WCTU since childhood. Though not a Quaker institution specifically, the themes of peace and temperance appealed to Olive's Quaker sensibilities and were something that she sought to subscribe to for much of her life.

    An exception to this was when Olive went to work in Germany. In Germany, Olive encountered the difficulty of trying to adhere to a strict personal code while also refraining from insulting a host's culture. Though she did not drink when she was in the U.S., Olive often found overseas that if she was offered a drink as part of the large family dinner experience, she could not turn it down without fear of causing insult. In this way, Olive learned to balance a need for temperance with the responsibility of respecting another culture.

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