Our History: Rotary brings Pussyfoot Johnson

William E. “Pussyfoot” Johnson, America’s foremost temperance reformer.

By Kathy King Johnson

“Pussyfoot Johnson will be in Cheboygan on the evening of Feb. 11 at the Opera House and everyone in the city and vicinity is urged to come out and hear this world famous man. There is no admission, and the talk starts at 7:30 sharp.

There is hardly a reader of the papers in the county but has read of Pussyfoot Johnson and his wonderful activities both in this country and in England … a character who is known from one end of the world to the other — celebrated journalist, detective, globe trotter and world-renowned reformer.”

In 1925, Cheboygan was in the middle of Prohibition. The 18th Amendment, prohibiting the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors” was ratified in 1919. The country was divided between wets and dries. Anti-alcohol reformers or temperance workers like Pussyfoot Johnson fought to keep America dry.

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