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THE UNIVERSITY "DRY ZONE" BILLS.
From the beginning of University development in California, the policy of the State has been to keep saloons from the vicinity of such institutions. Thus, for more than a quarter of a century, it has been unlawful to sell or give away intoxicants within a mile of the University of California,292
California's second great university, Stanford, opened its doors in 1891. The University "Dry Zone” law which gave protection to the State University, did not apply to Stanford. The saloon interests were quick to seize the opportunity. They opened saloons at Mayfield, on the edge of the Stanford campus. For years these Mayfield places were Stanford's bane and disgrace. Finally, after years of effort, the reputable people of
292 The beginning of “dry zone" legislation was statute passed in 1855, prohibiting the sale of liquor within two miles of the State Prison. In 1872 this was included in the Penal Code. In the session of 1875 and 1876 provisions were added to this section of the Code prohibiting the sale of liquor within one mile of the Insane Asylum at Napa, within one mile of the grounds belonging and adjacent to the University of California in Alameda County, or within the State Capitol, or within the limits of the grounds adjacent or belonging thereto. In 1905 this section was amended by putting the same “dry'' zone around "reformatories” as was then around State prisons, and also by putting a "dry" zone of a mile and a half around any home, retreat or asylum for disabled volunteer soldiers or sailors. At the same time the “dry" zone around the asylum at Napa was abolished. In 1907 the section was amended, reducing the “dry'' zone around reformatories from two miles to nineteen hundred feet, and around State prisons to one-half mile.
The attack upon the University “dry zone" came at the 1913 session.
Mayfield succeeded in electing town authorities who closed the places.
The saloon-keepers then moved to the other side of the campus, into Menlo, San Mateo county. The San Mateo county authorities refused to apply Mayfield's policy and close the groggeries. In Menlo these saloons continued as a menace to the University.
Matters came to a climax when a Stanford student, returning intoxicated from the Menlo dens to his room in Palo Alto, got into the house next to that in which he had his room, was mistaken for a burglar, and was shot to death.
It developed at the inquest that the youth had not been addicted to the drink habit, and so far as could be learned, his fatal trip to the Menlo groggeries had been his first. There were other painful circumstances connected with the affair. It is said that the dead lad's mother was working to keep her son in the University.
On the theory that the State owes it to youths away from home attending school—and to the parents of such youths—to guard them against the evils of the grog shop, the 1909 Legislature, in the face of machine opposition,293 extended the provisions of the University Dry Zone law to Stanford. But the mile-limit would not have taken in the Menlo groggeries. The limit for Stanford was accordingly made a mile-and-a-half.
There are now, in addition to Stanford, four universities in California—the University of Southern California, the University of Santa Clara, the University at
293 See Story of the California Legislature of 1909, page 224, and page v of the Appendix.
Redlands, and St. Ignatius University at San Francisco.
To meet the new situation, to extend the State's policy to all universities, Butler in the Senate and Ellis 294 in the Assembly introduced a measure to make the University Dry-Zone law general, that all the universities in California might have the benefit of its provisions. The bill as originally introduced, placed a mile-and-a-half dry zone around every university in the State.
After the measure had been introduced, a demand, which was given expression throughout the State, was made that State normal schools be included in its provisions. The argument was made, that normal school students, as in the case of university students, are without the influence of the home circle; that while the majority of normal school students are young women, and are not, therefore, brought into immediate contact with the saloon, nevertheless the low moral tone which saloons give a community does not make for the safety nor well-being of normal students.295
294 Senate Bill 672 and Assembly Bill 615. The measure prohibited the sale or gift of alcoholic liquors upon or within a mile and a half of the university grounds or campus, upon which are located the principal administrative offices of any university.
295 The following is one of the resolutions which were sent to members of the Legislature urging_that Normal Schools be included in the terms of the Butler-Ellis bill:
“Whereas, A State Normal School being located in our city, we have been led to observe that a large number of boys and girls leave their homes in other towns and come here for the purpose of acquiring an education; and
“Whereas, These young people are, for the most part, at the formative period of their lives; and
"Whereas, They are lacking the safeguard and protection of home influence and more susceptible to the temptations of life; therefore, be it
"Resolved, That we, the Women's Christian Temperance Union, of Chico, do endorse and urge an amendment which will include Normal Schools in the bill already framed which prohibits saloons within a mile and one-half of State universities. Signed
But the proponents of the measure were given little opportunity to consider plans for extending its provisions. The bill itself was attacked vigorously. There were two principal sources of opposition.
(1) From investors in the Hotel Claremont property near the State University campus.
(2) From approximately a dozen saloons situated within 300 feet of the University of Santa Clara.
And between the two, they were able to bring an army of opposition against such legislation, the opponents ranging from capitalist investors in hotel properties, and chambers of commerce, to labor unions and certain Progressive Republican leaders.
The interest of the Claremont hotel people was, that the Claremont is within the mile-dry-zone about the State University. They were endeavoring by indirection to have the Claremont exempted from the provisions of the dry-zone law. The Butler-Ellis bill brought the Claremont a half-mile further within the dry zone.
The Santa Clara saloons opposed the Butler-Ellis bill for the reason that its passage meant their closing. The influence of the liquor interests with leaders of the Santa Clara County labor unions is such that the Building Trades Council and the Central Labor Council of
by the Committee-Margaret M. March, president; Ella S. Hatch, Eva S. Kennedy."
The Chico Civic League delegated Mrs. Henry Compton to go to Sacramento in the interest of the Normal School amendment. Mrs. Compton's arguments in favor of the amendment have not been met. The result of her work was shown when the drawing of a measure to present the issues to the electors under the initiative was taken up. The sentiment was general that normal schools should be included with universities in its provisions. Such, too, was the sentiment of a large number of members of the Legislature. See footnote 309.
that county entered strong protest against the passage of the measure.
The protest was signed by W. G. Mathewson, as secretary, and F. J. Hepp, as recording secretary, of the two organizations respectively.
The Claremont Hotel people did more than oppose the Butler-Ellis bill. They brought about the introduction of a second measure, known as the Ferguson bill,297
296 The protest was as follows:
"San Jose, California, March 1, 1913.-Hon. Herbert Jones, San Jose Cal. Dear Sir: The undersigned labor organizations of Santa Clara County respectfully protest against the passage of Senate Bill No. 672, introduced by Senator Edwin M. Butler of Los Angeles, prohibiting saloons within a mile and one-half of certain schools.
“We base our protest first, upon the fact that prohibition does not prohibit as is conclusively proved by statistics from the Internal Revenue Department of the Federal Government showing a large increase in the per capita consumption of distilled and malt liquors in the period corresponding with the prohibition wave. The last report from the Commissioner of Internal Revenue shows an enormous increase in the per capita consumption from July 1st to February 1st last, and the increased revenue from this source shows more than $12,000,000.
“The second ground for our protest is the fact that all of Santa Clara County recently voted this issue as follows: Supervisorial Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4 voted June 7, 1912. Three of the four districts voted on April 26th and voted dry. The city of Santa Clara, which the bill above referred to would largely affect, voted under the Wyllie Local Option Law June 20th and voted wet by 160 majority. The city of San Jose also voted on May 20th, 1912, under the Wyllie Local Option Law and voted wet by a large majority. Therefore, every unit in the county and the incorporated towns named have passed upon this question by popular vote.
“The third ground for this protest is based upon the fact that the bill above referred to if enacted into law would deprive many workingmen of employment and force them and those dependent upon them into idleness and consequent suffering.
“In the name of those affected, therefore, we protest against the passage of this bill, and trust you will see your way toward voting against it.
"Building Trades Council of Santa Clara County, by W. G. Mathewson, Secretary.
“Central Labor Council of Santa Clara County, by F. J. Hepp, Rec. Secretary.”
297 Assembly Bill 1620, introduced by Ferguson, of Alameda County. So cleverly was this measure drawn, that it deceived even the publications devoted to the liquor trade. For example, the Wholesalers' and Retailers' Review in its issue for March, 1913, describes the Ferguson bill as "prohibiting the sale of intoxicants within three miles of the University Farm at Davis,