University of Delaware Archives and Records Management
Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, temperance movements attracted much political attention. Delaware College students attended lectures on the perils of alcohol and participated in oratorical contests like those featured here. Local option – the freedom of local governments to decide certain issues under their jurisdiction by popular vote – was a method used by temperance organizations to bring about a gradual prohibition of alcohol. Several speeches at the 1910 and 1911 contests dealt with local option in Delaware.