1928 ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN PARODY POEM OF ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,’ POKING GENTLE FUN AT PROHIBITION AND THE CULTURE OF THE ROARING TWENTIES WHILE STILL BEING QUITE WHOLESOME AT HEART

By: [to MARJORIE ELMS]

Price: $885.99

Quantity: 1 available


On offer is a cute and funny little piece of writing from the Prohibition Era in American History. The document in question is from 1928 and is a two page poem, a play on “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” more commonly known by it’s first line, “Twas the Night before Christmas.” This poem begins, the same way, with that line known by so many, but it quickly goes off the normal script. “‘Twas the nite before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, the whale works were saused. The stockings were placed on the mantel with care; a couple of flappers did that on a dare.” The poem alludes to a night of drunken debauchery. “‘Twas a great party - from the very beginning; did I say ‘beginning?’ - Well, I meant ‘be-gin-ing.” The party is soon interrupted by a “some blooming idiot” who lets the “coppers all in.” “I ran to the window and let up the sash - and everyone there did a hundred yard dash!” The cops come in and arrest everyone to which they are taken to jail and ordered to pay fined a bit of money. “We all paid our fines, then sprang to our sleds; Oh, dear, what a hangover, felt like I was dead. I got home that morning- the house was a sight; said ‘Merry Christmas’ to all - and to all ‘A goodnite.’” The poem ends with its attribution: “From ‘Views on Reviews’ by L. Basil Abrams.” On the backside of one of the pages, there is a United States Post Office receipt, dated March 30th, 1928 and received by “Marjorie D. Elms.” The poem was sent by what appears to be the name “J. J. Radley.” Marjorie’s name is repeated above on some cardstock pasted onto the letter. The poem is a cutesy relic of the time, poking fun at Prohibition and the lax enforcement of its rules, as well as the ‘flappers’ who were at their height of style and influence in the ‘Roaring Twenties’. Prohibition lasted from 1920 to 1933 and One of the main reasons why Prohibition did not proceed smoothly was the inefficient means of enforcing it. This letter is a cute reminder of just how badly Prohibition proceeded. It was easy enough to obtain alcohol and all that happened if one was caught was a paltry fine. The letter is in good condition, showing some age-toning, especially at the creases and a small tear in the middle of the second page. The handwriting, in black ink, is still very legible and easy to read, and shows only minimal signs of fading or smudging. The handwriting on the U.S. Postal Service receipt however, is significantly more difficult to make out, in hurried pencil handwriting. (Background: The ratification of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution–which banned the manufacture, transportation and sale of intoxicating liquors–ushered in a period in American history known as Prohibition. The result of a widespread temperance movement during the first decade of the 20th century, Prohibition was difficult to enforce, despite the passage of companion legislation known as the Volstead Act. The increase of the illegal production and sale of liquor (known as “bootlegging”), the proliferation of speakeasies (illegal drinking spots) and the accompanying rise in gang violence and other crimes led to waning support for Prohibition by the end of the 1920s. In early 1933, Congress adopted a resolution proposing a 21st Amendment to the Constitution that would repeal the 18th. It was ratified by the end of that year, bringing the Prohibition era to a close.) OVERALL: VG

Title: 1928 ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN PARODY POEM OF ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,’ POKING GENTLE FUN AT PROHIBITION AND THE CULTURE OF THE ROARING TWENTIES WHILE STILL BEING QUITE WHOLESOME AT HEART

Author Name: [to MARJORIE ELMS]

Categories: 20th Century Manuscript, Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 20th Century Ephemera,

Publisher: 1928

Book Condition: Very Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall

Seller ID: 0009154

Keywords: KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS, PARODY, PROHIBITION ERA, EIGHTEENTH AMENDMENT, AMERICA AS A DRY COUNTRY, ILLEGAL CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL, LAX ENFORCEMENT OF PROHIBITION, FLAPPER, ROARING TWENTIES, 20TH CENTURY AMERICAN HUMOR, VIEWS ON REVIEWS, L. BASIL ABRAMS, AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, KEEPSAKE WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ARCHIVE, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNAL, LOG, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D’ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL