U.S. temperance-movement organization. Founded in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1874, it used educational, social, and political means to promote legislation. Its president (1879–98) was Frances Willard (1839–1898), an effective speaker and lobbyist who also led the World's Woman's Christian Temperance Union from its founding in 1883. The WCTU was instrumental in promoting nationwide temperance and in the eventual adoption of Prohibition.
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