Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Casper Weekly Press for December 1, 1916: White Slavery and Boom on in Casper

While the Cheyenne papers warned of bodies burning in the streets of Chihuahua and Villa advancing to the border, as well as the ongoing horrors of World War One, the Casper Weekly Press hit the stands with tales of white slavery.

White slavery, for those who might not know (we don't hear the term much anymore) was basically the kidnapping of young women and forcing them into prostitution.

Headlines like this are easy to discount, and seem lurid, fanciful, and sensationalist, but in reality they give us a view into the hard nature of the past we'd sometimes completely forget.  White Slavery, i.e., the kidnapping of women and the forcing them into prostitution, was actually a bonafide problem, and to some extent, it remains one.

I've spoken to one now deceased woman who escaped an attempt to kidnap her on a large East Coast city when she was a teen and who was convinced that she was almost a victim of such an effort.  And it wasn't all that long ago that it was revealed there was an Hispanic white slavery ring in Jackson Wyoming, where very young Mexican teenage girls were being brought up to that Wyoming resort town as prostitutes, working in an underground economy there focused on single Mexican laborers.  That one was discovered, oddly enough, through the schools.  Still, the evil practice, fueled by money and drugs, is with us still, although with advances in technology, and just more knowledge on such things, it wasn't what it once was, thankfully.

We don't want to romanticize the past here, so we've run this, although with all the news on bodies burning in the streets, etc, we probably can't be accused of romanticism anyhow.

Meanwhile an oil boom was on in Casper causing housing shortages.

Page two of the Casper Weekly informed us that a Ford had become a necessity.  If it wasn't quite true at the time, it soon would be.

The Wyoming, a store apparently took a shot at Prohibitionist by advertising that they had "everything a Prohibitionist likes."

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