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The speaker is a 34-year-old White woman with a high school education from Zion; she was recorded in 1969.
14:38-14:54, 15:09-17:08


County: Lake
State: IL

Commentary:
Zion, on the shore of Lake Michigan midway between Chicago and Milwaukee, was a carefully planned community. John Alexander Dowie, a Scottish minister who wanted a city where people could worship, work, and play free from the temptations of the world and where the church would dominate every aspect of life, planned Zion and opened it to the public in 1901. Control by the church started changing in 1939, when private ownership of property was allowed; many of the blue laws held on until 1959. The following excerpt demonstrates the strength of the church influence that had existed earlier.
Inf: My dad was just telling me this the other day. Uh, my mother is, is dead right now, but uh, this was, she was pushing me in the buggy and this would be 1934 in the summer. . . . She was pushing the buggy, I was in the buggy, down the uh, down the street, and a policeman came along and uhm, said uh, gave her a ticket for indecent exposure. And, and all she had on was this, it was summer, in the middle of summer, like in August, and she had on a sleeveless dress with just oh, a plain V-neck, neckline, you know. And he said, "You don't have any sleeves in your dress and you have on uh, a long neck," he says. "All that neck exposed," he says. And he just really had a fit and he gave her this ticket. And Nelly, was she mad! She says, "Boy-oh-boy," she says, "that's something else." So, well, she marched up to the police station with me in the buggy there an', and she went in there and she said, "How do I get a ticket?" she says, "for this dress?" she said. "It's just a summer dress. Just sleeveless and this little V-neck," she says. "I will not have it," she says. "D-eh, I can't understand it," she said. "I just bought this in the Leader Department Store. Just two days ago." And she said, "If I can't wear it, how can I buy it in this city?" She said, "I bought it here. How come I can't wear it?" And they, "Oh, oh, well"--

FW: The store was owned by the, the church.

Inf: Oh yes. Yes, well, it's, th-the store was, but I imagine it's leased by a man, you see. I mean, you know, by a Zionite. And uh, uh, she says, "I bought it here and I can wear it." And he, they said, "Oh, well, well, we're, we're sorry," they said. "And, and, well, a-alrigh-" And they just stumbled around, and then th-they, they finally tore up her ticket, she says, but uh, that's, that's how silly they were.

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