William Jennings Bryan

metallic pin shaped like a winged bug.

The presidential campaign of 1896 was one of the most impassioned in US history. Democratic nominee William Jennings Bryan, age 36, was revered as a godly hero and denounced as a dangerous radical. At issue were matters of silver and gold.

Prohibition was the law of the land by 1920, but the Prohibition Party was still uneasy. As the presidential campaign season got underway, they feared that neither a Republican nor a Democratic president could be trusted to vigorously enforce the new law. Already there were proposals to weaken prohibition by modifying the law to allow the manufacture of light wines and beer.

John Lewis Teeters was born at Iowa City, Iowa, the son of Albert and Ellen Baker Wood Teeters. In 1886 he graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelors degree. From 1886-1887 Teeters worked for a wholesale jewelry firm in Des Moines, Iowa, and then moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, where he began the study of law. In 1891 Teeters was admitted to the Nebraska Bar and practiced law for several years until he again entered the jewelry business.

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