The Atlantic City Women's Temperance League (ACWTL) is a female organization in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the local branch of the Women's Temperance League, a nationwide movement that supports Prohibition. The ACWTL is led by a widow, Mrs. McGarry, and meets regularly in the Collier Hall to denounce the compsumption of alcohol and the problems derived from it in the city and across the nation.
- Main article: Boardwalk Empire
Mrs. McGarry reads a poem she has written about the evils of liquor to the members of the Atlantic City Women’s Temperance League, called Owed to Liquor, in the night of January 16 1920. She reminds the audience that Prohibition begins the next day and introduces their guest speaker – Atlantic County Treasurer Enoch “Nucky” Thompson. Thompson thanks McGarry for the poem and asks if she would send him a copy. He then tells the audience the tale of a family driven to desperation in the winter of 1888 by the father's drinking. He describes the family's young son searching for food and resorting to killing wharf rats. He ends the story with the reveal that he was the young boy drawing cries of sympathy from his audience, which includes Margaret Schroeder. Nucky's driver, Jimmy Darmody, watches from outside the room and, as Nucky heralds the arrival of the woman’s right to vote, whispers to Nucky. Nucky ends by saying that good women like those in the league are responsible for the success of men like him before excusing himself and leaving. Outside, Jimmy expresses his disbelief and Nucky replies that the first rule of politics is never letting the truth in the way of a good story.
Nights in Ballygran
- Main article: Nights in Ballygran
Mrs. McGarry hosts a reduced meeting of the Women’s Temperance League the day before Saint Patrick's. As Margaret enters McGarry notes her late arrival and recent absences. Margaret explains to fellow member Bridget Walsh that she has been working while a neighbour cares for her children. McGarry introduces Bettyanne Mulhaney who describes receiving a letter from a cousin in Nebraska whose neighbour, a poor widow, attempted to mix gin in her bathtub for sale. While she was not looking her child climbed in and was poisoned to death by the mixture. Irene Davis comments the prevalence of stills in town and notes that Ettinger’s is a speakeasy posing as a cafe. Walsh agrees that there are other places too and Mulhaney mentions Abe Klein’s bar. Mrs. McGarry elucidates a lack of interest or ability from local government and suggests that with their membership dwindling they need to increase their efforts. Davis notes the easy availability of prescriptions for medicinal whiskey and Walsh agrees that you need not even be ill. McGarry calls for action and Davis suggests a rally. Mrs. McGarry believes this is worthwhile but it would be better target the alcohol at its source. Margaret reveals that she observed Jim Neary's men unloading barrels at the garage behind her house that morning, although she omits to cite him by name. Margaret suggests asking Mr. Thompson for help. Davis is disparaging of the idea, thinking she means Eli. Margaret clarifies that she means Nucky and calls him a friend, eliciting a murmur of appreciation from the others. Margaret clarifies that Nucky has been of great assistance since the death of her husband. McGarry tasks Margaret with arranging a meeting.
The two meet with Nucky in his office at the Ritz Carlton and he promises to take action but none comes from it. Margaret responds by denouncing Neary to Prohibition Agent Nelson Van Alden, who raids the annual Saint Patrick dinner of the Order of Ancient Celts to arrest Neary and orders the attendants to disperse. Outside, the press and the Temperance League wait for the diners. The women sing a song in support of Prohibition and attempt to shame the Celts as they exit. Nucky is one of those seen leaving the dinner.
- Mrs. McGarry - leader
- Margaret Schroeder
- Bridget Walsh
- Bettyanne Mulhaney
- Irene Davis
- Temperance Singer 1
- Temperance Singer 2
- Temperance Singer 3
- Temperance Singer 4
- Temperance Singer 5
|Season one appearances|
|Boardwalk Empire||The Ivory Tower||Broadway Limited||Anastasia|
|Nights in Ballygran||Family Limitation||Home||Hold Me in Paradise|
|Belle Femme||The Emerald City||Paris Green||A Return to Normalcy|