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1946 Fifty Years Ago
When Shirley Temple Didn’t Order One
September 1996 | Volume 47, Issue 5
The September 16 issue of Life magazine revealed that the former child star Shirley Temple, now a budding young woman of eighteen, would be seen drinking hard liquor in her forthcoming movie The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer . The “aquabibulous Mrs. D. Leigh Colvin,” president of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, predictably condemned the news, but Life explained that Temple’s screen character would take a sip only to appear sophisticated and would instantly spit it out (understandably so; her cocktail of choice was Scotch-andbourbon). The article was accompanied with a photo showing the only other known instance of the perpetually innocent Temple imbibing: her wedding the previous year, which she toasted with champagne.
A week later, with a cold war under way, Europe in turmoil, labor unrest at a peak, and a red-hot congressional election brewing, Life continued its hard-hitting reportage with a cover story about a dog that liked to play with a cat.