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“The Barbary Coast Must Go!”

The ukase has been promulgated, the edict has been mailed to the palace gate, and it’s all over but the shouting. Our Barbary Coast must go. It is to be eliminated, razed, exterminated, made to vanish from the face of San Francisco. And who is the Hercules to clean out Augean Stable? Who but the all-potent editor who sits in the sanctum sanctorum of “The California Voice” in Los Angeles! Like the prophet Jonas giving warning to Nineveh, this interesting individual has issued his ultimatum and blazoned it to the awe-struck world in marked copies of his paper. I had never heard of “The California Voice” until I received the marked copy in which the doom of the Barbary Coast is registered. I glanced through its columns with interest. There was little to hold my eye except the announcement on the first page, carefully scored with the editorial blue pencil lest it escape notice, that “a new State-wide crusade” had been started against the Barbary Coast. “The Prohibition newspaper that does things,” says the modest editor, “is going to war to clean away that vice-breeding, disease-spreading sink of infamy known as the Barbary Coast, which is, more particularly, that section of California given over to government-fostered vice in San Francisco.” And in the next breath the editor calls for subscriptions for the crusade, thus showing that he is a thrifty editor with an eye to the main chance.

The Spectator
Town Talk The Pacific Weekly
April 13, 1912