1949 March 10

New York Comics Censorship Bill Denounced


Morris Ernst, ACLU General Counsel and arguably the most famous anti-censorship lawyer in the country, denounced a pending New York State bill that would censor comics. Ernst called the bill “a direct threat to the freedom of the press and by the press we mean the daily press,” warning that “every daily newspaper could be brought under it.” The bill had just passed the state Senate and was still pending the state Assembly.

On the hysteria over comic books and resulting efforts to censor them in the 1950s, see the U.S. Senate investigation on April 21, 1954, and the adoption of an industry self-censorship code on October 26, 1954.

Learn more: David Hajdu, The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America (2008)

Read the 1954 Comic Book Code: http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6543/

Read: Matthew Pustz, ed., Comic Books and American Cultural History: An Anthology (2012)

Learn more at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund: http://cbldf.org/

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