1928 July 22

ACLU: Pennsylvania Leads Nation in Civil Liberties Violations

 

The 1928 ACLU Annual Report, released on this day, charged that Pennsylvania led all other states in civil liberties violations. Nationwide, the ACLU found some cause for optimism: the release of all but one WW I political prisoners; no new prosecutions for sedition or criminal syndicalism (except in Pennsylvania); the lowest number of incidents of mob violence and police interference with meetings; and the lowest number of teachers fired for their political views. Nonetheless, the report said that the “machinery of repression” remained “intact,” particularly in the coal fields of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio.

Learn more about the history of the ACLU: Samuel Walker, In Defense of American Liberties: A History of the ACLU (1990)

Learn more about civil liberties in the 1920s: Paul F. Murphy, The Meaning of Freedom of Speech: First Amendment Freedoms from Wilson to FDR (1972)

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