1954 October 26

Save the Children! Comic Book Code Adopted


The Comic Book Code adopted on this day paralleled the earlier motion picture code (June 13, 1934) and was intended to “clean up” comic books so that they would not cause young people to become juvenile delinquents.

The context of the code was a national panic over juvenile delinquency in the 1950s (which in many respects resembled the anti-communist hysteria of the Cold War). See, for example, the Senate hearings on the “dangers” of comic books on April 21, 1954.

Learn more about the national panic over comic books: David Hajdu, The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America (2008)

Read the 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 Defense Fund: http://cbldf.org/

On the continuing impulse to protect children: Marjorie Heins, Not in Front of the Children: ‘Indecency,’ Censorship, and the Innocence of Youth (2001)

Read: Fredrick S. Lane, Decency Wars: The Campaign to Cleanse American Culture (2006)

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