1943 September 29

Six Conscientious Objectors Begin Hunger Strike in Lewisburg Penitentiary over Censorship of Reading Materials

 

Six conscientious objectors, in prison for refusing to cooperate with the draft during WW II, began a hunger strike on this day to protest the censorship of mail and reading material in prison. The strike ended in December 1943. James V. Bennett, head of the federal Bureau of Prisons, ended the censorship but retained the right to open and read mail for security purposes. One participant in the hunger strike, David Dellinger, in the 1960s became a leader in the anti-Vietnam War movement.

A separate hunger strike by conscientious objectors during World War II challenged racial segregation in the federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut. That hunger strike began on August 11, 1943, and ended with the elimination of segregation in the prison on December 23, 1943.

Learn more: Cynthia Eller, Conscientious Objectors and the Second World War: Moral and Religious Arguments in Support of Pacifism (1991)

Read: David Dellinger, From Yale to Jail: the Life and Times of a Moral Dissenter (1993)

Watch an interview with Dellinger about his career as an activist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCmQseL5a9c

Learn about the rights of COs today at the GI Rights Hotline here.

Find a Day

Go
Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps

Topics

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!