Crime History: Emma Goldman arrested for passing pamphlets on birth control

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Local,Crime,Scott McCabe,Crime History

On this day, Feb. 11, in 1916, political activist Emma Goldman was arrested in New York City for lecturing and distributing materials about birth control.

Goldman, a Russian immigrant who played a key role in the anarchist movement, was charged with violating the Comstock Act, an 1873 statute banning the transportation of obscene material across state lines.

Goldman spent 15 days in jail. Goldman's birth control arrest was one of her last run-ins with the law in New York City.

She was arrested again in 1917 for speaking out against the draft and spent two years in prison. Her release in December 1919 came during a Red Scare -- a period of fear of the rise of communism or radical leftism. Goldman was arrested under orders of a young J. Edgar Hoover and was one of hundreds of leftists deported to Russia. - Scott McCabe

- Scott McCabe

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