Official Blog of Author MICHAEL THOMAS BARRY.
A blog which discusses varied topics that are related to the authors many books. Michael is a columnist for CrimeMagazine.com and a reviewer for The New York Journal of Books.
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Emma Goldman was Arrested for Advocating Birth Control - 1916
On February 11, 1916, Emma Goldman, a crusader for
women's rights and social justice, is arrested in New York City for lecturing
and distributing materials about birth control. She was accused of violating
the Comstock Act of 1873, which made it a federal offense to distribute
contraceptive devices and information through the mail or across state lines.
In addition to advocating for women's reproductive rights, Goldman, who was
later convicted and spent time in jail, was a champion of numerous
controversial causes and ideas, including anarchism, free speech and atheism.
Nicknamed "Red Emma," was arrested multiple times for her activist
Goldman was born into a poor Jewish family in Russia in
1869. She fled her homeland as a teenager in 1885 and ended up in Rochester, New
York. There she was employed at a factory and became involved in the labor
movement, protesting poor working conditions and advocating for unions and an
eight-hour workday. She was influenced by the Haymarket Riot in Chicago in
1886, in which a rally organized by anarchist workers turned into a violent
confrontation with police. Goldman later relocated to New York City, where she
joined the anarchist movement and was romantically linked to anarchist and
fellow Russian Alexander Berkman. In 1892, he attempted to kill Henry Clay
Frick, the owner of Carnegie Steel, following a strike in Homestead, Pennsylvania.
Goldman, who was believed to have known about the plan, was released due to a
lack of evidence.
In New York, Goldman spent time working as a nurse and
midwife among the poor. Her experiences convinced her that birth control was
essential to women improving their lives and achieving economic and sexual
equality. Goldman, a skilled writer, editor and orator, spoke publicly about
contraception and was a mentor to Margaret Sanger, who founded the organization
that would become Planned Parenthood. In addition to advocating for women's
reproductive rights, Goldman was an anti-war crusader. In 1917, she was
arrested, along with Berkman, for protesting America's involvement in World War
I and the draft. Both spent two years in prison and were then deported back to
Russia. Goldman lived the rest of her life in Russia, Europe and Canada, and
died in Toronto in 1940 at age 70. She was buried at the German Waldheim
Cemetery, near Chicago, the burial place of the Haymarket anarchists and other
Michael Thomas Barry is a columnist for www.CrimeMagazine.com and is the
author of numerous books that include Murder and Mayhem 52 Crimes that
Shocked Early California, 1849-1949. The book can be purchased at Amazon
through the following link: