TIL “yelling FIRE in a crowded theater” was coined in 1919 to imprison anti-war activists who published leaflets opposing the Draft, which constituted a “clear and present danger” under the Espionage Act.

Read more: http://landmarkcases.c-span.org/Case/5/Schenck-v-United-States

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  1. Well, that, and the fact that people used to actively do that and innocent people died for it, all before it was apparently “coined” in 1919.

    At the Royal Surrey Gardens Music Hall, Newington, London on October 19, 1856. Someone shouted “Fire!” at the first religious service of the famous Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon and a panic to escape ensued. Seven were killed in the crush and many injured.

    At Mount Morris Theater, Harlem, New York City in September 1884. During the fire scene of ‘Storm Beaten’, someone in the gallery shouted “Fire!” three times. The performance continued and a Roundsman and a Policeman arrested a young man.[10]

    In the Shiloh Baptist Church stampede, Birmingham, Alabama on September 19, 1902. Over 100 people died when someone in the choir yelled, “There’s a fight!”. “Fight” was misheard as “fire” in a crowded church of approximately 3000 people, causing a panic and stampede. [11]

    In the Italian Hall disaster, Calumet, Michigan on December 24, 1913. Seventy-three men, women, and children, mostly striking mine workers and their families, were crushed to death in a stampede when someone falsely shouted “Fire!” at a crowded Christmas party.[12]

  2. I still want to know if there’s more to this than what is being told. But at the same time, I know segregation existed under this system. And continued to exist another 5 decades or so.

    So idk what to feel.

    Either ways. I still think there’s more to this than what this post or link is making it out to be.

    Were the unsegreagated folks at that time so comfortable that they felt the supreme Court can make anything they want?

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