Feb 11, 2012

Emma Goldman

(LoC) Emma Goldman, American anarchist and feminist, compelling advocate of free speech, the eight-hour work day, and birth control, was arrested in New York City on February 11, 1916, just prior to giving another public lecture on family planning. She was charged with violating the Comstock Act, an 1873 statute banning transportation of "obscene" matter through the mails or across state lines. At the time, federal courts interpreted the statute as prohibiting distribution of contraception information.
Goldman was born on June 27, 1869, in Kovno, a Russian city now part of Lithuania.Like most poor Russian Jews, Goldman's family suffered under the political oppression and anti-Semitism of imperial Russia. She fled Russia with her sister Helena in 1885, settled in Rochester, New York, and was briefly married to a fellow Russian immigrant. Goldman worked in a garment factory, and disillusioned with working conditions there, she joined the labor movement. Continued