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Repression of Civil Liberties 1923 and 1934

October 6, 1936 Newspaper Clipping

- Young Communist Ordered to Jail -
- Musmanno Rules Riot Inciters
Must Serve Term -

     A youthful Communist leader, Carolyn Hart, today awaits removal to the Muncy, Pa., women's home as a result of the order of Judge M.A. Musmanno yesterday.

     When Miss Hart and two male defendants, all convicted in May, 1935, of inciting to riot at Fifth and Locust Sts., McKeesport, Sept. 1, 1934, appeared before him, Judge Musmanno cited the fact that superior Court had denied their appeal and directed the sentences begin.  Miss Hart is to serve 18 months to three years.

     Gus Safis, 45, was taken immediately to the County Workhouse to start serving three months, while George Alexander, 18, will be removed to Morganza.

     In the trial of the three before visiting Judge J. Frank Graff, Mayor George H. Lysle of McKeesport, told of refusing a permit for the meeting which led to the trio's arrest.  He informed the applicants they might meet at Water and Market Sts. instead.  Traffic Inspector Milton Rankin later told of having found Miss Hart self-chained to a telegraph pole shouting, "Down with Mayor Lysle's cossacks and the American Flag and up with the Soviet."

May 28, 1937 Newspaper Clipping

State 'Excuses' Miss Hart For
Chaining Self to Pole

     The long, drawn-out case of Carolyn Hart, the 4-year-old girl who wore a red dress and chained herself to a pole at a police-banned McKeesport Communist gathering had ended today.
     Miss Hart has received a pardon after serving seven months of an indefinite term in the Women's Industrial Home at Muncy.
     Culminating in a sentence, Jan. 9, 1936, by Judge J. Frank Graff in Criminal Court, the Hart case had been fought bitterly by the Pittsburgh Civil Liberties Union and other liberal groups.
     The charges grew out of a so-called riot at McKeesport, Sept. 1, 1934, at which time the Young Communist League insisted on holding a meeting which police had banned.
     The meeting was to be a protest against war and Fascism.  Miss Hart chained herself to a pole in the midst of a crowd of 5000 and began to speak.
     She had got no further than "Fellow workers," when police rushed in and dispersed the crowd with clubs and tear gas.
     In all, 25 persons were arrested, but not all were convicted when the trials were held.
     Attorney Benjamin Sigal of the Civil Liberties Union received a copy of the pardon granted Miss Hart today.  She received the news that she was free early this morning and made immediate plans to leave the institution.

January 28, 1941 Newspaper Clipping
The Pittsburgh Press

Chained-to-the-Pole Girl Loses Fight to Regain Job


Carolyn Hart Page