Margaret Sanger, "Censorship in St. Louis," 23 May 1916.
Source: " Mrs. Sanger Says She'll Speak; Not Dismayed by Halt, St. Louis Times, May 23, 1916."
After her speech scheduled for May 22 at the Victoria Theatre was cancelled, Sanger gave a press statement at the Hotel Jefferson in St. Louis.
Mrs. Margaret Sanger of New York, the militant advocate of birth control, who failed to deliver her scheduled lecture at the Victoria Theater Monday night, said Tuesday she would remain in St. Louis an extra day in order to lecture at a public hall. Heading a throng of 1200, she pounded vainly upon the outer doors for admission to the Victoria Monday night, but the house remained "dark." She attempted to speak from her automobile, but, on advice of the counsel, stopped when Sergt. Silverman gave her two minutes "to cease or submit to arrest."
At Hotel Jefferson Tuesday Mrs. Sanger said she would sue the management of the theater for $5000 and would remain in St. Louis another day in order to deliver her public lecture, which she declared would be given in some hall to be announced later. Mrs. Sanger spoke at noon at the City Club, and is scheduled to speak Tuesday evening at the Town Club.
Mrs. Sanger declared Tuesday the treatment accorded her Monday night "was simply outrageous."
"My acquittal in New York is proof that my lectures are within the law. My itinerary required that I leave St. Louis Tuesday night, but I will remain until Thursday to deliver the public lecture I came here to deliver. Discouraged? Not a bit! This objection to my talk by the narrow-minded has only aided our movement and heartened me."
Mrs. Sanger's "reception" at the Victoria Theater, when she arrived in an automobile accompanied by Miss Clara Taylor, a nurse, Dr. L.C. Caplan and Frank P. O'Hare, ranged from tumultuous approval to hisses and catcalls.
"Break in the door!" a man yelled loudly. Cheers followed.
Too many children go to war," shouted a woman. "Let us know the truth." Cheers and groans intermingled. Apparently the crowd was in a mood to storm the doors when Sergt. Silverman appeared. Mrs. Sanger stood on the seat of the automobile and began to talk. Sergt. Silverman gave his ultimatum of two minutes or jail. Mrs. Sanger began to talk. Sergt. Silverman took out his watch. Mrs. Sanger talked one minute and 59 seconds, and the lecture was over.
Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project