January 22, 1908

On January 22, 1908, Katie Mulcahey was arrested for smoking in public in New York City, becoming the first victim of the 1-day old “Sullivan Ordinance” which banned women from smoking in public. She was fined $5 dollars. When she refused to pay the fine, she was brought before a judge. She told him, “I’ve got as much right to smoke as you have. I never heard of this new law, and I don’t want to hear about it. No man shall dictate to me.” That was punk before punk was even punk. Mayor George B. McClellan vetoed the ordinance two weeks later.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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