“I always thought a shipwreck was a well-organized affair,
but I’ve learned the devil a lot in the last five minutes.”
Erik Larson, Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
I think most of us know that it is unlawful to yell “FIRE” in a crowded
public venue when there is actually no fire.
The original use of the phrase “shouting fire in a crowded theater” actually
dates back to a Supreme Court case from 1919.
It was a case that dealt with the distribution of anti-war pamphlets and whether such
an act was a violation of the original Espionage and Sedition Acts of 1917 / 1918—
and was such an act in opposition, as well as a violation, of free speech or was it considered ‘a clear and present danger.’
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