The Scottsboro Boys are arrested, John and Yoko take to bed, a New York City nightclub fire kills 87, and mad cow disease halts British beef exports, all on this day.
1957: U.S. Customs officials seize 520 copies of Allen Ginsberg's poem "Howl" being imported from London on the grounds of obscenity. In an unrelated case later in the year, a California judge would dismiss a pornography charge brought against Ginsberg's publisher, declaring the poem "Howl," which contains many references to illicit drugs and sexual practices, is not obscene because it carries "redeeming social importance," thus setting an important legal precedent regarding First Amendment issues.
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