A Prohibited Protest - September 1,
21 Communists Found Guilty in Tube
Girl Who Chained Self to Pole Tells Story of Radical Meeting
Lysle Ban Defied
18-Year-Old High School Student and Mother Among Defendants
Two women and 19 men Communists
accused of rioting in McKeesport last Sept. 1, were found guilty today
in Criminal Court in a verdict reached by a jury late last night.
As the verdict was presented to Judge J. Frank
Graff, more than 50 deputy sheriffs and county detectives were spread in
a cordon about the defendants to halt any possible demonstration.
Judge Graff fixed the prisoner's bonds at
$1,000 each, pending their motion for a new trial, but delayed the time
when the bail could be posted for an hour and a half so that the 21
could be fingerprinted.
Girl Among Group
Four of the defendants were
found guilty of inciting to riot, as well as riot.
They were Carolyn
Hart, 22, of 130 De Sota St., Oakland; George Alexander, 18,
McKeesport High School student; Mrs Mary Alexander, his mother, and Gus
The Hart girl and young Alexander chained
themselves to poles at Locust St. and Fifth Ave., in the heart of
McKeesport, to speak at an International Youth Day meeting which had
been banned by Mayor George H. Lysle.
Tear Gas Thrown
When they started their talks
the police laid down a tear gas barrage to disperse 2,000 persons and
arrested the 21 Communists.
Others who were found guilty were:
Pete Gallo, Charles Theis, Samuel Unchodick,
Ted Cole, Jeff Washington, Pete Pejavic, Joe Maravich, Leroy Townsend,
Mike Bartko, Stenko Skrenjaral, Mike Suterick, Gus Safis, Frank Folin__,
Stanley Lendanski, Albert Asbury, Louis Sellers, Louie Torrell and Dick
April 26, 1935 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."
October 6, 1936 Newspaper Clipping
State 'Excuses' Miss Hart For
Chaining Self to Pole
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
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
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.
Attq. 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.
May 28, 1937 Newspaper Clipping
Chained-to-the-Pole Girl Loses Fight
to Regain Job
January 28, 1941 Newspaper Clipping - The Pittsburgh Press