Monday, September 21, 2009

Approved Reading for the Young

On 11 April 1949 the Madison City Wisconsin PTA and the American Association of University Women (AAUW) joined arms to eliminate objectionable comic books from the newsstands.

“There are at present more than 450 different comic book magazines published with a circulation of 15,000,000 books a week, sixty percent of which are purchased by adults, and forty per cent by children. Half of the books published deal with crime, murder, detailed descriptions of all kinds of tortures, felonies, sadisms, attempted rape, and every imaginable kind of violence. By picturing good parents in an unwholesome manner and law and order something to be sneered at, some of these books appear to be an insidious attempt to undermine the American family.”

A letter was sent to 400 city officials, school principals, presidents of men and women’s youth organizations, social agencies, PTA presidents and operators of newsstands in drug stores, bus stations, grocery stores and railroad terminals with an approved list of comics considered acceptable to young minds.

Below are two approved reading lists. The first was from 1949 and the second, much longer list was from 1951.

Above: 4 Most, Vol 4 No 2, Jim Wilcox art

*Walter Lantz original courtesy Don Kurtz

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