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December 12, 2018
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Archives Building
17 W Quartz St
Butte, MT 59701
Canning in 1914
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Brown Bag Lunch with Doug Ammons about the 1918 Espionage Act

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives will continue its Brown Bag Lunch series on Wednesday, December 12, with a presentation by Doug Ammons entitled “Four Counts of Espionage Versus the ‘Big Butte Attorney:’ Matt Canning and the Battle for Freedom of Speech.” Ammons’ talk will tell the story of Irish immigrant Matt Canning. Trained as a Catholic priest, he worked as a miner, and then rose to prominence as a lawyer in Butte from 1904 to 1926. In 1914, he was elected as Silver Bow County Attorney just as tensions between the Miners’ unions and the Anaconda Company were intensifying. Attacks on political dissidents escalated during World War I. An advocate for the freedom of speech, he won a key case in 1918 that demolished the use of the Espionage Act to criminalize criticism of the government during wartime.