Saturday, September 23, 2006

Beware the Obituarist

This modest proposal made the rounds in the winter of 1874:

The LaGrange Reporter desires to call the attention of the press of Georgia to the following matter: Within the last three months two or three well-known men in Georgia have been announced dead, and the newspapers have written eloquent obituaries over them. But these men, with a perversity as provoking as it is inexplicable, still live. Now, when a newspaper in good standing makes the solemn assertion that any man is dead, that man should die. For him to live, is a dangerous infringement on the liberty of the press. We hope the Press Association will petition the Legislature to pass a law that a man announced dead by the press must die. [The Stevens Point (Wis.) Journal of Jan. 17, 1874]

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