by Andrew P. Napolitano
On Feb. 7, 1946, Arthur Terminiello, a Roman Catholic priest who was a fierce opponent of communism and believed that President Harry Truman was too comfortable with it, gave an incendiary speech in a Chicago hall that his sponsors had rented.
The hall held about 800 people, but nearly 2,400 showed up. Father Terminiello’s opponents outnumbered his supporters by a 2-1 ratio. The atmosphere in the hall was electric, with almost everyone present taking sides for or against this priest — all under the watchful eyes of Chicago police.
The speech delighted the priest’s supporters and enraged his detractors. When it became apparent that violence might break out, the Chicago police approached Terminiello while he was speaking and asked him to stop and leave the building.