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‘Smut?’ Isn’t that Tums spelled backward? It meant something else in 1950s Nashua

By Dean Shalhoup - Senior Staff Writer | Feb 13, 2021
Dean Shalhoup
In late December 1955, then-Nashua police chief Joseph Regan posed for a Telegraph photo with comic books seized from the home of a Manchester man convicted of killing a child. Such "controversial" comic books, and other "obscene" reading materials called "smut," became the targets of a statewide law enforcement campaign to ban them from the public.
A November 1953 Telegraph announces an initiative aimed at banning the sale, and presumably, the possession, of comic books and magazines whose contents were deemed indecent or inappropriate by members of a committee formed to make such decisions. The campaign, headed by then-Nashua police chief Joseph Regan, was part of a larger movement in the early- to mid-1950s.

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