Americana: Abnormal Normal

Normal, Ill. (pop. 33,300), is generally a pretty peaceful and well-run place. These days, however, civic affairs are, well, abnormal. The 27 members of the local fire department went on strike last month, and Circuit Judge William Caisley ordered them to go back to work on the grounds that their strike constituted "an immediate impediment and detriment to the health, safety and welfare of the people of Normal." The firemen adamantly refused. The determined judge thereupon began handing out jail sentences for contempt of court to 22 of them. Only the four members of the firemen's negotiating committee are actually...

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