Sullivan Ordinance

po_Sullivan-Ordinance1The Sullivan Ordinance was a municipal law passed on January 21, 1908, in New York City by the board of aldermen, barring the management of a public place from allowing women to smoke within their venue.

The ordinance did not barred women from smoking in general nor did the ordinance barred women from smoking in public, only public places. Right after the ordinance was enacted, on January 22, Katie Mulcahey, the only person cited for breaking this ordinance, was fined $5 for smoking in public and arrested for refusing to pay the fine; however, the ordinance itself does not mention fines nor does it ban women from smoking in public. She was released the next day. The Mayor at the time, George Brinton McClellan, Jr., vetoed the ordinance two weeks later.