Pittsburgh labor activist Steve Nelson (left), talking to his attorney Emanuel H. Block, before testifying before the House Un-American Activities Subcommittee, Washington, D.C., September 14, 1948.
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Steve Nelson (left), of Pittsburgh, the reputed head of the Communist Party of Western Pennsylvania, confers with his attorney Emanuel H. Block

Credit: ┬ęCORBIS/Bettmann) Donated by Corbis-Bettmann

A labor activist and leader of the Communist Party in western Pennsylvania, Steve Nelson drew the ire of Pennsylvania judge Michael Musmanno, a fierce anti-Communist. Nelson was sentenced to 20 years in jail after his conviction in 1950 under a Pennsylvania sedition law. In 1956, the United States Supreme Court overturned Nelson's conviction and invalidated all state sedition laws.

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