December 28, 2010
A blindingly obvious resonance I'm unlikely to be the first person to have spotted:
As it was announced ... at a "fathers' night" meeting on the Rumson High School PTA, the event was to involve a two-day drive to collect comic books "portraying murderers and criminals"... A group of forty Cubs would tour the borough in a fire truck, "with siren screaming, and collect objectional books at homes along the way." Then the mayor would lead the boys in a procession ... to Rumson's Victory Park, where [he] would present awards to the scouts and lead them in burning the comic books. The Cub who had gathered the most comics would have the honour of applying the torch to the books. When the national office of the Cub Scouts of America declined to support the bonfire, ... the Rumson event was revised to conclude with the scouts donating the comics to the Salvation Army for scraps.From The Ten Cent Plague by David Hadju, citing various news stories from January 1949. Bradbury's famous book, in a shorter version then titled "The Firemen", was first published in Galaxy in 1951.
(A coda from two pages later in Mr Hadju's book, in reference to another youth-led comics-burning protest:
As the students collected comics for the bonfire, some of the boys kept them categorised by genre... Crime comics went in one box, superhero titles in another, and jungle books, with their covers of heroines swinging from vines in leopard skin bikinis, went in a pile that several of the young crusaders hid under a step in the boys' lavatory.)