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Possibly September 5, 1877.

No one seems to know the answer to this question; Charles Schenck's birth and death dates are listed as question marks in the few publications that mention any personal information.

Charles Schenck (some sources list the middle initial as T; others as J) was an official of the Socialist Party in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, when he was arrested for distributing anti-war literature in 1917. The National Civil Liberties Bureau (NCLB), a precursor to the ACLU, advanced Schenck v. US as a test case challenging the constitutionality of the Espionage Act of 1917, under which Schenck and his alleged co-conspirator, Dr. Elizabeth Baer, were charged.

The US Census Bureau lists only one Charles Schenck in the Philadelphia area in the 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 census records, Charles T. Schenck, whose birth year was estimated as 1878. According to census records, he married a woman named Margaret or Margeret sometime between the 1920 and 1930 count. Margaret's year of birth was estimated as 1889.

1920 Census (also 1900, 1910 census)

Charles T. Schenck b. about 1878

Spouse: None listed

Philadelphia, PA

1930 Census

Charles T. Schenck b. about 1878

Spouse: Margeret b. about 1889

Philadelphia, PA

The Social Security Death Index indicates a Charles Schenck (no middle initial), whose birth date was September 5, 1877, died in Trenton, NJ, in February 1964. A woman named Margaret Schenck, born March 3, 1888, died in Trenton in 1967.

The close proximity of Trenton to Philadelphia (about 33 miles), similar names and birth dates suggest September 5, 1877 may be the correct date.

For more information, see Related Questions, below.

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Q: When was Charles Schenck from Schenck v US born?
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Continue Learning about American Government

Who was the plaintiff in Schenck v. US?

Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919)The plaintiff was Charles T. Schenck, General Secretary of the Socialist Party, who was convicted under the Espionage Act of 1917 of attempting to interfere with the operation of the United States Armed Forces, and who appealed his conviction to the US Supreme Court.For more information, see Related Questions, below.


What did The Supreme Court decision in Schenck v the US most affect?

Freedom of speech


What War was being waged at the time Schenck was arrested?

Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919)Schenck involved a protest of the draft during World War I, fought between 1914 and 1918. Charles T. Schenck was arrested in 1917 and charged under the Espionage Act of 1917, but his case didn't reach the US Supreme Court until 1919, at the conclusion of the War.For more information, see Related Questions, below.


Was Charles Schenck sent to prison after the Supreme Court ruling?

United States v. Schenck et al., 253 F. 212 (E. D. Pa. 1918)Yes. The US Supreme Court affirmed the US District decision. Judge Whitaker Thompson had found both Schenck and Baer guilty under the Espionage Act and sentenced them to remarkably short terms. The maximum penalty for Schenck's alleged crime was 10 years in prison, plus a fine, for each of the three counts charged. Schenck was only sentenced to six months in prison; Baer was sentenced to 90 days.For more information, see Related Questions, below.


What pair of supreme court cases was a challenge to the sedition act of 1917?

Abrams v. U.S. and Schenck v. U.S.