Eighty years ago, this November, the U.S. Supreme court dramatically expanded Americans’ freedom to travel across state lines regardless of their income. Drawing heavily on the California Historical Society’s American Civil Liberties of Northern California collection and other primary sources, author Bill Lascher revisits an era when California and other states turned neighbor against neighbor and made criminals out of Dust Bowl refugees and other migrants crossing state lines in search of economic opportunity. From armed police blockades of interstate borders to family members arrested and prosecuted for helping relatives reach the Golden State, Lascher describes the battle that culminated in the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark November, 1941, Edwards v. California decision.
Bill Lascher is the author of the forthcoming "The Golden Fortress: California’s Dust Bowl Border War" (Chicago Review Press, 2022 TBD) and "Eve of a Hundred Midnights: The Star-Crossed Love Story of Two WWII Correspondents and Their Epic Escape Across the Pacific" (William Morrow, 2016). A freelance journalist whose work appears in such outlets as The Guardian, Fortune, Atlas Obscura, Boom: A Journal of California, Lascher previously edited the Ventura County Reporter and was a staff writer at the Pacific Coast Business Times in Santa Barbara.