|September Morn, by Paul Chabas.|
|Miami Daily Metropolis,|
July 14, 1913.
(Click here to enlarge)
That's when Miami Police Chief C.R. Ferguson - Miami's second police chief - showed up at Smith's Book Store on 12th Street (now Flagler Street) and ordered the removal of a framed print from the store window of "September Morn," a painting by French artist Paul Chabas.
The Miami Daily Metropolis quoted the chief as telling book store owner Julius Smith, "You can't have a picture like that on public display in Miami. She hasn't any clothes on at all."
The Metropolis reported that, "Chief Ferguson's attention was called to the picture by a telephone call from a woman who asked him to 'just go and see it. It's perfectly awful.' "
Two days later a judge declared, "There is no law against the exhibition of such a picture. No one could be forced by law to remove it."
Eight days after the book store raid, Ferguson was voted out of office.
"He finished fifth in a seven-man primary," wrote Miami News editor Howard Kleinberg in 1983.
In an ironic twist, the day after the primary, Chief Ferguson was fined $5 for "public profanity."