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On March 15, 1902, Henning Jacobson, a pastor in Cambridge, Massachusetts, refused the smallpox vaccine. At the time, Massachusetts was one of eleven states that allowed officials to enforce mandatory immunizations; a resurgent outbreak had led the local health board to order vaccination or revaccination of the city’s inhabitants. For his refusal, Jacobson was prosecuted and fined. He spent the next three years arguing that mandated vaccination violated his liberty.

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