The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures was founded in 1909 in New York City, just 13 years after the birth of cinema, to protest New York City Mayor George B. McClellan, Jr.'s revocation of moving-picture exhibition licenses on Christmas Eve 1908. The mayor (son of the famed Civil War general) believed that the new medium degraded the morals of community. To assert their constitutional freedom of expression, theatre owners led by Marcus Loew and film distributors (Edison, Biograph, Pathé and Gaumont) joined John Collier of The People's Institute at Cooper Union and established the New York Board of Motion Picture Censorship, which soon changed its name to the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures to avoid the taint of the word "censorship."
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January 1909(as New York Board of Motion Picture Censorship)
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