Rockwell might have gotten the idea for his February 14, 1959, cover from a movie released two years earlier.
In 12 Angry Men, Henry Fonda played a dissenting juror who eventually persuaded the other 11 men on a jury to vote with him. As in the movie, this deliberation has taken hours, indicated by the crumpled ballots on the floor and the cloud of smoke overhead.
What made this cover more than just a reprise of the movie is that Rockwell’s holdout is a strong-minded woman, holding fast to her principles, at a time when women jurors were still a rarity in some states, and not permitted in some others.
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