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Quotes of the Day for 4 August 2002 – Press Freedom

The New York Weekly Journal was established late in 1733 as an opposition voice to an unpopular colonial governor, William Cosby. The governor couldn't get a grand jury to bring publisher John Peter Zenger to trial, it took over a year to arrange his arrest on seditious libel charges. It was on this day in 1735 that a jury, disregarding the panel of judges, returned a verdict of not guilty for the cantankerous publisher who had been in jail for eight months. It was a crucial landmark leading to the freedoms established when the US was founded later that century.

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The quotes:

Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.
     - A. Whitney Griswold

To limit the press is to insult a nation; to prohibit reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be either fools or slaves.
     - Claude Adrien Helvetius

They can't censor the gleam in my eye.
     - Charles Laughton

The printing press is either the greatest blessing or the greatest curse of modern times, sometimes one forgets which it is.
     - James Matthew Barrie, 1860 - 1937

In order to enjoy the inestimable benefits that the liberty of the press ensures, it is necessary to submit to the inevitable evils that it creates.
     - Alexis de Tocqueville, 1805 - 1859


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