thumbnail of American adventure; Free man
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
I mean are. They college radio players resent patriotic play by Mary Agnes Thompson went on. Today's play as one of a series produced by the Grinnell College Radio Player grant from the National Association of educational broadcasters do the fund for adult education. Before. We bring you by Mary Agnes Thompson. This time you know what I mean. Total war here and I don't care. A woman in King City rounds up her husband and joins a lynching party. I'm ready for them. You know what they're saying about you know what they're saying about one city
I don't know what they're saying about me. But I've been in the newspaper business long enough to have a pretty good idea that you're a communist under cover my spine in the service of a subversive plug into this bill this time. This is a committee the members of the city library board plays the man love. And using such judgment as their sole guide preceded the city library where they laid hands upon homes both old and new which they regarded as un-American and with such books in their hands they made their way into the city square a bonfire was built and up on this bonfire they placed some of the finest
literature of the ages which this committee of 40 determined as unfit for reading by the citizens of King City. We hear of the journo question that a trial of these books the journo question that a verdict of guilty and waived further questioned their right to make such a decision for the remainder of King city's citizenry. By doing so the city library board challenged your freedom of the press freedom moved region freedom of each individual do as Jane whether or not such literature is something to go on. Can we stand here was this American in attempting to use forceful methods upon the youth of King City by withholding from them any literature which day the city that's enough that's enough I know what it's you know you wrote Yes I
wrote it and I'm not retracting it not even to keep them from calling us a president should call me un-American. I've got three chunks of shrapnel in my back that says I went over a few years back to fight the very thing they're promoting right now. Talk of putting the journal on the blacklist canceling subscriptions running me out of town. And then the next breath they dare to mention American is us by what authority the committee burned those books last night. They want to know by what authority you call their action un-American. They want to know do they. I've got the authority. I've got the authority to defend freedom of speech freedom of the press and the right of the people to express their choice. I've got it all right. I've seen that on press a million times. I know every crack and crevice Yes but have you heard this old boy talk. Listen listen you asked me by what authority I speak my mind. It's not my mind it's speaking in that editorial not Bill Martin's puny mind.
Listen. Yesterday this machine frames me quickly to bring you what you are not my master. Not that sort a library aboard this thing is my master. This chunk of steel and mess of it. This thing here the. Massive star Homer history and I see great this is my authority to speak of freedom of speech freedom of the press. This is my challenge to which writers this machine. I am the press. I was the first fundamental of freedom from the press was present at the public meeting when the
Republic. I heard the Bard's of teaching right. But they could not write for posterity because of Scandinavia. While the Chinese draw pictures they gave me the feelings of I was with Marco Polo when every now and then Asian China. What a wondrous people they have no letters but they make their own contracts. They sketch their own stories by tallies of would they speak with these tallies. These people this site shall report when I return to Venice. Ah yes the American press. Do you hear that Joe. Tell me poor people with poor minds and one purpose can order me to stop talking. I should live so long. I should work so hard all my life but poor little people can take away my privilege you've got to wait down a
fellow's got to eat. That helps any why only but not my words. I'll print the king's City Journal until they burn me out. Not press the revenue. I am the press. I stop reading for a moment. I stop reading when Caesars of ancient Alexandria Egypt. Great Caesar. Oh. It. Was playing on the bus burned up. We burn Egypt all over so it was Asian behind her and I heard her look homey. Oh moment like the flame of the faded away the stars of Egypt and the Sphinx
crossed the sea and the High Priest in the temple. One small one small and civilization went on one. I am the. I am Bill newspaper offices have been burned out before. Maybe maybe so I am. I stopped reading on Mexico. I stopped reading for a moment and wept. Just my thought. I stopped reading for a moment in Mexico. I stopped reading centuries later. One day when Rain Man shouted like I.
Was. I stopped reading for a moment again and some of the Asian one on one small car you'd almost swear the Sting talks. You can almost understand that no one person in twelve hundred fifteen. There was never that what. You want the robes of a king and have never seen. Yes like it is the will of the people. It is the will of the people. It is the right of the people as the people see it and give me the pen. I have no other cause i will. The Magna Carta I am not impressed. I've
signed the Magna Carta and freedom of the people raised its head. I am the press I don't see as yet unborn. Yeah I was that right. There ought to be somewhere to draw the line and if you want to be able to make a comfortable living without stepping on everyone's toes all the time the way you do I don't know about that. I always remember a guy called Zola challenging his government in the Dreyfus case in France. Judge Hughes Hughes if Zola could accuse I should be able to do it I was in France and this is in America. This is in King City population 10000 and in King City like everywhere else in America a newspaper can print only one thing the truth. As the editor sees it unbiased unprejudiced who sets forth a code for newspaper men anyhow. Who started all this business of righteousness and the peoples rights and all that is in a piece of paper in that frame Go read it will you. That's my Bible my code of ethics.
What is everybody's business is nobody's business except the journalists. It is his by adoption. But for his care almost every reform would be stillborn. He holds officials to that duty. He exposes secret schemes of plunder. He promotes every hopeful plan of programs without him. Public opinion would be shameless and dumb. Our Republic and its press will rise or fall together enabled us interested public spirited press with trained intelligence to know the right and courage to do it can preserve that public virtue without which public government is a sham and a mockery unquote. Joseph Pulitzer an immigrant who came up the hard way the American way to demand his right of freedom of speech freedom of the press. Listen Joe listen. Last night four people took it upon themselves to decide that some of the world's finest literature was enemy propaganda unfit to be read by Americans. Four people did this for people called me communistic socialistic what have you
because I defended the right of the citizens to decide that matter. I'm going to challenge those four people Joe. I'm going to fight for this freedom of press this freedom of speech as the right to speak my own mind without the fear of being called subversive meeting tonight. This is a library. Are you going. I'll be there Joe. You can bet your life on that. Good luck Bill lots of it. You don't need it I'm afraid. Like I said they're pretty important people here in King City those four. I've got some pretty important people behind me too. I am of. The American Free Press. I was nurtured by men like Benjamin have Lovejoy really in full House Dana and. I was really the face to face. To argue for its own rights. Call the witnesses for the event. Really Dana why was it
called the witness of freedom of the press freedom of speech. Bill No Ed.. Right now college players have world hunger by Mary Thompson. Which was directed. To as the voice of the press in today's story was James Leavenworth. Robert STARR It was Bill. Joe was played by. Others in the cast included Charles Haynes Jim Stewart Robert Bonner Norman Cohen Jared Tomlinson and Don make good production was by Robert Bonner and Bob gallops engineer. The witch hunters was presented by the Grinnell College radio players under a grant from the
American adventure
Free man
Producing Organization
University of North Carolina
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-7d2q931k).
Episode Description
The story of Joseph Palmer, a 19th century American who refused to pay a fine for keeping facial hair and was imprisoned as a result. On principle, Palmer remained in prison until he was finally released more than a year later.
Other Description
This series studies the values and characteristics of notable figures from America's early years. It is written by John M. Ehle and directed by John S. Clayton.
Social Issues
Fines (Penalties)
Media type
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Actor: Wynn, Earl
Actor: Barnes, Bill
Actor: Young, Joe
Actor: Simms, Tom
Director: Clayton, John S.
Producing Organization: University of North Carolina
Writer: Ehle, John, 1925-
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 54-12 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:24:15
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “American adventure; Free man,” 1956-05-24, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 9, 2022,
MLA: “American adventure; Free man.” 1956-05-24. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 9, 2022. <>.
APA: American adventure; Free man. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from