John Peter Zenger – April 4, 1735

Experience the American dream with today’s Patriots of the Past interview. I’m your host, John Gillespie.

It’s August 4, 1735. I’m in New York City at the trial of newspaper publisher John Peter Zenger. Mr. Zenger has been charged with libel against the governor of New York.

JG: “Mr. Zenger, how do you feel about these charges?”

JPZ: “Mr. Gillespie, one of the fundamental freedoms is to express one’s ideas and opinions. My paper was writing the truth about the governor. This cause is the cause of liberty for all Americans.”

Mr. Zenger was found “not guilty” and his case was used by the founding fathers as a precedent to establish our First Amendment’s freedom of the press.

Read the full text of the First Amendment (Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, and Petition).

John and Jan Gillespie are the founders of the Rawhide Boys’ Ranch; they have fostered 351 teenagers and wrote the book Our 351 Sons; they have also assisted numerous churches in developing youth programs and expanding their total church ministries. After running for U.S. Senate, John founded 1776 American Dream, which exists to demonstrate the vision of our founding fathers and help our generation of youth passionately embrace those values.

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