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Letters to the Herald

The plea for freedom of the press has a long history


I read Scott Bomboy’s article on the First Amendment and local school boards and chuckled. Freedom of the press has a long history.

In 1747, Julien Offray de La Mettrie wrote “Man a Machine,” published by Elie Luzac of the Dutch Republic. Across Europe all hell broke loose. The book was banned and burned. Luzac’s defense of speech was (attributed to Voltaire) “the right to publish” a book containing “ideas” widely deemed utterly loathsome – even by himself!

In 1643, John Milton of England wrote “Areopagitica” – a plea for press freedom. Give me the liberty to know, to utter and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.

According to Rudyard Kipling: “Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.” [Amen.]

Olga Pitcairn, New Hope