Columbia residents remember historic free speech case

8 months 5 days 4 hours ago Saturday, February 16 2019 Feb 16, 2019 Saturday, February 16, 2019 10:41:00 PM CST February 16, 2019 in News
By: KaMaria Braye, KOMU 8 reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - It's been 50 years since a historic moment occurred on MU's campus

Community members met Saturday afternoon to remember how Barabra Papish served as a trailblazer for freedom of speech.

On Feb. 16, 1969, Papish distributed copies of the "Free Press" underground newspaper to students and "parent week" visitors on MU's campus.

The newspaper's cover had a statement that upset the university.

Sandy Davidson, an MU journalism professor, detailed the images on the front cover.

"A political cartoon, policemen raping the statue of liberty and the goddess of justice. And the caption said with liberty and justice for all," Davidson said.

Community member Joan Wilcox said the front page was a result of anger for those meant to protect people.

"It was at a time when the police were really cutting down, and the university also was not prone to being very radical or very left," Wilcox said.

Walter Bargen was on campus when the papers were passed out. He didn't know what was on the cover but got in trouble for helping another student.

"I was asked to take a newspaper salesman's place while they went in. It was a very cold day. And they were going in to get a cup of coffee," he said. And right when we made that switch, the campus police came up and arrested everyone selling the Columbia free press at that point and I was one of those people."

Papish was sent to a conduct hearing  committee. The university said she violated a standard for student conduct.

"To observe generally accepted standards of conduct. And specifically, it prohibited indecent conduct or speech," Davidson said.

Papish was dismissed from MU, but the ACLU helped her fight for her First Amendment right. The case made it to the U.S. Supreme Court and Papish won.

"The mere dissemination of ideas, no matter how defensive to good taste on a state university campus, may not be shut off on the name alone of conventions of decency," Davidson said.

Although Papish has passed away,community members want everyone to know they have a right to express their opinions.

"The most important to remember from this event [is] that the First Amendment and free speech always needs to be defended and that it's not something that you can just assume is going to be there when you need it," Bargen said.

More News

Grid
List
MONITEAU - Deputies arrested three men in Fortuna during an attempt to locate one person who had active warrants for... More >>
23 minutes ago Wednesday, October 23 2019 Oct 23, 2019 Wednesday, October 23, 2019 3:36:00 PM CDT October 23, 2019 in News
FULTON - The Fulton School District is planning a total makeover for all schools within its system. In a... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, October 23 2019 Oct 23, 2019 Wednesday, October 23, 2019 2:17:00 PM CDT October 23, 2019 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Jefferson City woman has been sentenced in federal court for embezzling more than $65,000 from her... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, October 23 2019 Oct 23, 2019 Wednesday, October 23, 2019 1:49:00 PM CDT October 23, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes planned to throw in practice Wednesday, raising the possibility the reigning league... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, October 23 2019 Oct 23, 2019 Wednesday, October 23, 2019 1:29:00 PM CDT October 23, 2019 in Sports
COLUMBIA – When highways narrow at construction zones, interchanges or other bottlenecks, agencies like MoDOT are continuing to encourage drivers... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, October 23 2019 Oct 23, 2019 Wednesday, October 23, 2019 1:00:00 PM CDT October 23, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Missouri cattle farmer charged Wednesday with two counts of first-degree murder shot two brothers from... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, October 23 2019 Oct 23, 2019 Wednesday, October 23, 2019 12:26:00 PM CDT October 23, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Frank and Katie Moore celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary Wednesday. The Boone County couple married in 1944 in... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, October 23 2019 Oct 23, 2019 Wednesday, October 23, 2019 12:00:00 PM CDT October 23, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Democratic Party will host an event on Wednesday night to look for future candidates. ... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, October 23 2019 Oct 23, 2019 Wednesday, October 23, 2019 3:41:00 AM CDT October 23, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - After a local church came under fire for a sermon some felt was transphobic, one local bookstore "talked... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, October 23 2019 Oct 23, 2019 Wednesday, October 23, 2019 3:32:00 AM CDT October 23, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Cole County Sheriff's Department said Tuesday it used pepper spray at a Lincoln University Homecoming Concert... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 8:23:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
FRANKLIN COUNTY - Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers found a kangaroo Monday night who escaped from his home. Troop... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 7:53:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
MILLER COUNTY — Neighbors in Eldon are angry that they're finding styrofoam waste in their yards. Multiple properties... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 7:34:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
SEDALIA - The Sedalia Police Department reported a 17-year-old missing Monday night. Marie McDonald was last seen on Oct.... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 7:27:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Several mid-Missouri nonprofit organizations said they are experiencing “donor fatigue” after the destruction of the May tornado.... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 7:12:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
KEYTESVILLE - A judge in Chariton County found Tuesday there is probable cause to send James Pleasant’s case to trail.... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 5:13:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
KINGSTON, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri prosecutor and sheriff will give an update Wednesday into the disappearance of two Wisconsin... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 4:53:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Commission approved Tuesday morning a budget amendment for additional and/or replacement outdoor warning sirens. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 3:18:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A judge sentenced a former coach who worked at school districts in Fulton and Ashland to three years... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 3:15:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 71°
4pm 68°
5pm 67°
6pm 65°
7pm 61°