On this date August 4th, back in 1735, a German-American man named John Peter Zenger was acquitted of libel in colonial New York. Zenger was the writer of the New York Weekly Journal and had been charged with seditious libel by the royal governor.
The jury found him innocent and concluded that “the truth is not libelous.”
In defending Zenger in this landmark case, his lawyers attempted to establish the precedent that a statement, even if defamatory, is not libelous if it can be proved, thus affirming freedom of the press in America.
The decision made by the jury on this date 285 years ago went on to establish the parameters for the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
Connect to the defining moments of the modern experience centered in NYC with 5D Guide. Share your thoughts and connect others by sharing this post.
Are you in NYC or will be visiting? Join 5D Guide for in-season guided explorations throughout Manhattan.
Time (4D) is up. 5D is NOW!