jan 1, 1730 - Zenger Trials
Trial of John Peter Zenger, a German- born printer who had emigrated to New York as a youth. Financed by wealthy opponents of Governor William Cosby, Zenger’s newspaper, the Weekly Journal, lam basted the governor for corruption, influence peddling, and “tyranny.” New York’s council ordered four issues burned and had Zenger himself arrested and tried for seditious libel. Zenger was found not guilty. The case sent a warning to prosecutors that libel cases might be very difficult to win, especially in the superheated atmosphere of New York partisan politics. The outcome helped to promote the idea that the publication of truth should always be permitted, and it demonstrated that the idea of free expression was becoming ingrained in the popular imagination.
Added to timeline:
I add events as we study them in class :)