Mightier than the sword : Zenger and freedom of the press
Teaching Film Custodians abridged classroom version of a Cavalcade of America television series episode, "Mightier Than The Sword" (season 1, episode 13) which originally aired on March 18th, 1953 on NBC-TV. This pre-Revolutionary War drama focuses on the 1734 court case in which Royal Governor William Cosby of New York charged John Peter Zenger with libel because he printed the truth about corruption in Cosby's administration. The outcome of this trial established the principle of freedom of the press. The film shows Cosby arresting Zenger and disbarring James Alexander, Zenger's lawyer, on trumped-up charges. Travelling to Philadelphia, Alexander persuades Alexander Hamilton, one of the oldest and most respected attorneys in all the provinces, to take Zenger's case. Hamilton convinces the jury that publishing the truth is not libelous, resulting in Zenger's acquittal and establishing a precedent in American jurisprudence which would be adopted as a principle of law in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution 57 years later when the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791.
Teaching Film Custodians; Indiana University Instructional Support Services
Adaptation; Biographical (Nonfiction); Drama; Educational; Historical
Censorship ; Journalism ; Law ; United States, Biography ; United States, History, Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775 ; Journalism & Mass Media ; Law ; U.S. History & Government Censorship ; Journalism ; Law ; United States, Biography ; United States, History, Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775 ; Journalism & Mass Media ; Law ; U.S. History & Government | Freedoms
- Physical Description
1 Film (0:20:50); 16mm
- Other Identifiers
IULMIA Film Database: 40000003177310; Other: GR00466989; MDPI Barcode: 40000003177310
This item is accessible by: the public.