Programs Will Bring First Amendment to New Audiences in Washington, New York

FOR RELEASE: October 15, 2021

Contact: Richard T. Kaplar
The Media Institute

Arlington, Va., October 15, 2021 – To mark the start of Free Speech Week (FSW) on Monday, Oct. 18, The Media Institute announced today that it intends to partner with Federal Hall in New York City to bring First Amendment programs to audiences in Washington, D.C. and New York.

Historic Federal Hall, located on Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, was the site of John Peter Zenger’s trial in 1735 that established truth as a defense against libel and laid the foundation for freedom of the press and speech later enshrined in the Bill of Rights.  Fifty-four years after the trial, at the Constitutional Convention in 1789, the First Amendment was written at the same Federal Hall.

“We are very enthusiastic about the prospect of working with Federal Hall, given its pivotal history in the creation of the U.S. Constitution and First Amendment,” said Media Institute President Richard T. Kaplar.  “As the founder of Free Speech Week and long-time champion of the First Amendment, The Media Institute is perfectly positioned to develop educational programs and activities in partnership with this iconic institution.  And what better time to announce our planned collaboration than Free Speech Week.”

Free Speech Week is a non-partisan and non-political commemorative event held every year during the third week of October.  This year’s celebration begins on Monday, Oct. 18 and will continue through Sunday, Oct. 24.  The week promotes awareness of free speech and a free press in the United States among all age groups and walks of life.

Schools, universities, and community groups will use this week to promote free speech and freedom of the press through their own activities, both in person and virtual.  Individuals can celebrate using social media.

Media outlets and trade associations are participating as “Partnering Organizations,” displaying the FSW logo on their websites and publicizing the week.  Groups are invited to join as a partner on the FSW website.  There is no cost to register.

For more information, follow FSW on Twitter @Freespeechweek, join the discussion on FSW’s Facebook Page, and find the latest information and ideas for celebrating on the FSW website.

Free Speech Week is an independent event created in 2005 by The Media Institute, which continues to provide promotional support and manages the FSW website.  FSW is not affiliated with any other organizers using that name for weeks bearing similar names.

The Media Institute is a nonprofit foundation specializing in communications policy and the First Amendment.  Visit the Institute online at

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