John Peter Zenger was a New York journalist who, in 1733, voiced his disagreement with the Crown’s governor in New York, William Cosby, who replaced a disagreeable judge with a more agreeable jurist. Zenger’s paper, the New York Weekly Journal, wrote articles critical of the royal governor, who in turn criticized the paper for its “divers scandalous, virulent, false and seditious reflections.”
Zenger was charged with libel in a high-profile case. The case went to the jury, which returned within 10 minutes with a not-guilty verdict. The defense tried to establish a precedent that a defamatory statement is not libelous if it can be proved, thus affirming the underpinnings of freedom of the press in the Colonies.
Check out the October 2020 issue of FORGE, featuring our cover story on "Fever Screening and Forging Quality". Other features include "Forging with Hybrid Steel", "FutureForge in Scotland: The Goldilocks Effect", and much more.