Nearly 50 years ago Tuesday, the first shots of a First Amendment dispute were fired at MU.

Four students — most memorably, Barbara Susan Papish — were arrested Feb. 19, 1969, for possessing and attempting to sell obscene literature. It was an underground newspaper called the Columbia Free Press, and the edition in question had a front-page political cartoon that depicted police officers sexually assaulting the Statue of Liberty and the Goddess of Justice with the caption “... With Liberty and Justice for All.”

An inside page of the February 1969 issue of the Free Press Underground

An inside page of the February 1969 issue of the Free Press Underground that instructed students how to emigrate to Canada during the Vietnam War period. Barbara Papish, an MU grad student, was arrested for distributing the underground publication.

Supervising editor is Katherine Reed: reedkath@missouri.edu, 882-1792.

  • I'm a graduate from the Missouri School of Journalism and former reporter with the Missourian. Currently, I'm a working for a law firm in Dallas, Tx before beginning law school later this year. Reach me at @ByHunterGilbert on Twitter

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