Dakota Datebook

Free Speech

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Today we value our right to freedom of speech, but on this date in 1914, G. I. Nelson, editor of the Cooperative Herald out of Fargo, learned that unsubstantiated allegations could be costly. In an editorial, Nelson stated that he believed the North Dakota Supreme Court had conspired with state officials to conduct fake hearings and render a fake decision concerning a case about tax levies.


As a result of this editorial, Nelson was cited for contempt of the Supreme Court, sentenced to twenty days in jail and fined two hundred dollars. Perhaps in 1914, it would have been more prudent for Mr. Nelson to have practiced the right to remain silent over the right of free speech.


Dakota Datebook written by Jim Davis




Churches Ferry Sun December 4, 1914


This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Prairie Public.

Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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