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March 7, 1953

“It is disgraceful that anyone has to make this speech in America,” said the concluding speaker in the series of lectures sponsored by the American Association of University Professors, Phi Beta Kappa and the Vassar Political Association, veteran broadcast journalist, wartime head the Office of War Information and two-time Georg Foster Peabody Award winner Elmer Davis. Addressing the theme of the series, “Academic Freedom,” Davis delivered “a stinging attack against Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, the tactics of the Senate investigators and the forces opposing the freedom of thought. …one of the most awakening speeches that this college has heard in a long time.”

The Miscellany News

The first chapter of Davis’s book, But We Were Born Free (1954), was based on his Vassar address.

The Years