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MU Journalism Library to be Rededicated to Freedom of the Press Defender

Journalism student expelled from southern university in 1934 to attend ribbon-cutting ceremony

May 13, 2009

Story Contact:  Shannon Cary, (573) 882-4703,

COLUMBIA, Mo. - In 1934, a group of journalism students at Louisiana State University was expelled for refusing to allow the LSU student newspaper to be censored by U.S. Sen. Huey Long. In response to an inquiry from the United Press about the expulsion of these students, Frank Lee Martin, the associate dean of the Missouri School of Journalism, allowed the students to continue their studies at MU with strong words defending the freedom of the press.

On Friday, May 15, University of Missouri leaders will rededicate the journalism library in honor of Frank Lee Martin. Sam Montague, one of the former LSU students, will attend the rededication as a special guest. Frank Lee Martin III also will be present on behalf of his grandfather, who passed away in 1941.

"We are particularly happy that Mr. Montague will be able to join the celebration," said Dean Mills, dean of the Missouri School of Journalism. "He's a living symbol of Dean Martin's lifelong work on behalf of a free press."

When Martin accepted the LSU students, he wrote "Without freedom of the press, the sovereign people cannot retain or exercise their sovereignty." Martin was associate dean of the Missouri School of Journalism from 1930-1934 and dean from 1935-1941.

The Frank Lee Martin Journalism Library has been providing critical resources to students, researchers and working journalists since 1908. A new Journalism Library facility opened last fall in the new Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI). The RJI won gold in the Education & Research category of the IIDA Mid American Design Awards on Friday, April 17, at an awards ceremony in St. Louis.

"Collaborative learning spaces and new technologies define the new library," said Dorothy Carner, head of the Journalism Libraries. "Today, the Journalism Library seeks to be the global information nexus for journalism, preserving the history and tools of the profession while making the universe of emerging information accessible to students, scholars and practitioners, on campus and around the world."

The rededication will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, May 15 in Room 100A of the Reynolds Journalism Institute. The Columbia Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors will perform the ribbon cutting ceremony.