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July 17, 2014
Annenberg-Newseum Summer Teacher Institute

Annenberg-Newseum Summer Teacher Institute

Annenberg-Newseum Summer Teacher Institute

This week, the Newseum and Annenberg Learner welcome 24 teachers to a three-day Summer Institute that focuses on new media, the First Amendment and social change. Teachers at the institute, who were selected from more than 150 applicants, are participating in professional development workshops, curatorial sessions, primary source analysis and collaborative lesson planning with Newseum educators and staff.

All educators not participating in person are invited to join the institute virtually July 16-18 through social media. Follow @NewseumEd on Twitter and join the conversation with hashtag #ANEW14 as we discuss classroom tools and strategies for helping students use their First Amendment rights to advocate for social change. Plus, all registered virtual participants can earn prizes and awards along the way, including a classroom resource set of books, lesson plans and poster-size primary source reproductions!

For a complete list of opportunities, please see the virtual participant schedule. To register, complete this brief form.

Annenberg Learner is the exclusive sponsor of the 2014 Summer Teacher Institute.

Annenberg Learner

July 16, 2014
Discover the World of Communication

Discover the World of Communication

Newseum Through the Eyes of Students

We were pleased to welcome Discover the World of Communication, a program of American University’s School of Communication in Washington, D.C. , to the Newseum this summer. The program brings high school students to the nation’s capital to participate in professional, hands-on workshops designed to expose them to newsgathering opportunities and teaching them journalism skills, including digital reporting, writing, communication and filmmaking.

A group of DWC students made a video of their favorite experiences during their Newseum visit. Watch it here!

July 11, 2014

Remembering John Seigenthaler

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John Seigenthaler as a young reporter at The Tennessean. (Courtesy John Seigenthaler)

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As an editor, John Seigenthaler guided The Tennessean from a respectable Southern newspaper to a Pulitzer Prize-winning powerhouse. (Courtesy The Associated Press)

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John Seigenthaler with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. (Courtesy John Seigenthaler)

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John Seigenthaler with his wife of 59 years, the former Dolores Watson. (Newseum collection)

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John Seigenthaler at his office at the First Amendment Center in Nashville, Tenn. (Courtesy Mark Humphrey/The Associated Press)

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John Seigenthaler hosting a program at the First Amendment Center with his son, John. (Newseum collection)

Related Video

The Freedom Rides

In 1961, John Seigenthaler, then an administrative assistant to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, brokered an agreement with Alabama governor John Malcolm Patterson for the safe passage of the Freedom Riders. As he attempted to aid Freedom Riders in Montgomery, Ala., Seigenthaler was attacked by an angry mob of Klansmen and knocked unconscious from a blow to the head by a lead pipe.

The Freedom Forum and Newseum mourn the loss of John L. Seigenthaler, veteran newspaper editor and publisher, author, and founder of the Newseum Institute's First Amendment Center. Seigenthaler died July 11, 2014, in his hometown of Nashville, Tenn. He was 86.

"John Seigenthaler was a gift to our country," said Jim Duff, chief executive officer of the Newseum and president and CEO of the Freedom Forum. "He devoted his life to making certain that liberty and justice for all applied to all. His passing is an enormous loss to his many, many friends and country."

For 43 years, Seigenthaler was an award-winning journalist and publisher of The Tennessean, a Gannett-owned newspaper located in Nashville. In 1982, he became founding editorial director of Gannett's new national newspaper, USA Today, based in Northern Virginia. He traveled between the two cities for nearly a decade until he retired from both newspapers in 1991.

Seigenthaler was a passionate champion of the First Amendment and traveled extensively to teach and promote its ideals. After his retirement from news, he founded the First Amendment Center in Nashville with the mission of creating national discussion, dialogue and debate about First Amendment rights and values. Located at Vanderbilt University, the center was renamed the John Seigenthaler Center in 2002 on the recommendation of the Freedom Forum board of trustees in honor of Seigenthaler's 75th birthday.

"The citizen who reads news regularly participates, perhaps without realizing it, in a constant civic engagement of ideas — the very stuff of self-governance," he said.

Seigenthaler was a generous patron of the Newseum and a founding member of the Friends of the First Amendment Society.

Seigenthaler left journalism briefly in the early 1960s to serve in the U.S. Department of Justice as administrative assistant to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. His work in the field of civil rights led to his service as chief negotiator with the governor of Alabama during the Freedom Rides in 1961, in which black and white activists rode interstate buses to defy Jim Crow laws that enforced segregated travel. During that crisis, while attempting to aid Freedom Riders in Montgomery, Ala., he was viciously attacked by an angry mob of Klansmen and knocked unconscious from a blow to the head by a lead pipe.

In 2004, Seigenthaler chaired the three-member panel that investigated former USA Today reporter Jack Kelley for plagiarism and for writing false stories. The panel's 28-page report led to the resignations and reassignment of three newsroom executives, including the newspaper's editor, and prompted strict policies at the paper regarding the use of anonymous sources.

That same year, Seigenthaler's critically acclaimed biography of President James K. Polk, a former Tennessee congressman and governor, was published by Times Books.

In 2005, Seigenthaler was embroiled in a controversy with Wikipedia, which published an unedited, unchecked and inaccurate biography of him that had been written by an anonymous prankster. In an op-ed column published in USA Today, Seigenthaler called Wikipedia a "flawed and irresponsible research tool." As a result of the public outcry, Wikipedia instituted new policies to safeguard against future hoaxes and inaccuracies.

Gene Policinski, who worked closely with Seigenthaler as senior vice president of the First Amendment Center, called him "a national treasure."

"John was an extraordinary journalist and a passionate defender of those in need or facing discrimination. He was a true citizen patriot who saw the core freedoms of the First Amendment as essential to what it means to be an American. His legacy is a call to the rest of us to study, defend and advance the ideals embodied in the First Amendment."

Seigenthaler is survived by his wife of 59 years, Dolores; son John Michael Seigenthaler, a news anchor for Al Jazeera America; daughter-in-law Kerry Brock; and grandson, Jack.

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July 11, 2014

Tributes for John Seigenthaler

Family, friends and colleagues of John Seigenthaler remember the civil rights and First Amendment icon who died July 11, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 14, at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Nashville.

"We celebrate his life — his devotion to social justice, his advocacy of human rights, and his enduring loyalty to friends and family. He was proud of his hometown, Nashville, and grateful for the opportunity to share his energy and passion with this community."

— John Michael Seigenthaler, John Seigenthaler's son

"As a journalist, John did much more than bear witness to political and community affairs; he helped shape Nashville's story, laying much of the groundwork for us to become the great city we are today. Personally, he has been an adviser and a friend. Our city will feel his absence."

— Mayor Karl Dean, Nashville, Tenn.

"John Seigenthaler is one of my favorite people on the planet. I wrote ‘The Wind Done Gone,' and Margaret Mitchell's estate sued me for $10 million. I was so distraught. I remember being up in my bedroom and trying to figure out who to call. I called John Seigenthaler, and he told me to appeal to justice. He assured me that good and right people would be on the side of the book being published."

— Alice Randall, author

"I knew John for more than 40 years, and I loved him."

— Michael G. Gartner, principal owner of the Iowa Cubs; former Newseum Institute trustee

"John Seigenthaler was one of a kind. We both came from different worlds — geographic, professional, personal — but we had two things in common: Our joy of journalism and the fact that we both talked funny. RIP, good friend."

— John Quinn, former USA Today editor; founder of the Newseum Institute's Chips Quinn Scholars Program

"John was extremely supportive of me when I arrived at NPT 15 years ago, where he was already an established presence and host of "A Word on Words" for 25 years and counting. He had an invaluable influence on the way we conducted ourselves as journalists at NPT, and was always there to provide us guidance. He was also a gifted Nashville historian; always willing to be a resource for us on our Nashville history documentaries."

— Beth Curley, president and CEO, Nashville Public Television

"John Seigenthaler was not just an amazing student of history, he made history."

— Phil Currie, retired senior vice president/news, Gannett Co. Inc.

"John was one of those rare people who was even better than his great reputation. A man of great integrity, passion and compassion, his commitment to the First Amendment was unflagging. We've lost a very good man."

— Ken Paulson, president, First Amendment Center; dean, College of Mass Communication, Middle Tennessee State University

"John Seigenthaler has been a cherished friend and trusted mentor since he hired me to work for him in 1971 at the then "Nashville Tennessean." In all the years since, I have frequently turned to John for advice and counsel. And I found, as did so many others he mentored and inspired, that his wisdom, character and insight were always unique and invaluable. He commanded respect from all who knew him because of his integrity and character and because he was always a force for good in everything he did. Our state and our nation have lost a true giant."

— Al Gore, former vice president of the United States

Additional comments can be found @Newseum on Twitter.

July 3, 2014
One Nation With News for All

More than 1,200 newspapers serve ethnic communities across America. Current front pages from some of those publications are on display at the Newseum. (Jonathan Thompson/Newseum)

"News for All" Featured in Smithsonian Magazine

The Newseum's newest exhibit, "One Nation With News for All," is featured in the online edition of Smithsonian magazine this month. The article explores the exhibit's unique artifacts and some of the pioneering journalists whose stories helped shape the exhibit, and includes thoughts from lead exhibit writer Sharon Shahid and Newseum chief executive officer Jim Duff.

Read the full article here.

June 26, 2014
Howard Baker

Sen. Howard H. Baker Jr. (Sam Kittner/Newseum)

Remembering Howard Baker

The Newseum mourns the loss of Sen. Howard H. Baker Jr., a longtime trustee, secretary and counselor for the museum and its parent company the Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan foundation that champions the First Amendment as a cornerstone of democracy. Baker was 88.

"Like all who knew him, we are deeply saddened by the passing of Sen. Howard Baker," said Jim Duff, chief executive officer of the Newseum and president and CEO of the Freedom Forum. "He was loved by people of all political persuasions, faiths, and regions of the country and world. He was a great American. He will be greatly missed."

Baker joined the Freedom Forum's board of trustees in 2005 and retired in 2008. He continued to serve as a trustee emeritus and corporate secretary until his death. During his term at the Freedom Forum, Baker helped guide the Newseum in its move from Arlington, Va., to its current location on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.

Baker's political career began in 1964 when he unsuccessfully campaigned to fill the U.S. Senate seat of Estes Kefauver, who died in office. Baker won the Senate election two years later and represented Tennessee for 18 years. He became Senate majority leader in 1981 and was White House chief of staff during President Ronald Reagan's second term from 1987 to 1988.

During his term in Congress, Baker was known as the "Great Conciliator" for his ability to compromise and build bridges. His stepmother once described him as "like the Tennessee River. He flows right down the middle."

In 2005, he rejoined Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, the law firm founded in Tennessee by his grandfather in 1888. Duff was a managing partner of the Washington office of the law firm.

Baker is survived by his wife, former Kansas Sen. Nancy L. Kassebaum, two children, four grandchildren and two sisters.

June 25, 2014
KD7 Launch Event

KD7 Launch Event June 25, 2014

Nike KD 7 Launch Event

Today at the Newseum, Nike Basketball will unveil Kevin Durant's new signature shoe, the KD7, in a live online broadcast event from the Knight TV Studio at 12PM ET. Broadcast legend Ahmad Rashad will host Durant and Nike designer Leo Chang for the live announcement. Rashad is no stranger to the Newseum – he narrates the popular Newseum video, "Press Box: The History of Sports Reporting" in the Sports Theater on the Concourse Level. Viewers can stream today’s event at

June 24, 2014

2014 First Amendment Survey: More Support for Student Speech

WASHINGTON — One third of Americans still think the First Amendment goes too far in the rights it guarantees, according to a new survey on the state of the First Amendment released June 24 by the Newseum Institute.

The survey, conducted in May, determines public knowledge and opinion about the First Amendment and related issues. The results were released June 24 at a luncheon for high school students attending the 2014 Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference.

"It's valuable to know the five freedoms, but it's even more important to know how we can use them," said Gene Policinski, Newseum Institute chief operating officer and senior vice president of the Institute's First Amendment Center.

This year, the survey also found:

  • 69 percent of Americans believe that people who make defamatory comments on social media should be subject to the same legal consequences as someone who makes similar comments on television or in print
  • 68 percent think public high school journalists should not need prior approval to explore controversial subjects.
  • 36 percent defined a journalist as someone who creates stories based on objective fact; 21 percent defined a journalist as someone who works for an established news operation; 16 percent said a journalist is an individual who reports to an audience; 14 percent said a journalist is someone who is paid to gather news
June 20, 2014
2013 Free Spirit Scholars

2013 Free Spirit Scholars in front of the White House. (Maria Bryk/Newseum)

Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference Begins

Fifty-one aspiring journalists are beginning to arrive in the nation's capital to participate in the annual Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference, an extraordinary five-day experience hosted by the Newseum Institute in Washington, D.C., June 21-26. The program annually awards $1,000 college scholarships to rising high school seniors who are interested in journalism careers and who demonstrate qualities of "free spirit."

While at the conference, the scholars get involved in a variety of learning experiences at the Newseum and elsewhere in Washington, focusing on the three branches of government and how journalists cover them. The Free Spirits, who come to the conference from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, will visit the USA Today newsroom, the United States District Court, a taping of "Meet the Press" hosted by David Gregory, and also have the opportunity to be tourists and see the sights around D.C.

Students also will participate in panel discussions with working journalists from, among others, CNN, The Washington Post and Time magazine, as well as influential leaders from the civil rights movement, including Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Dr. Ernest "Rip" Patton. A special conference program Monday, June 23, honors PBS "NewsHour" anchor Gwen Ifill with the Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in Journalism. The civil rights and Neuharth Award programs will be live streamed on, as will a program revealing this year's State of the First Amendment survey results.

The Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference, begun in 1999, honors Al Neuharth, the founder of the Freedom Forum, Newseum and USA Today. Many alumni of the program have gone on to notable and successful journalism careers and have returned to participate in this year's conference, including Andrew Springer, senior editor of social media for ABC News; Katie Aberbach, editor at culture magazine; and Devna Shukla, editorial producer for CNN's hallmark program, "Anderson Cooper 360."

Follow the conference on Twitter: #FreeSpirit14

June 17, 2014
Hillary Clinton

Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a town hall at the Newseum on January 29, 2013. (Maria Bryk/Newseum)

Hillary Clinton Town Hall at the Newseum

Submit your question for Hillary Clinton here and CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour might ask it during CNN's town hall meeting with Clinton at 5 p.m. ET Tuesday at the Newseum. This will be the only network televised town hall that the former Secretary of State participates in during the closely watched rollout of her new memoir, "Hard Choices." Leading up to the broadcast, Jake Tapper will anchor a special hour of “The Lead” live from the Newseum. Following the Town Hall, Wolf Blitzer will anchor The Situation Room from the Newseum, where he will speak to members of the audience.

June 10, 2014
Dragon V2

Dragon V2 on stage. (SpaceX)

New Spacecraft on Display at the Newseum

SpaceX's next generation manned spacecraft will be on public display for one day only Wednesday, June 11, on the Newseum Plaza on Pennsylvania Avenue. 

During your visit to the Newseum, stop by the tent outside to see the new Dragon, a free-flying spacecraft designed to deliver both cargo and people to orbiting destinations. Entry is free, and no ticket is required to see the spacecraft.

SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 to revolutionize space transportation, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets.

For more information about SpaceX, please visit

June 6, 2014
9/11 Gallery Sponsored by Comcast

9/11 Gallery Sponsored by Comcast (Maria Bryk/Newseum)

For Action Initiative Pledges Generous Support for Newseum's Digital Classroom

The Newseum is honored to announce a gift of $110,000 from the For Action Initiative (FAI) and the Families of September 11 Organization. The donation will fund a new "Teaching 9/11" learning module on the Newseum's innovative Digital Classroom website. 

The free, online education tool will incorporate the Newseum's mission to champion the First Amendment with FAI's mission to raise awareness — especially among students — of the lasting domestic and international effects of 9/11. In 2013, students from all 50 states and 16 countries visited the Newseum and participated in the museum's free educational classes.

The Newseum is home to the 9/11 Gallery Sponsored by Comcast, which follows that tragic day through the eyes of the journalists who reported the story to a shaken nation and world. The gallery features front-page coverage of the attacks from Sept. 12, 2001, a broadcast antenna from the World Trade Center towers, and artifacts and photos from Bill Biggart, the only journalist killed in the attacks. 

FAI's generous gift will allow the Newseum to replicate its rich 9/11-related content on the Web and provide it to all students and teachers for free, including those who were very young or not yet born when the attacks happened.

"Our board believes that our curriculum and resources will be in good hands at the Newseum," said Nancy Aronson, 9/11 family member and board member of the For Action Initiative. "They are an ideal partner to extend our work into a broader context."

"We are honored that the For Action Initiative selected us to build on their organization's vision and 10 years of hard work," said Barbara McCormack, director of education at the Newseum. "We will take great care to ensure that teachers and students around the nation can meaningfully incorporate 9/11 lessons into the classroom, aided by our focus on media literacy and civic engagement."

The "Teaching 9/11" module is expected to launch in September 2015, one year before the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Other teacher and student resources are currently available on the Newseum Digital Classroom, including modules on the civil rights and women's suffrage movements.

Related Links:
June 4, 2014
Luci Baines Johnson

Luci Baines Johnson is interviewed by SiriusXM's Joe Madison. (Amy Joseph/Newseum)

A Daughter's Perspective on the Civil Rights Act

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act, First Daughter Luci Baines Johnson discussed the legacy of the historic legislation with SiriusXM host Joe Madison in a program hosted by the Newseum in partnership with SiriusXM.

The act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 2, 1964 — which also happened to be Luci Johnson's 17th birthday.

An overflow audience of Newseum Press Pass members and visitors watched the interview in person, which will air on SiriusXM Urban View, channel 110 on SiriusXM Radio, on July 2 at 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. After the interview, Johnson met with audience members and posed for pictures in the Newseum's Knight Studio.

Read more about the interview here. View photos of the Newseum program on our Flickr page.

At the Newseum, "1964: Civil Rights at 50" chronicles the events of a dramatic year in the civil rights movement, including Freedom Summer, "Mississippi Burning" and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


Contributing sponsorship support for "Civil Rights at 50" has been provided by Walmart and Altria Group.

May 30, 2014
A protester halts army tanks near Tiananmen Square. (Jeff Widener/Courtesy The Associated Press.)

A protester halts army tanks near Tiananmen Square. (Jeff Widener/Courtesy The Associated Press.)

Newseum Marks Tiananmen Square Anniversary

June 4 marks the 25th anniversary of the violent end of the Tiananmen Square protests in China. At the Newseum, two programs and a new podcast explore the pro-democracy demonstrations and the military intervention that ended in a massacre. A new section in the Time Warner World News Gallery also examines the protests and response through historic artifacts and powerful images, including a photo of the iconic moment a lone man stood down a column of tanks the day after the military crackdown.

Former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw is the special guest for Inside Media Saturday, June 7. Shaw was in Beijing broadcasting the protests live until the Chinese government pulled the plug on CNN’s satellite access. Sunday, June 8, the Newseum presents a screening of the documentary "Assignment China: Tiananmen Square," which tells behind-the-scenes stories of reporters who covered the protests and features interviews with leading American journalists who were there. Both programs are included with paid Newseum admission or Press Pass membership.

A new edition of the Newseum Podcast features a conversation with former journalist and Newseum trustee Bette Bao Lord, who was born in Shanghai and was in China to cover the protests. "Throughout that seven weeks, when the protests were peaceful, [people] were united by the idea of hope for a better future," she recounts in the podcast. When the protests turned violent, she says, "it was a terrible surprise." Download the episode now.

Related Links:
May 27, 2014
Journalists Memorial

Journalists Memorial Gallery

Journalists Memorial Rededication

On Monday, June 9, the Newseum will rededicate its Journalists Memorial, which recognizes newspeople who died or were killed in the pursuit of news, in a public ceremony in the Newseum's memorial gallery. Kathleen Carroll, executive editor and senior vice president of The Associated Press, will be the keynote speaker at the rededication.

The names of 10 journalists whose work is representative of journalists who died covering the news in 2013 will be added to the memorial. The names of all journalists killed in 2013, compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders will be displayed on two digital kiosks in the Newseum's Journalists Memorial Gallery.

"The Journalists Memorial reminds us of the risks and sacrifices made by journalists around the world," said Gene Policinski, chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute. "Journalists face injury, threats and some pay ultimate sacrifice."

The 10 journalists being recognized at this year's rededication are: Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev; Novoye Delo; Yasser Faisal al-Jumaili, Freelance; Mikhail Beketov, Khimkinskaya Pravda; Mick Deane, Sky News; Ghislaine Dupont, Radio France Internationale; Rodrigo Neto, Rádio Vanguarda and Vale do Aço; Sai Reddy, Deshbandhu; Fernando Solijon, DXLS Love Radio; Claude Verlon, Radio France Internationale; and Olivier Voisin, Freelance.

With this year's addition of 10 names from 2013, the memorial will recognize a total of 2,256 reporters, photographers, broadcasters and news executives from around the world, dating back to 1837. The rededication ceremony is open to the public and included free with paid Newseum admission or Press Pass membership. The ceremony also will be broadcast live on

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May 23, 2014
Russert Exhibit Gets a New Home in Buffalo

"Inside Tim Russert's Office" (Newseum)

"Inside Tim Russert's Office" Extended Through Father's Day

The recently announced closing of "Inside Tim Russert's Office" has been extended by one week to Father's Day – Sunday, June 15 – to coincide with a special Inside Media program featuring Russert's son, Luke.

NBC News's Luke Russert will appear at the Newseum Saturday, June 14, to talk about his career and the new edition of "Big Russ & Me," Tim Russert's memoir about the lessons he learned from his father, Big Russ. The new edition features a preface written by Luke Russert. The program is included with regular paid Newseum admission or Press Pass membership.

"Inside Tim Russert's Office" is a recreation of Russert's NBC office in Washington, D.C., and features numerous personal items, including handwritten notes, favorite books, family photos and mementos of his beloved Buffalo Bills. The exhibit will move to its new, permanent home at The Buffalo History Museum in Buffalo, N.Y., after it closes at the Newseum June 15. Tim Russert, the long-time host of NBC's "Meet the Press," was a Buffalo native who became one of the best-known and most respected Sunday morning talk show hosts before his unexpected death in 2008 at age 58.

May 21, 2014
President Obama with Bo at the  White House. (Pete Souza/The White House)

President Obama with Bo at the White House. (Pete Souza/The White House)

First Dogs Returns to the Newseum

One of the Newseum's most popular exhibits is back in time for the dog days of summer! "First Dogs: American Presidents and Their Pets" showcases images and stories about some of the nation's most famous canine companions.

As the old saying goes: If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog — and most U.S. presidents have. From George Washington and his foxhounds to FDR's Fala — who had his own press secretary — to Bo Obama and his energetic new running mate, Sunny, more than 50 dogs (not to mention numerous cats, a few goats and even a one-legged rooster) have resided at the nation's most prestigious address.

Who's your favorite First Dog? Vote now in our online poll!

PEDIGREE® Food for Dogs, CESAR® Canine Cuisine and WISDOM PANEL® Canine DNA Analysis, all brands of Mars, Incorporated, proudly sponsor the Newseum exhibit "First Dogs: American Presidents and Their Pets."

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May 21, 2014
9th Annual Crab Cake Competition

9th Annual Crab Cake Competition

The Source to Host Crab Cake Competition June 15

The ninth annual DC Crab Cake Competition, presented by the American Institute of Wine and Food and The Source by Wolfgang Puck, is coming to The Source Sunday, June 15! This annual tradition is designed to raise funds for culinary internships, scholarships and educational programs, and pits eight of the area's top chefs against one another in a crab cake showdown utilizing Department-verified Maryland blue crab.

This year's competing chefs include Mike Abt of Le Diplomate, Matt Adler of Osteria Morini, Sarah Biglan of Ris, Tony Chittum of Iron Gate, Chris Clime of Passion Fish, Haidar Karoum of Doi Moi, Andrew Markert of Beuchert's Saloon, and Johnny Spero of Minibar. The Source's executive chef Scott Drewno will emcee the event.

Tickets are $75 and include all-you-can-eat crab cakes, oysters, clam chowder & Gordy's pickles, plus Port City Brewery beer and wines from South Africa. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

May 8, 2014
Donald Sterling

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling (Mark J. Terrill/Courtesy The Associated Press)

Donald Sterling and Free Speech

What's left to say about the ugly, racist views of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and the vocal reactions to his comments?

Well, from a First Amendment free expression perspective, several things — some of which may well resonate even longer than Sterling's repugnant remarks and the lifetime ban imposed on him by Adam Silver, commissioner of the National Basketball Association.

Sterling's views came to light via a "leaked" audiotape given to a relatively new kind of news media,, which is positioned somewhere between a host of serious news media outlets and a long line of popular and widely read Hollywood gossip columns and magazines.

Not long ago, a digital media outlet like — and online phenoms such as Twitter and Facebook — would not have been able to create the kind of national discussion and rhetorical firestorm that followed the first reports of Sterling's private-remarks-made-public.

But no longer.

A Pew Research Center's journalism report on the State of the News Media 2014 found that "digital players have exploded onto the news scene, bringing technological knowhow and new money and luring top talent. BuzzFeed, once scoffed at for content viewed as 'click bait,' now has a news staff of 170."

The Sterling incident was yet another example of what the First Amendment's protection of speech is all about. The amendment restrains government from controlling or punishing most kinds of speech. But nothing in the 45 words shielded the billionaire from public revulsion over his views, suspended endorsement deals, instant campaigns to boycott Clipper tickets and a $2.5 million fine.

The widespread criticism of Sterling echoed earlier public revulsion over negative racial comments by Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who attracted national attention about the same time as Sterling. Welcome to another aspect of free speech protected by the First Amendment: the "marketplace of ideas."

The amendment's guarantee of freedom to speak one's mind without government restriction or penalty doesn't bring with it any assurance the speaker will find acceptance or be insulated from critics and negative public reaction. That particular civics lesson rings true across the political spectrum and over the last decade and more.

Still, some people are confused over what the First Amendment does and does not do. Witness what a CBS Radio report datelined from Charlotte, N.C., called a "Twitter firestorm" following the NBA sanctions against Sterling.

"I guess Donald Sterling is not allowed to use his First Amendment rights," said one post attributed to "Joey Bag O' Donuts."

Calling the NBA sanctions "ridiculous," another tweet, attributed to "Zac Palmer" asked, "Are we just taking his First Amendment rights away?"

Sterling may attempt some legal action against the person who made the tape — presumably without his knowledge. But that would be a civil lawsuit, likely involving state privacy laws in California where the tape is said to have been made. No First Amendment claim applies here — there is no government involvement. And for the record, there is no Fourth Amendment claim (unlawful search and seizure) either, for the same reason.

Owner groups govern their leagues but are not government. They are privately held associations, and when purchasing a team, that person or group agrees to abide by the association's rules and regulations. In the NBA's case, it's Article 24(l) of the league's constitution that empowered Silver to act in the "best interests of the Association."

Silver said Sterling's remarks were "contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect that form the foundation of our diverse, multicultural and multiethnic league."

We're more able to be heard and more likely to be heard by many in today's digital world. But as Sterling and others have demonstrated all too well, we're also more likely than ever to be held accountable by many for our views.

Or as one might tweet: "Freedom of speech works in both directions."

May 7, 2014
Jet magazine

The May 17, 1973, issue of Jet magazine. (Newseum collection)

End of an Era: Jet Magazine Goes Digital

In a sign of the economic and digital times, Johnson Publishing Company announced May 7 that Jet magazine is moving from print to online starting in June. A "best of Jet" print issue will be published annually.

The pioneering black newsweekly that was founded in 1951 was once so popular in the black community that it was called the "Negro bible" by comedian Redd Foxx. Like its sister publication Ebony, which began publishing in 1945, Jet highlighted the achievements of African Americans. Two of its most sought-out features were "Picture of the Week" and "Beauty of the Week."

The publication was also a force in the civil rights movement. Jet reporters and photographers were in the forefront in the South covering school desegregation, the Montgomery bus boycott, the Freedom Rides, and the murder of Emmett Till.

In 1955, Jet published the only photos of the mutilated body of Till lying in his casket. The 14-year-old Chicago teenager was brutally beaten to death by white racists who claimed he had whistled at a white woman. Till's body was dumped in the Tallahatchie River. The photos sparked national outrage and drew more of the mainstream media to the South to cover civil rights.

In 2012, recognizing the shift in cultural attitudes about same-sex marriage, Jet published its first wedding announcement featuring a male couple.

On May 16, 2014, the Newseum, in partnership with the Smithsonian, opens its newest exhibit, "One Nation With News for All," which tells the dramatic story of how immigrants and minorities used the power of the press to fight for their rights and shape the American experience.

The original copy of Jet that covers Till's funeral will be one of the artifacts on display. "News for All" will run through Jan. 4, 2015.

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