AUGUSTA — The First Amendment Museum today announced its new lineup of summer exhibits, events, expanded hours and more. The Museum is now open on Saturdays. Enjoy a free tour Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout the summer. Guided tours are less than an hour and are appropriate for all age levels. Reservations and walk-ins are both welcome!
The First Amendment Museum will also host an open house on July 4 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. that will include free crafts, games, tours and food. All are welcome — please celebrate the Fourth of July with the First Amendment Museum!
When you visit, you can also see a recently installed exhibition of original political cartoons by the late cartoonist Ben Brown that lampoon the Christian right of the 1990s. Brown, an accomplished cartoonist, worked on comics such as Richie Rich and Felix the Cat but also volunteered for The Institute for First Amendment Studies — a secular watchdog group which monitored the activities of conservative Christian organizations.
The First Amendment Museum also recently acquired on long-term loan the original “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” banner related to the historic Supreme Court case Morse v. Frederick, which helped define the limits of high school students’ free speech.
“We’re really excited about acquiring the iconic “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” banner. While it’s an excellent representation of the limits of free speech in schools, it also represents the inspiration, enthusiasm and courage of our youth – who so frequently in our history are the instigators of important social change. But it’s twenty years old and only made of butcher paper and duct tape,” says Christian Cotz, CEO at the First Amendment Museum. “That’s why we initiated a GoFundMe campaign to conserve the banner — so we can ensure future generations learn about their free speech rights.”
Exhibited at the recently-shuttered Newseum in Washington D.C. for many years, the banner is now conserved and on display at the First Amendment Museum. Stop by, snap a selfie, and learn about this iconic object. To learn more and help be a part of the restoration campaign, visit http://www.firstamendmentmuseum.org/bong-hits
To learn more about visiting the Museum for a tour: http://www.firstamendmentmuseum.org/visit. Admission is free, donations are welcome.
A relatively new, non-partisan, non-profit museum, the First Amendment Museum’s mission is to inspire US to “Live Our Freedoms” by understanding and using our First Amendment rights to advance democracy so that all reap the benefits. The Museum is located in the historic Guy Gannett House at 184 State Street in the capitol district of Augusta, Maine. Call the First Amendment Museum at 207-557-2290 to learn more.