NC State's Response to the Speaker Ban

Wes McClure discusses the reaction of NC State University's Student Government to the Speaker Ban law. The Speaker Ban was enacted by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1963, and it forbade speaking at the state's public universities anyone who was a member of the communist party or who advocated overthrow of the U.S. government. The law was declared invalid in 1968.

Interview on 2014-12-04


00:00:00.000 When I was a sophomore that was when the Speaker Ban Law was kind of controversial and there were a lot of protests at UNC.
00:00:13.219 I don’t think we had that many protests at NC State but we did pass legislation about it in student government,
00:00:20.660 basically underwriting that academic freedom should be preserved, that it’s not a problem to have any speaker come on a campus
00:00:31.468 and that we’re adults and we could tell the difference between truth and not truth. So we passed one bill that encouraged students–.
00:00:39.845 Since they were banned to hear a speaker at either UNC or NC State, he was going to speak at Duke.
00:00:47.122 I mean they’re not a public institution and they didn’t have to worry about what the legislature said, so they invited this speaker
00:00:54.292 and it was kind of thumbing your nose, I think, at the Consolidated University.
00:00:58.731 So we suggested students should go to Duke to hear it, and then we also passed a resolution about affirming academic freedom.
00:01:08.004 But that was about the extent of it. I mean what else could you say?