- Freedom of speech was established in the First Amendment  of the United States Constitution in 1791 along with freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and “the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” It is the first article in the Bill of Rights.
- In 1948, the UN recognized free speech as a human right in article 19 of the International Declaration of Human Rights .
- Protection of speech was first introduced when the Magna Carta was signed in 1215. In 1689, the English Bill of Rights granted freedom of speech in Parliament, and the French established the protection of speech in their “Declarations of the Rights of Man” in 1789.
- In an early argument for free speech, Socrates (in 399 BC) told the jury if he was freed on the condition to never speak his mind, he’d sooner “obey the Gods rather than [them].”
- Since the Bill of Rights were written, the judicial branch has defined what is and isn’t protected under the free speech clause. In 1969 in Brandenburg v. Ohio , the court decided that speech can be restricted if the speaker strives to provoke an “imminent” and “likely” violation of law.
- Libel, slander,and defamation are not protected under the freedom of speech.
- In 1633, Galileo Galilei — otherwise known as the “Father of Modern Science” — was brought before the Inquisition for insisting that the sun does not revolve around the earth. His punishment was a lifetime of house arrest — a crime that would have been protected by free speech a century later.
- Hate speech  is protected in the US by the First Amendment.
- 70 percent of Americans agreed that people should have the right to free speech, even if their words are highly offensive.
- Obscenity — most often pornography — has posed a problem for judges defining what exactly is “too obscene” to be protected by the First Amendment. In 1973, the Miller test  was established after Miller v. California  to define obscenity.
- Thanks to Tinker v. Des Moines  in 1969, students retain their right to free speech during school hours.
(a) whether "the average person, applying contemporary community standards" would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest
(b) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law
(c) whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
Learn the terms about free speech. GO