The inaugural Elijah P. Lovejoy First Amendment event drew a crowd of around 100 people at Lincoln-Douglas Square in Downtown Alton Wednesday afternoon. The event included prayer, patriotic songs, a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, and a host of guest speakers from both sides of the political aisle.
Lovejoy, the abolitionist and free press martyr, was shot by a pro slavery mob in November 1837 guarding his newspaper press. Pastor Danny Holliday of the Victory Baptist Church hopes the day inspired a sense of community in the crowd.
Lincoln-Douglas Square is just yards from where Lovejoy's fourth printing press was broken and thrown into the Mississippi River.