A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“There was a fight at the fish and chip shop. The fish got battered” (12/21)
“If you’re white, it’s all right” (12/21)
“Courtesy Counts: Manners Make a Better Ride” (bus and subway slogan) (12/21)
Manspreading (12/20)
“I can’t breathe” (anti-police brutality slogan) (12/20)
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Entry from August 24, 2014
“What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to”

"What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to” is a popular quotation of uncertain origin. It has been cited in print since at least 1948, shen it was included in a “CY CYLINDER Sez” automotive advertisement.

The name Hansell B. Duckett—it’s not known who this is—has been credited with the line since 1962.


17 June 1948, The News (Van Nuys, CA), pt. 2, pg. 5, col. 1 ad:
CY CYLINDER Sez: by FJELLAND & WAGLEY
WHAT THIS COUNTRY NEEDS IS MORE FREE SPEECH WORTH LISTENING TO

13 July 1951, Boston (MA) Traveler, “Take It From Me” by Neal O’Hara, pg. 19, col. 1:
Observes a cynic: “What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to.”

Google Books
CIE
Hotel and Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union
Volumes 62-63
1953
Pg. 2:
“What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to.”

Google News Archive
16 September 1959, Kentucky New Era (Hopkinsville, KY), “Office Cat,” pg. 4, col. 3:
“What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to.”

5 January 1962, The Press-Gazette (Hillsboro, OH), pg. 2, col. 6:
Words of the Wise
What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to.
-- (Hansell B. Duckett)

26 March 1963, Aberdeen (SD) American-News, “Earl Wilson in Europe,” pg. 4, col. 5:
REMEMBERED QUOTE. What thiscountry needs is more free speech worth listening to.—Nansell B. Duckett.

Google Books
The Modern Handbook of Humor
By Ralph Louis Woods
New York, NY: McGraw-Hill
1967
Pg. 459:
What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to. — Hansel B. Duckett

Google News Archive
1 December 1979, Kentucky New Era (Hopkinsville, KY), “Watching the Parade” by Joe Dorris, pg. 4, col. 3:
What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to.

Google Books
20,000 Quips & Quotes
By Evan Esar
New York, NY: Barnes & Noble Books
1995, ©1968
Pg. 328:
What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Sunday, August 24, 2014 • Permalink