Live Free or Die: The Contested History of the Words on Your License Plate

Presenter: Dan Billin

In 1969, when New Hampshire officials decided to put the state’s motto – “live free or die” – on its license plates, many citizens viewed the act as an endorsement of the deeply unpopular war being waged in Vietnam and protested by covering up or altering the motto. In response, authorities cracked down hard: arresting, fining, and sometimes even incarcerating those who engaged in duct-tape dissent. People appealed their convictions, sparking a legal contest over the First Ammendment that went all the way to the United States Supreme Court. In this multimedia presentation, historian and former newspaper reporter Dan Billin tells a uniquely New Hampshire tale illustrating the genius – and the fragility – of the First Amendment. 


Join us as we celebrate 50 years of bringing the humanities to your community!

Event Details


Sunday, May 5, 2024 1:00pm


Pope Memorial Library
2719 White Mountain Highway
North Conway NH 03860

Hosted By:

Pope Memorial Library

Contact Info:

Angela Callahan, 603-356-2961