AUGUSTA — The First Amendment Museum, 184 State St., has announced its new lineup of summer exhibits, events, expanded hours and more.

The museum is open on Saturdays, with free tours offered from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday throughout the summer. Guided tours are less than an hour and are appropriate for all age levels. Reservations and walk-ins are both welcome.

The museum has planned an open house from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, July 4 to include free crafts, games, tours and food.

Visitors can see a recently installed exhibition of original political cartoons by the late cartoonist Ben Brown, which lampoon the Christian right of the 1990s. Brown worked on comics such as Richie Rich and Felix the Cat but also volunteered for The Institute for First Amendment Studies — a secular watchdog group which monitored the activities of conservative Christian organizations.

The museum also recently acquired on long-term loan the original “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” banner related to the historic Supreme Court case Morse v. Frederick, which helped define the limits of high school students’ free speech.

“We’re really excited about acquiring the iconic ‘Bong Hits 4 Jesus’ banner. While it’s an excellent representation of the limits of free speech in schools, it also represents the inspiration, enthusiasm, and courage of our youth — who so frequently in our history are the instigators of important social change. But it’s 20 years old and only made of butcher paper and duct tape,” said Christian Cotz, CEO at the museum, according to a museum release. “That’s why we initiated a GoFundMe campaign to conserve the banner — so we can ensure future generations learn about their free speech rights.”

Exhibited at the recently shuttered Newseum in Washington D.C. for many years, the banner is now conserved and on display at the museum. To learn more and help be a part of the restoration campaign, visit

To learn more about visiting the museum for a tour, visit Admission is free, donations are welcome.

A relatively new, non-partisan, non-profit museum, the museum’s mission is to inspire people to “Live Our Freedoms” by understanding and using their First Amendment rights to advance democracy so that all reap the benefits. The museum is located in the historic Guy Gannett House in the capitol district of Augusta.

To learn more, call the museum at 207-557-2290.

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