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New York Times Presented with Stephen Wise Award by Jewish Congress

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The 1955 Stephen S. Wise Award was presented by the American Jewish Congress today to the New York Times at a luncheon attended by noted Jewish and non-Jewish personalities. The award, accepted by Arthur Hays Sulzberger, publisher of the Times, is a bronze plaque which carries the inscription: “To The New York Times–for its outstanding service as a leading organ of public opinion in championing the constitutional rights and freedoms of all Americans.” A check for $1,000, which usually accompanies the plaque, was returned with thanks to the AJC by Mr. Sulzberger.

Dr. Israel Goldstein, president of the AJC, who made the formal presentation stated that the “great merit of the New York Times in this age of doubt is its absolute confidence in the ability of the free citizen to arrive at truth through the unrestricted airing of competing ideas, and its complete faith in the collective judgment of the people when it is given full information and a fair presentation of divergent opinions.”

Judge Simon E. Sobeloff of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, who served as chairman of the 1955 Stephen Wise Awards Committee, declared that in “honoring the Times we honor at the same time all who are fighting the good fight for civil rights and civil liberties.” In accepting the award, Mr. Sulzberger noted that today American newspapers are being subject to closer scrutiny than ever before. “They are reporting it without governmental interference, with freedom and with a heavy responsibility to report it fairly” he said. Charles H. Revson was chairman of the luncheon.

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