It’s Banned Books Week! Banned Books Week formed in 1982 as an awareness campaign that celebrates the freedom to read and highlights persecuted authors. As patrons of the arts, President and Mrs. Kennedy invited many artists, authors, and musicians to visit the White House. Take a quick look at two guest lists from a 1962 dinner honoring Nobel Prize winners–it’s a veritable who’s who of authors with banned books! Almost the entire guest list had a banned book at some point in history, including Baldwin, Cummings, Dos Passos, Farrell, Salinger, Sandburg, Sinclair, Steinbeck, Wilder, Miller, Williams, Styron, Capote, Warren, Bellow, McCullers, and Ellison. Are we missing anyone?

(Credit: White House Sanford Fox Files, Box 13/ JFK Library)

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