Opinion

Marking FOIA’s 50th anniversary

An editorial from The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register 

WHEELING, W.Va. — Possibly the most important tool citizens have to keep their government in check turned 50 on Monday. It’s called the Freedom of Information Act.

It was July 4, 1966, when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the FOIA bill into law.

The legislation came about through the efforts of the late Rep. John Moss, D-Calif., a longtime champion of making government information public.

Johnson, during his signing ceremony, said, “I sign this measure with a deep sense of pride that the United States is an open society in which the people’s right to know is cherished and guarded. This legislation springs from one of our most essential principles: A democracy works best when the people have all the information that the security of the nation permits. No one should be able to pull curtains of secrecy around decisions which can be revealed without injury to the public interest.”

Indeed. What Johnson said in 1966 remains true today…

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