In 1908, a remarkable direction in community learning began in Boston and spread across the country, becoming the Open Forum lecture movement. These locally planned, trans-denominational lectures, followed by periods for questions, were characterized as ';the striking of mind upon mind.'This study recovers the movement and shows what can be applied to our time. George W. Coleman brought a deep commitment to free speech in developing the Forum and Mary Caroline Crawford was essential in implementing it. Understanding this initiative broadens our awareness of personal and community courage and democratic planning. We can regain this informed, reflective, respectful approach, and achieve an America ';to be'a democracy in the making.