Thursday, July 19, 2007



Sunday, July 19, 1925

On Sunday afternoon Darrow lectured to 2,000 people at the Tivoli Theater about Tolstoi. It was a set-piece that he had been delivering for 20 years and he stayed pretty close to the subject, but Frank L. Carden, a prominent local attorney who introduced him, was not so irenic. He ripped into Governor Peay: "He is an honest governor; he has stolen none of our gold, he has only deprived us of a few of our liberties."

- Ray Ginger, Six Days or Forever?

... Darrow quietly prepared to call Bryan to the witness stand. Darrow rehearsed the interrogation on Sunday night with the Harvard geologist, Kirtley Mather, playing the Commoner's role, using the same type of questions he asked Bryan two years earlier in a public letter to the Chicago Tribune. By Sunday, the press began to sense something was afoot; the Nashville Banner reported, "Rumors go about that the defense is preparing to spring a coup d'etat."

Oblivious to Darrow's scheme, prosecutors basked in their apparent victory. Stewart pronounced the judge's ruling "a glorious victory." William Bryan, Jr., headed home to California confident in the trial's outcome. His father put the finishing touches on his closing arguments, which he promised would "be something brand new," and began looking beyond the trial. The elder Bryan talked about carrying the fight against teaching evolution to seven other state legislatures during the next two years and, on Saturday, issued a long written statement hailing the trial's impact. "We are making progress. The Tennessee case has uncovered the conspiracy against Biblical Christianity," Bryan wrote, and "unmasked" the "cruel doctrine" of natural selection that robs civilization of pity and mercy.

- Edward J. Larson, Summer for the Gods


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