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Edward Larson
Edward Larson
Summer for the Gods
ISBN: 0465075096
Summer for the Gods
The 1925 Scopes Trial marked a watershed in our national relationship between science and religion and has had tremendous impact on our culture ever since, even inspiring the famous play/movie Inherit the Wind. In addition to symbolizing the evolutionist versus creationist debate, the trial helped shape the development of both popular religion and religious freedom in America. Yet despite its influence on the 20th century, there are no modern histories of the trial and its aftermath. This book fills that void not only by skillfully narrating the trial's events, but also by framing it in a broader social context, showing how its influence has cut across religious, cultural, educational and political lines. With new material from both the prosecution and the defense, along with the author's astute historical and legal analysis, Summer for the Gods is destined to become a new classic about a pivotal milestone in American history.
—from the publisher's website
Summer for the Gods
Program Air Date: June 28, 1998

BRIAN LAMB, HOST: Edward J. Larson, author of "Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion," what did it feel like the first moment you knew you were going to get a Pulitzer Prize for this?
Professor EDWARD J. LARSON, AUTHOR, "SUMMER FOR THE GODS": I was just shocked. Stunned was the right word for it. I knew I'd been nominated months before, but I wasn't expecting it. I knew the day it was supposed to be announced, but I'd been invited to go up and give a talk at my mother's alma mater. She was still alive when the invitation came and she was going to go up and join me, and I was in the air when the announcement was made. I wasn't waiting at the phone like you're supposed to be. And then I didn't know anything when I got off the plane.

And since the driver didn't say anything, I didn't expect anything had happened. I was driven back to the hotel, and at--when I got to the conference center at this little college town, here was this--the receptionist there with this--this--standing behind the desk with what seemed like the entire staff behind her. She was holding this great big thick pile of phone messages about an inch thick. She had this silly grin on her face. And she said, `Mr. Larson?'--she sort of said. `We have a lot of messages for you. Congratulations.' And I just said, `Congratulations for what?' And midway through the answer it just dawned on me what it must be. I just was stunned. It was wonderful.
LAMB: What's it mean to get a Pulitzer Prize?
Prof. LARSON: Well, in my profession it's--it's--it's the greatest there is. It's the--it--well, it's a tribute to writing, and I love to write. I love the--I love crafting words. I like to do research. I like history. When I was--when I was going to college--this sort of captures it--I had always thought I could write. I came from rural Ohio and--where we didn't get much particular training, and I learned to--I learned to love literature by reading, not by writing. And I loved to read, oh, various novelists, but I also liked Dickens and I liked Hawthorne and--but I also liked Virgil and some of the classics and--and Shakespeare and I loved to write. And I--and I thought I could do it.

And then I got to college, and my freshman comp teachers were very, very discouraging, but I--but I--but I--I liked it. And what I always wanted to do is be a history teacher. And I had sort of given up on my college and I was going to leave, but I had to get fresh--senior standing to t--junior standing to transfer into University of Michigan. And I thought, `Well, for my last--in the last qua--last semester here, I'll take James McGregor Burns, a Pulitzer Prize winner, o--I've heard a wonderful human being.' And I knew it was just a course where you'd write one big paper. This had to be a paper on your congressmen.

And I just poured my heart out in writing that paper. And I--I was going to be leaving the college anyway, and here he was--I knew he could write because he had a Pulitzer Prize--he had two, actually, but I--that's why I knew he could write. And I, of course, loved his books on Roosevelt. And I'd--I'd left the college after I turned it in and I had--because I had to be out to Michigan--University of Michigan to start. And he sent the paper back to me, and it was an A+. And with--with wonderful comments in it. And that's when I had confidence I could write. So winning the Pulitzer Prize was special for me because it had that--that history, that--that--that--that connection with Jim Burns.
LAMB: I guess my next question would be: Where do you teach history today?
Prof. LARSON: Well, now I teach history at the University of Georgia. I have joint appointment. I teach both history in the history department and--and law in the law school. I have a--I also have a law degree so I combined the two.
LAMB: How long have you been there?
Prof. LARSON: I've been there about nine years. I used to work up here on the Hill and--but...
LAMB: For...
Prof. LARSON: Well, I worked for the House Education and Labor Committee when Carl Perkins was the chairman of the committee. But I had finished my Ph--I finished up my PhD actually while I was here in--in history of science. And so I wanted to--I always wanted to teach. It was my dream. If you'd asked me when I was five years old what I wanted to be when I grew up, and it--remember, I was in this rural--a small town that was not very academic and I'd tell them I wanted to be a college teacher in a college town. Kenyon College was nearby--Gambier, Ohio. And that was sort of my vision. And nobody el--alway--everybody always thought it was funny. I mean, most people wanted to be firemen or policemen. And--but that's what I wanted.

And so I--I continued to work up on the Hill after finishing by PhD until I got an offer from a--from a school that would be in a college town 'cause my first--you know, most schools--I--by that time I knew I didn't want to teach at a college like--like Kenyon. I wanted to be at a research institution because I kn--I grew to love research and writing and I wanted the time to do that, as well as teaching, which I also like.
LAMB: You--by the way, where'd you get your PhD?
Prof. LARSON: Wisconsin--University of Wisconsin-Madison.
LAMB: You start off in the very beginning of this book and you say, `I'--you dedicate this book `In memory of my father, Rex Larson, a Darrow-like criminal lawyer.' And here you have in the book, a picture of Clarence Darrow. Why was your father a Darrow-like criminal lawyer?
Prof. LARSON: Well, he had admi--he always admired Darrow. Darrow was also from a small town in rural Ohio--Kinsman, Ohio, which isn't too far away. And then he'd gone off and taught school in Ashtabula, Ohio, and then he went to University of Michigan to law school.

My father followed in his footsteps. He came from a small town in Ohio. He had similar beliefs and--and ideas. He'd also taught high school in--in Ashtabula, Ohio. And then he went off to University of Michigan to law school 'cause that's where Clarence Darrow went. And then he came out and wanted to do criminal--criminal law, which is what Darrow liked. He--he--he--Darrow was his idol.
LAMB: Who was Clarence Darrow?
Prof. LARSON: Clarence Darrow was--oh, what a man--probably one of the greatest, if not the greatest criminal defense lawyer in American history. He was--he had grown up in Ohio and went off to Michigan, but then he went to Chicago to be an attorney. And he started off as a classic Democrat. He--in fact, he was nominated for Congress. He would have won, but he was s--too busy campaigning for the presidential ticket, led by William Jennings Bryan, that he lost by about 100 votes.

But he be--became increasingly, oh, concerned about government excesses. This was when the Haymarket Riot was put down and the Pullman Strike. He defended Eugene V. Debs and became increasingly associated with defending labor at a time when labor was being sorely oppressed. And he represented a series of great labor cases leading up to the McNamara brothers, the bombing of the Los Angeles Times building. And in that case, there were questions about how he handled it. There were issues of perjury. And for a while it dimmed his reputation, but he came back after that mostly representing murder defendants because he was deeply opposed to the--to the capital punishment, leading up to the Leopold-Loeb case, which was his most famous until the following year when he handled the Scopes case.

But in addition to being a--a--a great trial lawyer, he had a whole 'nother reputation. He was also, at the time, America's leading--I guess you'd call it anti-clericalist. He--he fought--he--well, he was like Tom Paynor or Ingersoll, who argued for the merits of agnosticism and criticized the est--promotion of church through government. He was a popular speaker, lecturer, writer.
LAMB: So he said he ran for Congress.
Prof. LARSON: Ran for Congress early. That was before he was--became more of a--a--a--oh, you'd--notorious for some, famous for others. But he was a hero to people who questioned the--the establishment Protestantism that--that dominated the day. He was--he sort of had a role like Carl Sagan did more recently.
LAMB: What year was the Scopes trial?
Prof. LARSON: The Scopes trial was 1925.
LAMB: What was America like then?
Prof. LARSON: America was--well, it was in the middle of the--the roaring '20s. America was into media sensation, and, of course, this was the greatest media sensation of a media sensation-loving decade. It was also a time when we were in--deep into the return to normalcy of the Republican Party coined by Warren Harding, but then Coolidge was president. And there was a--a reaction. It wasn't long after the Red Scare. And it was during a time when, while America was changing--jazz music was--was king, women suffrage was brand new, s--teen smoking was--was widespread, dancing--all these changes were coming, America was urbanizing it. Before, we'd been a--a rural people. So there was a lot of change and there was a lot of reaction to that change. And with that reaction came the rise of fundamentalism and religion, which was a reaction to modernism and liberalism within the church.
LAMB: So we're talking about 1925. Cal Coolidge is president. We've talked about Clarence Darrow, who plays a big role in the story. Where was the trial?
Prof. LARSON: The trial was in Dayton, Tennessee, a small town in Republican east Tennessee in the rising hill country, a little--a new town, a town that hadn't been around--well, it was founded about 25 years earlier when they pushed railroads down into the--through the Tennessee Valley. And it was opened with Yankee money that was called part of the New South. And they'd opened some coal mines. They'd opened a blast furnace. They'd opened it to strawberry production because they had--now had trains that could carry strawberries up north without them spoiling. And there was a--an influx of Scottish immigrants to work in the--in the mills there.

So it was--it wasn't your classic Old South. It was New South that was caught up in the turmoil of the change of times. But then by 1925, after a boom at the turn of the century when it was founded, it was caught in an economic recession tha--the--the big blast furnace had closed down. The population had declined in half. And it was a--so it was a town in economic turmoil.
LAMB: OK. Today if you want to get to Bryan--I'm sorry. We'll get to that in a sec. When--we get to Dayton, Tennessee. How do you get there?
Prof. LARSON: Well, you...
LAMB: And have you been there?
Prof. LARSON: Oh, yes. In fact, I'm--I'm going up again this weekend. I did there--because, to me, setting the stage was important because the town had a lot to do with--with how the trial came out and the feelings of the trial. And the town hasn't changed at all. And so I would go up there to sort of get a feel for--for the layout and how it looks.

And the way you get there is you--you basically go to--depends on where you're coming from, north or south. If you're coming from the south, you go to Chattanooga. And if you're going from the north, you go to Knoxville and then you take the old road. Now there's a big superhighway that's on the other side of the--the--the river--the Tennessee River, which is all dammed up and makes it--makes it sort of like a lake. So you have to take the old road, which goes to the--to the west. And so you either go down from Chattanooga for about 40 minutes, an hour--oh, no, down from Knoxville for about 40 minutes or up from Chattanooga for about 30. You get to this little down.
LAMB: The second dedication in your book is to William H. Ellis Jr., a Bryanesque attorney/politician. So the first one was to your father who was a Darrow-like criminal lawyer, and then William H. Ellis Jr., a Bryanesque attorney/politician. What's that all about?
Prof. LARSON: Well, William Ellis, or Skeeter Ellis as he was known, had--had died shortly--while I was working on the book. And he was an attorney I--I got to know in--in Seattle, Washington, which is where I practice law. And he was a--a populist person, a politician, state legislator--my state legislator in--in Washington state. And he had that same effervescent personality, the--interested in all things, as Bryan was interested in all things.
LAMB: Which one of these is Bryan?
Prof. LARSON: Oh, Bryan is right in the middle with the bow tie looking out sort of grinning with his--with his coat off.
LAMB: Who's on the--who's on his left or our right?
Prof. LARSON: Who's on his--I have got my directions r...
LAMB: Clarence Darrow.
Prof. LARSON: Clarence Darrow is way over on the side. And he's shaking--he's over on the--on the--on the far side.
LAMB: Far, far right.
Prof. LARSON: You see just half of his head looking over. He's facing toward Bryan, but he's shaking hands with a judge. That's--that's the--the--Judge Raulston. And then the other way, right in front of the WGN microphone, is Dudley Field Malone, who--who's looking out toward us in the suit. He was the very dapper and very eloquent co-defense lawyer along with Clarence Darrow. And then sort of hidden next to him between Malone and Bryan, you see sort of the half a face of Tom Stewart, who was the prosecutor for east Tennessee, a--a brilliant lawyer. He became senator and served several terms as senator from the state Tennessee. And he was the--he was the lead prosecutor. Bryan was his assistant or his--basically his mouthpiece.
LAMB: You mentioned earlier that--in the dedication, your father is no--is not alive. When did he die?
Prof. LARSON: He died in--I think it was '91.
LAMB: And you also mention that your mother was alive when you got the Pulitzer. Does that mean she died since then?
Prof. LARSON: No, she was alive when I was invited up to go give the talk where--where I heard about the Pulitzer. She died last--just a few months ago.
LAMB: On the cover of this book of yours is a photograph of a monkey. Why?
Prof. LARSON: Well, many people say it's a good likeness of me with the way the name is--name is associated with it. It's known as the `monkey trial.' And that was--I--all credit for that cover, which I think is a beautiful cover, goes to Basic Book. They--they--they came up with the design.

When they--they called me up and said, `Oh, we've got a wonderful design. It looks like K--a Knopf cover,' which, I guess, to them was the highest compliment. But it is sort of fun. It's--it's--it's known as the monkey trial because what was being challenged was the idea--did--the way it was pictured in the press is: Did humans evolve from monkeys? And, of course, there were wonderful cartoons during the trial, such as cartoons where--where when the verdict was announced and Scopes was convicted, you'll see all these monkeys in a tree jumping up and down, saying, `Hooray, we're--we're not related to William Jennings Bryan,' that sort of reversal. So it--it--that's how--that's how the trial was known.
LAMB: You mentioned Scopes--John T. Scopes, 24 years old.
Prof. LARSON: Yeah.
LAMB: Who was he?
Prof. LARSON: John Scopes was a new teacher in--in Dayton. That's him on the far side--Right?--walking with his red hair.
LAMB: On the left side?
Prof. LARSON: Yes, the furthest away from the sign on the outside.
LAMB: And it says `Read Your Bible' up there on the sign.
Prof. LARSON: That's one of the posters that was hung by--one of the signs in--around in town. There were four such posters around in Dayton. And betw--oh, going over toward the `Read Your Bible' is the--the original defense attorney who--who--Neil who was from...
LAMB: John Neil.
Prof. LARSON: John Neil who was the--who had been a--a l--a law professor at the University of Tennessee. And then f--full over is George Rappleyea who invented the trial. He was the local manager of the--of the coal mine who'd come down from New York City and read the offer about the ACLU to challenge the new Tennessee anti-evolution law. The ACLU had been dogging the efforts to pass laws against the teaching of human evolution in public schools. That had been Bryan's crusade. He'd come close in several states. And wherever he was trying, the ACLU would appear to try to--try to stop the legislation. The first success after a two-year-long crusade came in Tennessee. The law passed.

Rappleyea, this Yankee who was down there running the coal mines in--in--in Dayton, east Tennessee--Republican east Tennessee--he had--he was opposed to the law, of course, and saw this offer in the--in the local paper for the ACLU to represent any local teacher who was willing to challenge the law. Well, he thought that was a great opportunity to strike at the law. And so he went down and he tried to think, `How can I get the town to go along with me?' And how he could was the idea of publicity, bring publicity to the town. Remember, the town is in economic decline and it's in Republican east Tennessee. So it's not in Bryan country. The--the county where--where Dayton is had never voted for William Jennings Bryan in any of his three campaigns for president. It had always gone for the Republican, McKinley or Taft. And so he went down and tried to convince the local townspeople.

He went to see the school superintendent, superintendent of the public schools and this--the president of the school board. And he convinced them that this would be a great way to put Dayton on the map, to bring this--bring this trial down 'cause this would certainly be a media sensation. And here, the ACLU was willing to defend any teacher willing to challenge. So they tried to figure what teacher could they get. And the biology teacher is also the school principal, and he had a family and he was a middle-aged man and they thought, `Oh, well, the controversy just wouldn't be appropriate.'

So they struck upon the idea of having John Scopes. Now the problem was he'd never taught biology, so he'd never violated the law. He was the general science teacher. He was also the football coach. But the idea was a test case, so it didn't matter that much. And so they sent a messenger--sent somebody out to get him. He was out playing tennis at the time. And they brought him down to the local drugstore, which was--it was during Prohibition. So that was where people hung out, at the local drugstore, which was owned by the president of the school board, Fred Robinson--Robinson's Drug Store.

S--and they brought in--brought Scopes down and they presented the--presented the option that--that here--remember, this is his boss asking. It isn't the scene from "Inherit the Wind" where they ra--pull him out of a--where a mob led by a--a--a fire-breathing fundamentalist minister drags him out of the courtroom or driv--dri--drags him out of his classroom. No, here he is brought--it was the summer--brought in from a tennis game and here's his principal--well, no. His school superintendent and the president of the school board and George Rappleyea, the--the manager of the coal mine, plus a couple other figures--the city solicitor, Sue Hicks, and his brother Herbert Hicks. And they pres...
LAMB: Sue's a man, by the way, right?
Prof. LARSON: Sue--yes. The person who--"Boy Named Sue" is written for, the song "A Boy Named Sue" is written about him. He was a friend of Johnny Cash later on. And so they--they--they ask him. They say, `Would you be willing to stand for a test case?' And he was young. He had no particular plans to stay in town. He was up for an adventure, and he also--he had gone to college in--University of Kentucky. He was from Illinois. In fact, he was from the same town as William Jennings Bryan: Salem, Illinois. And William Jennings Bryan had delivered his commencement address at the high school. But he wa--went to school in Kentucky.

And his father had been a--a--a--a labor organizer--an immigrant, labor organizer, a radical, a socialist, an ath--a--an avowed atheist. And in--in Kentucky he had--he had--he had been impressed when his--the pr--the president of the University of Kentucky had stood up to William Jennings Bryan and fought the passage of an anti-evolution law in Kentucky and won by one vote in the state legislature. And so when the offer was made, `Will you stand for a test case?'--and he s--you know, the--everybody knew he hadn't actually violated the law, but you don't need to actually have been taught to bring sort of a test case. They were originally envisioning a--what's known as a declaratory judgment action.

But they--he said yes, and so they nominally arrested him. He never went to jail. Of course, the--the--the statute didn't call for a criminal penalty. It was a $100 fine if you were convicted. And he--he went back and--and played tennis. They called the ACLU--the same time. They broke up. One of them called the ACLU. The other ones--the--the other ones at the meeting called the local newspapers. They called the Chattanooga, the Nashville, the--newspapers, the Knoxville. So you knew from the beginning their idea was publicity.
LAMB: Is it--as I understand it when I read it that Lucille Milner made all the difference in the world in all this, the secretary?
Prof. LARSON: Well, she--she--she says she did. She--in her own account. That doesn't...
LAMB: Who was she?
Prof. LARSON: Lucille Milner was the secretary for the ACLU. She worked for Roger Baldwin, who was the founder of the ACLU. And it was her job to clip newspapers.
LAMB: Cl--where was she located?
Prof. LARSON: She was located in New York. The ACLU had--hadn't reached much beyond New York. It was only about seven years old at the time.
LAMB: And what was it then?
Prof. LARSON: And sh--oh, it was an organization that had been founded during the--during World War I to defend people opposed to the war. The Wa--World War I was an incredibly controversial war. There were many people opposed to it, including William Jennings Bryan, who, of course, resigned as secretary of state in protest over the war. And they defended pacifists who were opposed to the war and also speakers who wanted to speak out against the war and then got into opposing the Red Scare. That's how they got started. And then they moved on to defending labor unions and the right to labors to organize and defending radical groups, such as Communists or socialists or anarchists. Their--their creed had become by 1925 free speech.
LAMB: And they used to be called the National Civil Liberties Bureau.
Prof. LARSON: They were founded that way, and that's when they focused on defending anti-war activists. And when they decided to broaden out and defend free speech more generally, then they took the name the American Civil Liberties Union. And by 1925 their commitment was a defense of the First Amendment, especially the free speech, right to assemble. And that brought them head-on into opposition to something like an anti-evolution law which was limiting academic freedom and free speech by teachers.
LAMB: So this secretary's in New York City, the ACLU headquarters.
Prof. LARSON: Yeah.
LAMB: The clippings come through and she spots this.
Prof. LARSON: Well, she actually--she actually did the clipping herself. Some newspapers come in--she used to tell stories how her hands were always just black every night because she'd have to cut--you remember the old newsprint. At least I remember it and I think it was even worse in the '20s. And she'd have to cut out all these clippings. And so she ran across the notice that Tennessee had passed the anti-evolution law and passed it on to Roger Baldwin, who was the great founder of the ACLU. And immediately they knew they had a--another case. They...
LAMB: By the way, had Baldwin been in jail already?
Prof. LARSON: Oh, yes. Baldwin was put in jail during World War I for his op--for avoiding the Selective Service and for counseling others to avoid the Selective Service Act.
LAMB: So he's back running the ACLU now.
Prof. LARSON: Correct.
LAMB: She sees this clipping, 1925.
Prof. LARSON: Yep.
LAMB: What happens?
Prof. LARSON: He--well, he calls together his--the ACLU board and draws in their consultants. And, let's see, who was active then? Felix Frankfurter was very active, the great Harvard Law pro--School professor. And so he was consulted. And...
LAMB: Went on to be a Supreme Court justice.
Prof. LARSON: Went on to be a--yes, a famous Supreme Court justice. A variety of different attorneys in New York: Sam Rosenthal, who was very active with the ACLU; Arthur Garfield Hays, who was the attorney who ends up coming down to the Scopes trial. He's the--he's the representative...
LAMB: Got to stop you there because you say in the book how he got that name.
Prof. LARSON: It's a wonderful story because here he--he becomes a leading defender of--of--of civil rights, a--a radical, a--a--a--a--a m--a staunch Democrat, a very committed liberal Democrat. And his father was a very conservative Republican from upstate New York. And he already had the last name Hays. So he picks the other names, basically names him for a string of Republican presidents. The advantage of knowing his name is then you can remember that medley of Republican presidents that come between Grant and McKinley because he...
LAMB: Arthur Garfield Hays.
Prof. LARSON: Arthur Garfield Hays only in the wrong order. They s--he should have arranged th--the other two names so it'd fit the direction. But he was named for those Republican presidents. It's not that he had a particularly noble pedigree himself. He wasn't related to any of these people. Hays is actually spelled different than President Hayes' name. But the Re--his father, who was a staunch Republican, liked the idea of--of stringing together those names.
LAMB: And he was on the ACLU Executive Committee?
Prof. LARSON: Yes, he was very active with the ACLU. He was a w--he was a Park Avenue lawyer. He had a l--a thriving practice in, oh, defending a var--corporations. He had--he--wealthy individuals, made a lot of money doing that. But he--he grew terribly bored doing that. And what he wanted to do was be on the cutting edge of--of social change and social activism, and that's why he got involved with the ACLU. And he had wonderful exploits. He--he liked to do the adventure himself. He didn't--he wasn't a courtroom lawyer. He--he was a courtroom lawyer, but where he liked to be was on the cutting edge.

So he w--when H.L. Mencken protested a censorship law in Boston by selling his books who--a banned book in Boston Commons, the great editor, H.L. Mencken, Arthur Garfield Hays went with him also peddling banned books in Boston. He went out to the coal mines to be right with the coal miners when they were in some bitter coal strikes. That was a great story. He's warned, `You can't go out'--this was some town in Pennsylvania. `You can't go out there. They'll--they'll tar and feather you and they'll castrate you.' And his eyes got big and said, `Well, that'll be interesting,' and off he went. When they were trying to bust the strike in--in Jersey City, he didn't wait and be a lawyer. He went down there and climbed on top of a car and gave a speech to--to--to speak down the mayor.

And then he was a Jew, of course. When--when the trial comes for the p--for the people accused of burning down the …..building by the Nazis, he goes to Nazi Germany and tries to defend those people against the Nazis. So he was a man of--a man of action, and he--he loved adventure. And he didn't want to be bored. And he was there on the cutting edge, and--and when he--you read his autobiography and various letters he wrote, the place he loved most was when he was at Dayton with Clarence Darrow.
LAMB: By the way, you mention H.L. Mencken and he's--you've quoted him a lot in the book. What were his politics back in 1925?
Prof. LARSON: Oh, he was a libertarian then, too. He was...
LAMB: But he wasn't a liberal...
Prof. LARSON: No, no. I...
LAMB: ...or a Democrat?
Prof. LARSON: No, I image he'd support a Democrat if he thought the Republicans bo--he certainly wasn't a committed--by any means, he wasn't a committed Democrat. He wasn't a supporter of any party. He'd--he'd argued against Wilson. He's argued against Teddy Roosevelt. He'd argue a--he would later argue against the New Deal. He was a--he was suspicious of government. He was a--what he could do was he--he could put words together. He could give--he could give life to thoughts. But he was very suspicious of government. He was more of a libertarian.
LAMB: Is there any way to compare--you--when talking about Clarence Darrow and--and William Jennings Bryan and John T. Scopes and H.L. Mencken, if we were to name people today in our world that had that kind of visibility or that kind of importance, lawyers--any way to do that? Cases?
Prof. LARSON: Good question. I would say that--the--the puzzling thing is both Darrow and Bryan had two hats. They were famous for two reasons. I suppose if you took--as a defense lawyer, Clarence Darrow would hold the role of an F. Lee Bailey maybe. But he was also America's leading, oh, critic of revealed religion. And so in that sense, he would also hold, as I mentioned earlier, maybe Carl Sagan's role, but he'd combine them.
LAMB: He wrote a book about it being as--agnostic...
Prof. LARSON: Oh, he wrote many.
LAMB: ...or...
Prof. LARSON: He--he wrote a book, but he would go around on the Chautauqua circuit at that time, which was before television, and people would go around and lecture and he'd go around giving talks. He was a very popular Chautauqua circuit speaker about the dangers of--of religious fundamentalism, the dangers of religious zealotry, the--the foolishness of--of--of--of basically the--the aspects of the Bible and the Bible in--generally and bel--and he would call Christianity a--a slave religion. By a sense, he meant it enslaved its followers, not that it would--and that it would lead to war and destruction, conflict, exploitation; that Christianity justified those. So in that sense he was a--he was the--well, one of his biographers Clarence Tierney--I think it was Clarence Tierney said, `He was the village atheist on the national scale.'
LAMB: What about William Jennings Bryan? Now who would he be compared with today? Anybody?
Prof. LARSON: Well, William Jennings Bryan was--was--was also a mix. He was--of course, had been nominated three times for president by the Democratic Party, the only person to be nominated three times and lose. And he was a--a progressive and a populist. He was--William Allen White once said, the ed--famous editor from Kansas, said that, `William Jennings Bryan was the closest thing to socialism the American mind could tolerate.' He was close--the most radical person who ever came that close to being president. He was a believe--a--a strong believer in--in controlling big business, in controlling railroads, in nationalizing industries, in--in breaking the gold standard and helping the common--common people. And that stayed with him. He remained a progressive throughout his life to the end. He was a fierce opponent of Coolidge and Harding and the Republican administrations by the 1920s. He'd--he was a pacifist who campaigned against World War I and against militarism for disarmament.

So in that sense he would be comparable, if I had to pick a name--because he was also a great orator. He was most famous because he could put these ideas into words that people would buy. So I'd have to compare him with something like Jesse Jackson today.
LAMB: But he came to Dayton, Tennessee, for the Scopes trial in 1925 as a fundamentalist.
Prof. LARSON: He was also a fundamentalist. He was als--he was a--he--he was a--he--he--they called--he would--it's not like we use the term `fundamentalist' today. It was a term they used back then, but back then fundamentalism was a much broader term. It was more like saying you were a traditional Christian--traditional, Bible-believing Christian as opposed to a literalistic fundamentalist. He didn't believe in--in a six-day creation 10,000 years ago. He believed the Earth evolved over aeons and aeons of time. He wasn't--in that sense, he was a narrow fundamentalist, but he was a--he was a--he was a devout conservative Christian. He was a--he had held the number-two position in the Northern Presbyterian Church, the United Presbyterian Church. He'd almost been elected moderator. He came in second and he w--he was the vice moderator, the second top role.

So he had a strong religious background. And in--and he also wrote a weekly column in--that was published in most newspapers in the country. It was B--I think it was called Bryan's Bible study. It was--and so he was--and he wrote many books about religion. In that sense, I'm trying to think of a person like that today. I might think of somebody like Charles Colson, the--he--who is a--a--a evangelical religious spokesman but a--but not a minister; a layspokesman who's--who's widely known and has a regular radio show. And so he combined two roles: a--a--a--a leader of the--still the Democratic Party, committed Democrat, a--a leading Democrat, liberal politician, but combined with--allied with conservative forces due to his religious beliefs on some issues.
LAMB: How long was the trial?
Prof. LARSON: The trial lasted essentially a week. They had jury selection on one Friday, which--it was thought it was gonna last a long time because Clarence Darrow was famous for using days to--to assemble a jury. He had a different strategy here that made it much shorter. He just wanted to expose to--to the public, 'cause it was a trial geared for the national media--expose to the public that these jurors didn't know anything about evolution. And the idea was to show the specter of--of having a--a--a--a trial where you judge the merits of a scientific theory and have it by people who--who didn't know the scientific theory.
LAMB: Let me ask you about this picture, and what I'm most interested in you talking about is the microphone.
Prof. LARSON: Oh, yes, the--the WGN microphones. It was the first broadcast trial in American history. It was not viewed at the time as a serious trial. It was viewed as a media event, even by the judge and the participants. Of course, it was--that's why the--the city he--held the event. And so what they did is, after it--after the--the interest in the trial grew steadily in the two months before it--before it was launched, and especially after William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow volunteered to participate, WGN, which, of course, is the radio voice of the Chicago Tribune--WGN, of course, stands for World's Greatest Newspaper, and that's the nickname of the--of the Chicago Tribune. And that was their radio voice back then. And it w--broadcast much broader than it does now. It's still the main news stadio--station in Chicago, but it broadcast much wider then.

And they had arranged for--to broadcast the trial live. They hung special phone lines from Dayton up to Chicago to carry the--carry the--the f--the radio broadcast up from Dayton. And then they needed to put microphones up. And they--they didn't--they'd never broadcast this sort of event before, and so they thought they--it would be better to have three microphones. In reality, it--it caused a--a cross-wave in the sound. But they had three large microphones. And where they wanted to put them was in strategic locations, which meant they had to move the jury box. And it was symbolic of the whole trial that they took and moved the jury box out of the center stage of the trial and put microphones in--a media trial rather than a serious jury trial. And from those microphones, it was n--broadcast live nationwide via WGN. It was also broadcast out into auditoriums around town where this overflow crowd could listen.
LAMB: Let me go back to this picture, if I can, because I wanna ask you just to make sure we know where the microphones are. Tha--is that a microphone there in the back, where the fellow's standing?
Prof. LARSON: No. No, that's a--that's a--that's a newsreel camera.
LAMB: OK. And then the--but the one there in the front is the microphone.
Prof. LARSON: The microphone's in front. It's one of the three in front, and I think th--and you can see WGN--that's Dudley Field Malone standing with his arms crossed. But I should also mention that newsreel camera. The entire event was filmed on f--on newsreel cameras. The cameras were left right in the courtroom. They filmed the entire thing. They built the first air--airplane airstrip in Dayton. They'd cleared a--they cleared a cornfield--I think it was a cornfield--out near town, and every day pla--planes would fly in and pick up the newsreel footage and fly it up to northern cities, where it was shown at night--that night in Cleveland, Detroit and New York and then recopied and sent all over the country the--so the entire country could watch the trial.

So it was--not only was it broadcast live on the radio but it was in the movie halls all over town that night or the next day. That shows the level of interest in this. That shows that it's a media trial. And those were new things. It--it--th--they'd never broadcast a trial; they'd never filmed a trial before.
LAMB: Wa--by the way, was there a--a jury?
Prof. LARSON: There was a jury. It hardly ever was sitting. It was only in--in the courtroom for 20--30 minutes over the weeklong trial. The trial then lasted for a week, and then they had closing arguments, the--what were scheduled to be closing arguments on the following Monday, and that was the--that was the trial.

But the poor jury, because most of the battles were fought o--over legal issues, such as whether the judge would rule--would rule that law was constitutional or not constitutional or whether the w--expert witnesses could testify--those weren't matters for the jury. So the jury, which had all lined up--everybody'd agreed to be a juror 'cause they thought they'd get front-row seats in an overflow courtroom. It ended up the jury was in for about a half-hour, which was the length of time it took--the entire prosecution case was a half-hour. They brought in a couple school students to testify that Scopes had taught evolution. They just established the case that he taught it and then they rested their case. And then it was the defense that tried to bring in expert witnesses, great scientists from around the country, to explain what evolution was and to show why a law against it would be unjust and improper.
LAMB: The jury was out to make this decision for how long?
Prof. LARSON: Oh, well, they--all they did was walk out. The only re--I th--they only met for about 20 seconds. They had to get out of the courtroom. And the courtroom was so packed that I think it--I think the entire event took 'em about 15 minutes, 'cause they had to be led out through all these people. They never went to a jury room because that was all filled with press--press people working up their material, so they just stopped in the hallway and they all agreed--it was Clarence Darrow who had asked them to convict Scopes because they wanted to appeal to a higher court. And so it took 'em about f--15 seconds. They all just--they ju--just acknowledged that they agreed right there in the hallway, and then they filed back in through the crowd and issued their verdict.
LAMB: And he was convicted of a misdemeanor and it was a state law...
Prof. LARSON: Yes.
LAMB: ...that what? Say that again.
Prof. LARSON: The law said that it was a--it was a--a--a crime to teach the theory of human evolution in public schools; for a public schoolteacher to teach the theory of human evolution in public schools. And then it went on in contrary to the biblical story of creation. And that's why the defense tried to argue that the theory of evolution isn't in conflict with the biblical story of creation, because you could believe that God used evolution as his means of creation.

But, of course, that evidence, which they wanted to get in, the judge said no, th--said it was not relevant. The--the law was clear. The law said you couldn't teach human evolution; gave, in effect, only the first part of the law. There was uncontroverted testimony that Scopes had done it. The rea--they never put Scopes on the stand because, of course, he'd have to admit that he never taught evolution, and they wanted to keep that out 'cause they wanted a clean case, and Bryan also wanted a clean case. Both sides wanted a clean case.

And so there was the conviction. The--the penalty was--it was cl--it was listed as a misdemeanor, and the potential penalty fro--was from $100 to $500. And the judge had told them that the jury--they could impose whatever amount of money they thought fit between the $100 and $500,. But if they were satisfied with a $100 fine, then they didn't need to come back with an amount and he would impose the minimum sentence. It was the exact same fine that liquor convictions carried in the state--that was during Prohibition--and so it was handled like a--well, it was--it was just like a--just like a bootlegger case.
LAMB: Who got the $100?
Prof. LARSON: Well, the $100--Bryan had said on his--when he arrived in town that he was there not to try John Scopes but to defend the people's law. He was a majoritarian who believed in populism and the people wanted this law. He was defe--there to defend the law and, if Scopes was convicted, that he would put up the money; that he would pay the--the $100. But in the end, it was The Baltimore Sun that got there first, and so H.L. Mencken, who represented The Baltimore Sun, actually paid the $100, but Bryan had offered to.
LAMB: Clarence Darrow was 68.
Prof. LARSON: Sixty-eight.
LAMB: William Jennings Bryan, 65.
Prof. LARSON: Sixty-five.
LAMB: And what happened to him after the trial?
Prof. LARSON: Well, it was a str--it was a--terribly hot. That's where the name "Summer for the Gods" comes--it's--was terribly hot. The one impression that everybody carries back from the trial is the heat. It t--east Tennessee in the mountains is usually not all that hot, but it was over 100 degrees--record heat wave. There were no fans even in the courtroom. Bryan was a diabetic. It was very stressful with the heat and, of course, he went through the--the--the strenuous ordeal of the--of the interrogation by Clarence Darrow, and he was just tired out.

He--he--he was planning to give a nationwide series of speeches that w--had been planned to be his closing speech at the Scopes trial. He gave it twice in Tennessee, in two other small towns in Tennessee, so it's about--it was then a week after the trial. And he'd given it--the trial ended on Monday--well, finally ended on Tuesday. He gave the speech on Thursday and Friday, spent Saturday wor--preparing the speech for publication as a booklet at a--at a press down in Knox--in Chattanooga, and then went ho--went back to Dayton, planning to leave the following day, and he died in his--taking a nap on Sunday afternoon. He--he--he died in his sleep.
LAMB: What happened to him after he died?
Prof. LARSON: Well, he was a national hero. He was carried back in a special train car to--to burial at Arlington National Cemetery, which many people thought was ironic, since he was a pacifist and opposed entry to the war--World War I. But he was--he was--th--the pe--it was like the train th--th--that carried Lincoln home. The--the--the people just lined the train tracks by the hundreds of thousands to watch the train go by of William Jennings Bryan--not the William Jennings Bryan in the Scopes trial, the William Brennings--Jennings Bryan who they remembered, the great commoner who had run three times for president, who was their spokesman--spokesman of the people.

And at every town he stopped in, the people would file by the casket and--and look at it by the thousands on the way back from--from Dayton to--to Washington, DC. And then he was--he would lie--he lay in state in--here in--in Washington, DC, and then he was carried by a--a--a--by senators. Six senators were his pallbearers, and other governors and--and leaders served as--as--as honorary pallbearers.

He was carried down to Arlington National Cemetery, where he was buried under a--under a speak--you can go down there now--it's a sp--like a speaker's podium, like a--a--like an oak tree. I think it's the stump of an oak tree, where an orator would stand. And it says `Bryan,' and there's this stump of an oak tree where--where--but noboby's on it, of course, 'cause Bryan has fallen.
LAMB: Now you live in a town, Athen--excuse me--Athens, Georgia. There are a couple of other people there that are well-known as writers and historians: William McFeely, who did the U.S. Grant book, and also Emory Thomas, who's been on this program; did the Robert E. Lee book.
Prof. LARSON: Yeah.
LAMB: Now is getting a Pulitzer and all this--does that put you right there in their category?
Prof. LARSON: Well, I've been their neighbor. I--I don't know if I quite live up to their category yet, but they've been both very pleased. They're--they're good friends. They're also in the--in the history department.
LAMB: Where's this?
Prof. LARSON: Oh, that's--I'm trying to type there, I guess. It's sort of a close-up. It's my office where I actually--small, little room up above my--you can see me sort of bending over. Oh, you see me opening the door. That's--I--I was inspired by Hawthorne to have a little room where I--there I go just to keep my kids out.

(From videotape) ...wife. As you can see, it's … get out of here. I had to make it heavy--I built this myself, and I had to make it heavy because I didn't want the kids to--possibly able to get it out, 'cause I didn't want them to fall down the steps.

I just have my word processor up there. I actually do my writing in our--in our home out in the West Coast up in Washington state, up near the San Juan Islands. That's where I'm--was from before I went to--to Athens, Georgia, where I--where I teach. But I--I write longhand. I write on a--yellow legal tablets. I'm a lawyer, remember? I write--use the yellow legal tablets, all in longhand in pencil. I--with erasers everywhere, since I'm always erasing.

I write with just a pad and a dictionary, 'cause I think I have to look up every word to make sure it has the right nuances, and so I write with a--and so I had this all written out longhand at--one chapter in every yellow pad. And then I bring it back and--I'm actually a very quick typist, and I type it into the word processor, so that I happen to--that's the word processor I use.
LAMB: Go over the degrees again. Where'd you get your law degree?
Prof. LARSON: Harvard.
LAMB: Your PhD at University of Wisconsin.
Prof. LARSON: Wisconsin, yes.
LAMB: In what s--area?
Prof. LARSON: History of science, which is a--separate from the history of--it's not--it's in a separate department from history. It's a--it--it focuses on the history of the development of scientific ideas. It's part of intellectual history.
LAMB: How about your undergrad?
Prof. LARSON: I was split between Williams College and University of Michigan. My degree's from Williams--that's where I knew William Jenning--that's where I knew Jim Burns--and then Michigan, where I took sciences.
LAMB: Now how has the Pulitzer changed your life?
Prof. LARSON: Well, I'm still trying to get used to that. It was a--as I said, it was surprising--well, it--it helped get me on this show, which is a tremendous honor for me, and--and it's great fun. I get to go up and meet Katharine Graham in a couple weeks because, of course, she's gonna also be getting a Pulitzer.

It has--but I think the best thing is--or, the two best things. One is all my old friends from college, from high school, even from grade school have been calling me up and telling me how happy they are for me. And it's just--it's just great to hear from 'em and to know that, somehow, this has made them happy. The other thing it's made different is that now more people are reading my book. And I don't care whether they buy it. I hope they take it out from the--take it out of the library. But I--I like to write and I like to put words together, and I think there's a good story here. I think it has something to say, and I'm just pleased that more people are gonna read it.
LAMB: Now one of the things that you mentioned just before we opened the microphones on this is that there are some original photographs in this book that haven't been seen before, and almost all of 'em say `Bryan College Archives.' Where is Bryan College?
Prof. LARSON: Well, Bryan College was founded when William Jennings Bryan died in Dayton, Tennessee. They raised a memorial fund to build a college in his honor, William Jennings--originally called William Jennings Bryan Memorial University, but then no university ever formed; it remained a small college. And they have a collection of some original photographs that they were willing to let me use--very kind of them.

Most of the famous photographs are owned by--I think it's Bettman Archives, and they're--they're--they've been widely seen. People know those--that famous picture with Clarence Darrow smoking and William Jennings Bryan with the fan. That's probably the most famous that appears. And I wanted to use some new photos. I thought I w--I had new archival materials that--that made the book different than anything that had been written before. I had new--since I had new archival materials; I had new historical research; I had a new time perspective--that is, a greater look back; and you could put it in better perspective than earlier writers. And so I thought it'd be good to use new photographs.
LAMB: And w--is that college still there?
Prof. LARSON: Oh, yes, it's still there.
LAMB: How big is it?
Prof. LARSON: Ooh, I don't know. Probably about 1,000. It's a--it's--it's a--it's a fundamentalist school. It remains a--a--a--a Christian college up in--in the--in Tennessee, and I think it's actually bigger and it's doing as good as it's ever done. I think it's doing fine.
LAMB: There are a bunch of other little things you mention in the book I wanna ask you about, i--like the Scopes Trial Museum. Where's that?
Prof. LARSON: The Scopes Trial Museum--well, that--they still use the old courthouse, and they've taken the first--sort of the basement of the courthouse, first floor of the courthouse--it's somewhat between those two--and they've turned it into a museum. They did this trial for publicity, and it was a success. Not only did it make 'em famous then, but it's the only reason they're famous now. They--the town is--attacts people because of its Scopes connection. This trial has resonated through America for 75 years. They have a museum, they have a festival every year, and they got a college out of it.
LAMB: What happens at the festival?
Prof. LARSON: Festival, they have actors re-creating part of the trial. I hear they're working on a new script that--that beefs it up a little bit. But they take parts of the transcript--of the actual transcript of the trial rather than the "Inherit the Wind" version and they re-enact parts of the trial. And I think they also have--they have some displays and different speakers.
LAMB: Now "Inherit the Wind," Broadway musical and a movie?
Prof. LARSON: Mm-hmm.
LAMB: Who starred in the movie?
Prof. LARSON: The movie was Spencer Tracy and Frederic Marsh, and then H.L. Mencken's role was played by Gene Kelly and the judge was played by Morgan--Henry Morgan, the person who was in "M*A*S*H" later. And then, of course, the role of Scopes was played by--oh, the person who was the husband in "Bewitched" later. Now I can't think of his name, but--Elizabeth Montgomery's husband from "Bewitched."
LAMB: You s--you say in the back that--in the footnotes that Burt Lancaster got the Academy that year.
Prof. LARSON: Yeah, "Elmer Gantry," which is interesting, because it was another sort of anti-fundamentalist movie. And he was--he was up against Spencer Tracy, who was--who was nominated for the Ac--Academy Award for this--for this film, and Burt Clans--Burt Lanscaster won.
LAMB: What's the new information you have in here, and where did you get it?
Prof. LARSON: Well, the new information was--the last time any historian--serious historian had tried to tell the story of the Scopes trial was before "Inherit the Wind." It was Ray Ginger. He wrote a nice book, "Six Days or Forever?" But since that time, a wealth of archival material has become available, such as--the ACLU papers are widely available now. Some of the participants in the trial, such as Sue Hicks, contributed their papers when they died to archives--that's the University of Tennessee Archives.

It turns out he'd saved all the private letters among prosecutors planning prosecution strategy. So now we had all the prosecution strategy--that is, what they were planning to do--and all the defense strategy and the ACLU papers--what they were planning to do. Before, we just knew what they did. You can have a much greater insight into what actually happens if you know what they're trying to do and then compare it to what actually happens. So I had that information new. I also had the a--the advantage of 40 years more perspective. When Ray Ginger wrote his book, he could think that anti-evolutionism was a thing of the past, was--was just an anachronism. Now we know that it isn't, that it's still with us today, so you have better perspective.
LAMB: Give us a quick definition of ef--evolution.
Prof. LARSON: Evolution is--well, what they were concerned about was the idea that species evolve from earlier species, and their main concern among this group was human evolution; that is, the humans are not separately created by God but evolved from lower--as they would say, lower types of animals, such as--they would talk about apes and monkeys--that was the theory--but, ultimately, all the way back into one-celled organisms.
LAMB: Jump way ahead and talk a little bit about Hugo Black and Abe Fortas and what they did with what happened at the Scopes trial.
Prof. LARSON: Well, Hugo Black and Abe Fortas happened to both be on the Supreme Court when this law finally made it to the United States Supreme Court. Remember, Sco...
LAMB: What year?
Prof. LARSON: That was 1967.
LAMB: Had it been, by the way, appealed to the Tennessee state Supreme Court?
Prof. LARSON: The Scopes conviction h--was appealed by the Tennessee Supreme Court, which strikes down the conviction of Scopes on a technicality, that the judge had imposed the sentence rather than the jury. He sh--they shouldn't have done it, because that had not been briefed; that had not been argued; it had not been raised. It had--especially, it had been noted at trial, and the defense had specifically raised any objection.

But the--the theory that everyone said and no one--no one denies--it was just a subterfuge on the part of the court to get rid of this silly case, 'cause they wrote a--they wrote a decision saying, `We're overturning the conviction, overturning the $100 fine'--the conviction of Scopes--`but we're upholding the law as a valid judgment of the people,' but directing the prosecutors not to reindict Scopes and never, they said, never bring another case under this statute. Save the peace--and the quote was, "Save the pea--to sa--to preserve the peace and dignity of Tennessee, don't ever defend--don't ever prosecute this law again."
LAMB: Well, what about Black and Fortas?
Prof. LARSON: Well--well, what happens is they're--several other states passed this law. It--they were never enforced anywhere. But a test case is finally brought in the 1960s in the--sort of in the lee of--of--of the decisions outlawing school prayer. These laws are also challenged in declaratory judgment actions, even though they'd never been enforced, and that gets to the United States Supreme Court in a case brought by Epper--Epperson vs. Arkansas. It was actually the Arkansas anti-evolution case.

And on the court then was Abe Fortas and Hugo Black, w--and, of course, a variety of other characters, but those were the two who cared about this law. Abe Fortas cared because he had been a Tennessee high school student at the time of the Scopes trial. Of course, he was Jewish and, therefore, not part of the fundamentalist majority in Tennessee, and he had been inspired by this case. This is why he became a lawyer. He was inspired by Clarence Darrow, by the--by using the law to attack this repressive legislation. And then, of course, he goes on to law school up in the Northeast and becomes a great, great lawyer, becomes an active member of the ACLU and then gets appointed to the Supreme Court by his good friend, Lyndon Johnson.

Hugo Black, in contrast, was an--was the oldest member of the court in the '60s. He had been a--an Alabama politician s--elec--a Klan politician.
LAMB: And a senator.
Prof. LARSON: He'd been elected by the Klan as senator. He'd been a judge. Kl--by a whispering campaign, he got the p--got--got the Senate seat at the same time, again, as the Scopes trial. And he had always been a Bryan Democrat, and he was a strong believer in the power of the people to make laws. And so when--and he also was very suspicious of--of government striking down laws because of alleged purposes of the law.

And he remembered these laws, 'cause he was a politician at the time when anti-evolutionism--anti-evolution crusade was sweeping through America. And in the end, Abe Fortas writes the opinion for the court, striking down the statute, and he says it's--it's void because it had a religious purpose. And Hugo Black writes a strong opinion against this, saying, `You don't have any idea what the purpose of the laws is. The law could have been just to get this controversy out of the schools--not that we wanted to promote religion, but we just didn't want anything about origins in because it would disrupt the public school systems.'

Then public schools were brand new. The same Legislature that passed the anti-evolution law in Tennessee also was the Legislature that authorized state funding for high schools. They were just starting in Tennessee. And the need to--the need to avoid the controversy over the issue of origins and f--religion v--religion battles in the schools was a reason for just not teaching origins, and that's why Hugo Black said that that's--was a possible argument for the law.
LAMB: What first got you interested in this?
Prof. LARSON: What first got me--I was--I was a--well, I'm a historian of science with a specialty in the history of modern biology, especially evolutionary biology and genetics. And I--but I'm also a lawyer, teaching in the law school. And here was a case that brought the two together. One of my colleagues caught me in the hall one time and said, `You should write a book about the Scopes trial.' He--he's a friend of mine, Peter Hoff, who teaches in our law school--I mean, our history department. And he said, `It brings together your two fields.' And he said it, and immediately when he said it, I says, `That's right, I did take evolutionary biology.'
LAMB: How long did it take you?
Prof. LARSON: Well, researching--I sort of research--collected the research materials for several years. I had--I knew quite a bit about evolutionary biology and history of--in this period and also law, so I already had some materials based on that. But when I finally got done the--collecting the materials--I'm one of these people who has to have all the mater--basically have the research done and then write. And when I actually sat down to write, it took me a year to write it, and then, of course, there was the editing process after that.
LAMB: You got another book in mind, by the way?
Prof. LARSON: Well, the book that would be of this type is--I'm trying to--I'm working on a book--same way. I'm collecting materials now for a book on the history of scientific research on the Galapalos Islands. There was a book, "Beak of the Finch," recently that dealt--that won a Pulitzer Prize that dealt with just one--w--dealt--w--great book; deals with one current episode. What I want to do is go back to Claren--go back to Charles Darwin, who was there; the Wilkes expedition that went there; Herman Melville went there. Various different scientists were there in the past--and follow that story up of how one island and research on one island has shaped and influenced our view of biology.
LAMB: We only have a short minute left, but there's one scene that I just--I had to go back and read it a couple times. William Jennings Bryan Jr. and John T. Scopes going for a dip in some kind of a stream the day the trial started and being late for the trial itself. Wh--who was William Jennings Bryan Jr.?
Prof. LARSON: William Jennings Bryan Jr. has--was the very mild-mannered and retiring son of this great orator who'd gone to law school and then, when the Democrats were in power, he'd been appointed a--a--a--an attorney as--a government attorney--government prosecutor out in Los Angeles. And then he came out to work with his father.

He knew details of law. He wa--he wrote briefs. And he came out to help his dad at the trial, and they were together at the trial. And--but he was--he was not like his father at all. He wasn't bombastic. And he--he and Scopes were s--not that difference in age, and it was terribly hot. And so one day, after the morning session, rather than to go to lunch, they just wanted to go out swimming and they went swimming together. And they so enjoyed the beautiful day and the swimming that they--they--they got back late for the trial, and that--and so they had to sort of sneak in. And--but, fortunately, neither of them were big players in the trial that--nobody really cared whether Scopes was there.
LAMB: We're out of time, but where did John Scopes go after all this?
Prof. LARSON: After it was over, he got a scholarship to Chicago, paid for by the--collected by the ACLU. He went to University of Chicago, became a petroleum engineer, went down and looked for oil in Venezuela and then ret--then became a--r--ran a oil refinery in Shreveport, Louisiana, where he lived till he died, about 1970.
LAMB: Edward J. Larson, we are out of time, and I thank you. This is the book. It's called "The Scopes Trial." Thanks for joining us.
Prof. LARSON: Thank you.

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