Category Archives: Cultural milestone

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand

The 1960s made a complex tapestry: the various civil rights movements, the Vietnam War and it’s divisiveness, pop music’s evolution, environmental awareness, the space and arms races. feminism,  and drugs.

The United States had tried to prohibit beverage alcohol with the 18th Amendment only to need the 21st Amendment remove the prohibition.

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand

In 1938, chemist Albert Hoffman was working with lysergic acid trying to synthesize a chemical compound that would stimulate the respiratory and circulatory systems.

His 25th synthesis included  diethylamine, a derivative of ammonia. He labeled it LSD-25. His report read in part, “The new substance… aroused no special interest in our pharmacologists and physicians; testing was therefore discontinued.”

Five years later, decided to synthesize LSD-25 again. And on April 16, 1943, while working with the substance, he felt strange and had to go home.

Atlantic Magazine has an excellent article about Hoffman and LSD. Today we’re going to jump ahead a bit to two other men: Nick Sand and Tim Scully.

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand

Nick Sand

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand

Nicholas Francis Hiskey was born on April 24, 1941. He was a “red diaper baby” as both parents were idealistic Communists during the 1930s. His father was Clarence  Hinskey, a chemist who worked on the Manhattan Project during WWII. His mother was Marcia Sand Hinskey.

In 1944, Army counter-intelligence agents observed Clarence Hinskey meeting with a Soviet agent named Arthur Adams. Hinskey was dismissed from the Manhattan Project.

Nick’s parents divorced and his mother took her maiden name and gave it to Nick as his last name as well.

He graduated Erasmus High School (Brooklyn, NY) in 1959. In June 1961, Sand married his childhood friend Maxine “Melly” Lee Solomon. They moved to Israel and worked on a kibbutz.

They returned to the United States and in the fall 1962, Sand started taking classes at Brooklyn College. While there he read about psychedelics and in December 1962 took mescaline sulfate for the first time. He also began using peyote as well as smoking marijuana.

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand

DMT

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand

Sand taught himself chemistry and during the summer of 1963 he set up a small lab in the attic of his mother’s house and learned how to make DMT—dimethyltryptamine—an hallucinogen used by injection. He eventually moved the lab to the basement to increase production

In the spring 1964, after chemical fire in basement, Nick moved his lab to a Brooklyn loft and called the business Bell Perfume Labs. He also developed a smokeable DMT.

Also at this time, Sand met Richard Albert (now, Ram Dass). Sand turned on Albert to DMT; Albert invited Sand to Millbrook, a farm in upstate New York, owned by Tommy and Billy Hitchcock, where Timothy Leary, Alpert, Ralph Metzner, and others had established an experimental psychedelic community.

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand
Millbrook

Nick took LSD for the first time at Millbrook.

In 1965, a carboy of sulfuric acid in Nick’s lab spilled, dripped downstairs, and ruined fabric in the garment factory’s shop. Nick hastily relocated Bell Perfume Labs to a building filled with dental labs not far from the Brooklyn City Hall.

At the new location he continued to scale up his manufacturing of psychedelics; by this time he was using 72-liter flasks. Nick experimented with making LSD but wasn’t able to figure out how to purify it. His DMT wasn’t very pure at that stage either.

That same year, Nick’s marriage to Melly ended in 1965 because she was unable to convince Nick to give up his obsession with making psychedelics.

In 1966, Sand earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology from Brooklyn College

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand

Tim Scully

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand

On August 27, 1944, Robert “Tim” Scully was born and grew up grew up in Pleasant Hill near San Francisco.

Scully was a precocious student.  In eighth grade he won honorable mention in the 1958 Bay Area Science Fair for designing and building a small computer. He spent summers working at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory on physics problems.

In his junior year of high school, Scully completed a small linear accelerator in the school science lab (he was trying to make gold atoms from mercury)

Scully skipped his senior year of high school and went directly to U.C. Berkeley majoring in mathematical physics. In 1964, after two years at Berkeley, Scully took a leave of absence because his services as an electronic design consultant were in high demand.

Tim Scully first took LSD on April 15, 1965. He believed at the time that, “ if everyone shared the experience of oneness, the world might be saved from nuclear destruction, which otherwise seemed likely.”

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand

Scully Owsley

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand

In late 1965, Scully met Stanley “Bear” Owsley. It was a few weeks before the Trips Festival [January 21, 22, & 23, 1966].

Owsley took  Scully as his apprentice and they pursued their mutual interest in electronics and psychedelic synthesis.

July 1966:  Owsley rented a house in Point Richmond, California and Owsley and Melissa Cargill (Owsley’s girlfriend who was a skilled chemist) set up a lab in the basement.

Scully worked there as Owsley’s apprentice. Owsley had developed a method of LSD synthesis which left the LSD 99.9% pure. The Point Richmond lab turned out over 300,000 tablets (270 micrograms each) of LSD they dubbed “White Lightning”.

Childhood friend Donald R Douglas was Scully’s lab assistant.

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand

Back East

In 1965 Millbrook created the Original Kleptonian Neo-American Church, whose clergy members, known as Boo Hoos, administered sacraments in the form of psychedelic drugs.

In September 1966, Timothy Leary formed the League for Spiritual Discovery (Advocates the free pursuit of spiritual enlightenment and religious practice by all persons, including those who use entheogenic substances as a Sacrament) as a religion that incorporated psychedelics drugs as sacraments.

Sometime after that he wrote a letter appointing Nick Sand as alchemist for the League for Spiritual Discovery and instructing law enforcement officials not to impede his work.

Sand began relationship with Jill Henry who was also a part of the Millbrook group.

Nick made a trip to California and  visited Owsley Stanley’s Point Richmond Lab. Owsley suggested to Sand that he should move to California.

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand

LSD illegal

October 6, 1966:  LSD became illegal in California. Owsley and Scully closed CA lab and decided to set up a new lab in Colorado. Scully’s friend Donald Douglas remained in CA to help set up a tableting operation for future supply in Orinda, CA.

December 8, 1966: DEA agent Aiden Hendrix reported that Donald Douglass had purchased bulk amounts of chemicals used for illicit drug making.

By early 1967, Scully had set up the new lab in the basement of a house across the street from the Denver zoo. He and Owsley worked there together, but eventually Owsley returned to CA for tableting of the LSD.

Authorities arrested Owsley on December 21, 1967. Tim Scully moved the lab to a different house in Denver after the arrest.

Owsley will be found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison.

Tim Scully had first met William “Billy” Mellon Hitchcock, grandson of William Larimer Mellon and great-great-grandson of Thomas Mellon, through Owsley in April 1967. Hitchcock loaned Scully $12,000 for the second Denver lab in 1968.

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand

Sand West

February 1967: interested in the synthesizing of LSD, Sand and David Mantell began dismantling Bell Perfume Labs in preparation of moving west. In March, the two began driving across the country so to set up the lab in California.

They failed to stop at a weighing station in Dinosaur, Colorado; and when Nick refused to pay a fine to the arresting officer, both men were jailed.

April 1967: a search of the truck discovered drugs and laboratory equipment. Authorities charged both with federal controlled substance offenses. After many months of legal maneuvering, the charges against them were dropped because the search of their truck was eventually found to have been illegal.

Free on bail, Nick and David finally made their way to California where Bear Owsley asked Tim Scully to teach Nick how to make DOM 2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylamphetamine (DOM), a still-legal psychedelic known as “STP” on the street, so that Nick could get back on his feet after his Colorado bust.

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand
Jill Henry

Nick traveled back to Millbrook, where he convinced Jill Henry to come to California with him. Initially, they lived on David Mantell’s ranch near Cloverdale, California.

By the end of 1967, Nick and David were using a surplus 200-gallon stainless steel soup kettle as a reaction vessel for making larger batches of STP. They also made smaller batches of DMT and methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), a psychedelic/empathogen similar to MDMA (Ecstasy).

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand

Sand Scully

In January of 1968, Nick Sand and Tim Scully searched together for European sources of lysergic acid or ergot alkaloids as raw material for making LSD. Over the next six months they jointly acquired over a kilogram of lysergic acid and a smaller quantity of ergotamine tartrate.

Alice Einhorn, a childhood friend of Sand, helped smuggle the raw materials into the US: UK > Bahamas > Miami > CA.

On June 24, 1968. while in Europe searching for the precursor chemicals, Denver police discovered the second lab. Scully’s assistants were arrested and an arrest warrant for Scully was issued.

Donald Douglas decided at that point to get out of the drug business.

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand

California again

Still needing the know how, Nick Sand had agreed to finance a new lab for making LSD in return for Tim Scully teaching him the process, As part of their agreement, Tim insisted that any LSD they made would be distributed through The Brotherhood of Eternal Love

Nick Sand also agreed to handle the tableting of their product.

In December 1968 Nick Sand  purchased a farmhouse in Windsor, California where he and Tim Scully set up a large LSD lab.

Ultimately, this lab produced well over a kilo (more than four million 300 μg doses) of very pure LSD.

Nick Sand tableted this material as small orange pills that eventually became known as Orange Sunshine.  Mike Randell of the Brotherhood claims to have come up w the name Orange Sunshine.

Financial backer Billy Hitchcock asked if he could join the group in California. Scully and Sand approved.

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand

1969 – 1972

May 26, 1969, authorities arrested Tim Scully in California for the 1968 Denver lab. He decided to get out of the LSD business.

Late May of 1969, Nick closed the Windsor lab but that fall set up the Tekton Development Company in San Francisco to gather and construct  equipment for his next laboratory.

In October 1971, the Narcotics Traffickers Program had selected Nick Sand as a target for investigation by a joint federal narcotics and tax task force.

October 26, 1971 Scully’s Denver case dismissed due to illegal/warrentless entry.

In 1972 Jill Henry left the LSD operations and Sands.

Despite Billy Hitchcock’s urging to get out of the business, in 1972, Nick (using the alias Leland Jordan) and Judy Shaughnessy went on to set up a Signet Research and Development in downtown St. Louis, and a smaller lab in the basement of their rented house in Fenton, Missouri, where they made substantial amounts (millions of doses) of LSD and other psychedelics.

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand

August 5, 1972, 16 major Brotherhood figures were arrested along with 37 others in coordinated raids in Hawaii, Oregon, and numerous Southern California locations.

Toward the end of 1972, Nick Sand went on vacation. While away, police entered the St Louis house to check about a water leak and discovered the lab.

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand

Trials and appeals

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand

In early 1973 federal authorities threatened Billy Hitchcock with 24 years in prison for tax evasion if he didn’t help the government convict the prime movers of the LSD cartel. Billy became an indicted co-conspirator by providing evidence and testifying against Tim Scully and Nick Sand.

In April 1973, Scully and Sand were both indicted. Scully’s defense was that he was producing ALD-52, which was legal, and not the controlled substance LSD-25.

November 5, 1973: trial began and on January 30, 1974, both Sand and Tim Scully were found guilty on multiple charges.

March 8, 1974, Judge Samuel Conti sentenced Sand  to 15 and Scully to 20 years. Nick was eventually sent to McNeil Island penitentiary to begin serving his 15-year sentence. (Conti would also be the judge in the Sarah Jane Moore trial the following year.)

Sand’s girlfriend snuck drugs into the prison and Sand had LSD sessions in his cell. Cellmate Scully did not participate, but worked in library where he read up on bail appeals.

Tim Scully won an appeal for bail reduction and Nick was able to ride on his coattails. Nick was released on appeal bond August 21, 1974.

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand

Scully Back In

Scully’s appeals ran out in late 1976, so he sold his stock in his company and began serving prison time in early 1977.

June 17, 1979:  while still in prison, Scully received a Ph.D. in psychology from the regionally accredited Humanistic Psychology Institute.

The Hour, a Norwalk, CT, newspaper reported that the Washington State Jaycees had chosen Scully as its Outstanding Young Man of the Year based on his development (while still in prison) of a computer device that enabled “a cerebral palsy victim to communicate with the rest of the world.”

Scully had first met the person while free on bail pending his sentencing.

Following the reduction of his sentence to ten years, he was released from prison on parole in August 1979.

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand

Sand on the run

Sand’s St Louis charges were eventually dropped (lack of a search warrant). but on September 11, 1976, Nick got word that his appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court was about to be denied.

He chose to become a fugitive and managed to elude federal surveillance with the help of Nancy Pinney [had met her in 1969] as his getaway driver. He threw away his wallet and his old ID as Nick Sand, eventually made his way to Canada, carrying a fishing pole to mislead Canada customs.

He entered Canada under the assumed name Ted Parody — officially Theodore Edward Parody III. He settled in the town of Lumby, in British Columbia, and began growing psilocybin mushrooms as a cash crop.

1981. After spending three years in India, Sands returned to Canada and constructed an LSD lab in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. Sand had located a source of ergotamine tartrate in India and made massive amounts of LSD during the years he lived there. He also developed methods to hydroponically grow marijuana.

September 26, 1996, “Ted Parody” was arrested at his lab with 5 kg of DMT, 3.5 kg of MDMA, 5 kg of MDA, 43 grams of LSD and 2.5 kilos of ergotamine tartrate.

By December of 1996, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police realized that the man they’d arrested was Nick Sand, who had been a fugitive for 20 years.

In February of 1998, Nick pled guilty to manufacturing drugs in Canada. He was given a nine-year sentence, which the Canadian authorities agreed to let run concurrently with his US sentence.

Nick’s lawyer eventually made a deal with the American authorities to allow him to be transported to the United States in return for credit for time served in Canada toward his 15-year American sentence.

In February of 1998, Nick pled guilty to manufacturing drugs in Canada. He was given a nine-year sentence, which the Canadian authorities agreed to let run concurrently with his US sentence. Nick’s lawyer eventually made a deal with the American authorities to allow him to be transported to the United States in return for credit for time served in Canada toward his 15-year American sentence.

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand

Sands back in

October 15, 1998: in San Francisco, Sands was tried for bail jumping and found guilty by Judge Conti, the same judge who had presided over the 1974 trial!

January 22, 1999: Conti sentenced Sand to an additional consecutive five-year term.

December 22, 2000:  Nick was released to a halfway house after winning an appeal that overturned his conviction for bail jumping because he was never given a specific date to report to the court.

Nick’s parole was terminated in 2005 and he was able to travel internationally again.

Sunshine Makers Scully Sand

Post Script

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand

During 2013 and 2014, Sands and Scully participated in interviews with Cosmo Feilding Mellen; these were used in the 2017 documentary The Sunshine Makers.

Nick was talking about writing a memoir shortly before he died at his home in Lagunitas, California on April 24, 2017.

Owsley Stanley died after a car accident in Australia on March 12, 2011. Owsley’s  family and some of his close friends created The Owsley Stanley Foundation. It was incorporated on August 25, 2011 as a  non-profit dedicated to fostering diverse charitable, artistic, musical, and scientific endeavors for the public benefit.

Since his release from prison, Tim Scully has done many things: lectured in parapsychology at John F Kennedy University, been a research assistant in psychcophysiology  at the University of California, San Francisco, founded Pacific Bionic Systems (reformed in 1980 as Mendocino Microcomputers,  consulted the Esalen Institute and the Children’s Television Workshop on database management and computer games. He has published articles on biofeedback and technical computer topics.

He is now researching a book on the underground history of LSD.

Sunshine Synthesizers Scully Sand
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Bluesman Charlie Patton

Bluesman Charlie Patton

Bluesman Charlie Patton

Rattlesnake Blues by Charlie Patton

Bluesman Charlie Patton

It is a too often an embarrassing  occurrence with me that I “discover” something  important that has sat in front of me for decades.


A recent morning while listening to the radio, the DJ referred to a movie on Amazon called “Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World.”  I have Amazon. I watched the movie that day.


Astounding.


Bluesman Charlie Patton

Blurred origins


Trying to pin down who the originator of this or that musical genre  often leads to a lively discussion.  Who gets credit for American blues? And what were their influences?


Great music is filled with emotion and we humans–filled with emotion–have always had music. How it sounds is influenced by the place we live, the time we are a part of, the instruments around us, and other factors.


We humans also like to keep things simple and as a result we too often pigeon-hole a musician because their fame stemmed from just one aspect of their art.


Charlie (or Charley) Patton was much more than just a blues singer, or more specifically, a Delta Blues singer.

Bluesman Charlie Patton

Delta Blues


In the movie, John Troutman, American Music Historian, says, “…blues buffs, blues scholars, although they can’t really agree on anything,  if they were forced into a room when they had to identify…the most important singularly important blues guitarist, singer, songwriter, the whole package, the greatest one there ever was in the early 20th century…they’d probably say Charlie Patton.”


At his site, Elijah Wald explains, “Even though his recording career was sparked by the blues craze, only about half of his roughly fifty records can reasonably be considered part of that then-modern genre. The others are a mix of gospel and religious music, ragtime comedy like “Shake It and Break It,” ballads like “Frankie and Albert,” older slide guitar standards like “Bo Weavil” and “Spoonful,” and a couple of unclassifiable pieces that seem to be his reimaginings of Tin Pan Alley pop numbers, “Some of These Days” and “Running Wild.”


Bluesman Charlie Patton

Patton’s background


Charlie Patton was born in April 1890 or maybe 1891 or maybe 1895.  His parents were Bill and Annie Patton.


While certainly an African-American, it is likely that he had other ancestry, including American Indian. Howlin’ Wolf was a student of Patton’s. Wolf said, “Charlie Patton was an Indian. And he was the baddest motherfucker in the world.:


Most agree today, Patton not only had American Indian ancestry, but that Patton’s music reflects that cultural influence.

Keep in mind, that Native Americans sometimes chose to pass as African Americans because they thought that the dominant white American society treated Blacks better than Natives!


Bluesman Charlie Patton

Dockery Plantation

Bluesman Charlie Patton


In 1897, Patton’s family moved to the Dockery Plantation  near Ruleville, Mississippi.  Will Dockery had started the farm in 1895. Because of its location, there was a lack of local labor available and Dockery encouraged all to work and paid a bit better and more reliably.


As a result, a mixture of backgrounds worked his sawmill and fields. Patton was in the middle of this and his musical abilities were steeped in these backgrounds. In his Deep Blues: A Musical Pilgrimage to the Crossroads, the late Robert Palmer described Patton as a “jack-of all-trades bluesman”, who played “deep blues, white hillbilly songs, nineteenth-century ballads, and other varieties of black and white country dance music with equal facility.”


Bluesman Charlie Patton

Legacy

Bluesman Charlie Patton


Charlie Patton was only 43 when he died on April 28, 1934, but his influence on the Delta Blues which gave  birth to Chicago electric blues and so on and so forth until we white Baby Boomers thought the Rolling Stones, the Animals, Cream, John Mayall, and others were playing something original but were simply re-interpreting our own music which was the descendant of American Indian, African, and other musics.


Bluesman Charlie Patton
Bluesman Charlie Patton

John Fahey


Master guitarist and blues fan, John Fahey, wrote a great book about Patton simply, Charley Patton. Here is a link for the entire book.


Bluesman Charlie Patton

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John Thomas Scopes Monkey Trial

John Thomas Scopes Monkey Trial

“Evolution Mama” from Even Dozen Jug Band

Theory of Evolution

Charles Darwin is more widely known than Alfred Russell Wallace, but both men’s observations led them to independently propose the theory of evolution through natural selection.

John Thomas Scopes Monkey Trial

Wallace had published his paper (with some of Darwin’s writings) in 1858. It was called, “On the Tendency of Species to form Varieties; and on the Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Natural Means of Selection.” 

John Thomas Scopes Monkey Trial

The following year, Darwin published On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life) or more commonly and simply known as On the Origin of Species.

And while both men are credited with the theory of evolution, they themselves had built on others’ empirical  observation.

John Thomas Scopes Monkey Trial

Butler Act

In certain parts of the United States, the ideas of natural selection and evolution became antithetical to those who believed that the world as they knew it had always been that way from the beginning.  And the beginning, for those who believers in the literal interpretation of the Bible, was relatively brief moments (“one week”) when God began the world.

Tennessee was one of those places and on  March 13, 1925, the state enacted the Butler Act names after John Washington Butler, the State Representative who had introduced it two months earlier.

The Butler Act stated: AN ACT prohibiting the teaching of the Evolution Theory in all the Universities, and all other public schools of Tennessee, which are supported in whole or in part by the public school funds of the State, and to provide penalties for the violations thereof.

The Act did not make it illegal to teach evolution regarding other animals, only humans, though John Butler’s intent was to keep the idea completely out of Tennessee’s academic institutions and to strictly adhere to the Bible’s story.

John Thomas Scopes Monkey Trial

John Thomas Scopes

John Thomas Scopes Monkey Trial

John T Scopes was born on August 3, 1900. Darwin had died just 18 years earlier; Wallace was still alive and would be so for another 13 years.

After he a degree from the University of Kentucky in 1924, with a major in law and a minor in geology, he moved to Dayton, Tennessee where he took a job as the Rhea County High School’s football coach and occasionally filled in as a substitute teacher when regular members of the staff were off work.

After the enactment of the Butler Act, the American Civil Liberties Union responded immediately with an offer to defend any teacher prosecuted under the law. John Scopes, who had covered evolution in a science class, agreed to stand as defendant in a test case to challenge the law.

He was arrested on May 7, 1925, and charged with teaching the theory of evolution. Three days later, Scopes was given a preliminary hearing before three judges and 15 days later,  he was indicted by a grand jury for violating Tennessee’s anti-evolution law.

John Thomas Scopes Monkey Trial
Darrow v Bryan
John Thomas Scopes Monkey Trial
Clarence Darrow, left, and William Jennings Bryan

The well-known and oft unsuccessful Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan was the lawyer for the prosecution. When the law had passed, Bryan had said, to Tennessee Governor Austin Peay, “The Christian parents of the state owe you a debt of gratitude for saving their children from the poisonous influence of an unproven hypothesis.”

Bryan chastised evolution for teaching children that humans were but one of (precisely) 35,000 types of mammals and bemoaned the notion that human beings were descended “Not even from American monkeys, but from old world monkeys

Clarence Darrow represented Scopes.

The trial was followed on radio transmissions throughout the United States.

John Thomas Scopes Monkey Trial

Trial begins

July 10, 1925: the trial began with jury selection. Judge John Raulston asks the Rev. Lemuel M. Cartright to open the proceedings with a prayer.

John Thomas Scopes Monkey Trial

Clarence Darrow

July 13, 1935: in an effort to have the Butler law declared unconstitutional, defense attorney Clarence Darrow delivered a long, fiery speech arguing that the law violates freedom of religion. Darrow argued that “we find today as brazen and as bold an attempt to destroy learning as was ever made in the Middle Ages.”

John Thomas Scopes Monkey Trial

Opening with prayer

July 14, 1925: the third day of the trial, Darrow objected to the practice of opening the trial with a prayer. Judge Raulston overruled the objection, noting that he has instructed the ministers who offer the prayer to “make no reference to the issues involved in this case.”

John Thomas Scopes Monkey Trial

Law not unconstitutional

July 15, 1925: Judge Raulston overruled the defense’s motion to have the Butler law declared unconstitutional. Raulston says in his ruling that the law “gives no preference to any particular religion or mode of worship. Our public schools are not maintained as places of worship, but, on the contrary, were designed, instituted, and are maintained for the purpose of mental and moral development and discipline.”

In an afternoon session that day, a not guilty plea is entered on Scopes’ behalf. Each side presents its opening statements. The prosecution questioned the superintendent of schools and two of Scopes’ students, who testified that Scopes taught his class about evolution. The defense questioned zoologist Maynard Metcalf, who testified that evolution was a widely embraced theory in the scientific community.

John Thomas Scopes Monkey Trial

Bar expert testimony

July 17, 1925: Judge Raulston ruled in favor of a motion by prosecutors to bar expert testimony by scientists. Raulston argued that the experts’ opinions on evolutionary theory would “shed no light” on the issue at hand in the trial — whether Scopes violated the state’s anti-evolution laws. Many reporters leave town, believing that the trial is effectively over. Scopes was recruited to write news stories on the trial for some of the delinquent journalists.

John Thomas Scopes Monkey Trial

Heat moves trial outdoors

John Thomas Scopes Monkey Trial

July 20, 1925: with the proceedings taking place outdoors due to the heat, the defense — in a highly unusual move — calls Bryan to testify as a biblical expert. Clarence Darrow asks Bryan a series of questions about whether the Bible should be interpreted literally. As the questioning continued, Bryan accused Darrow of making a “slur at the Bible,” while Darrow mocks Bryan for “fool ideas that no intelligent Christian on earth believes.”

John Thomas Scopes Monkey Trial

Guilty

July 21, 1925: the final day of the trial opened with Judge Raulston’s ruling that Darrow could not call Bryan back to the stand and that Bryan’s testimony should be expunged from the record. Raulston declared that Bryan’s testimony “can shed no light upon any issues that will be pending before the higher courts.”

Darrow then asked the court to bring in the jury and find Scopes guilty — a move that would allow a higher court to consider an appeal. The jury returned its guilty verdict after nine minutes of deliberation. Scopes was fined $100, which both Bryan and the ACLU offer to pay for him.

After the verdict was read, John Scopes delivered his only statement of the trial, declaring his intent “to oppose this law in any way I can. Any other action would be in violation of my ideal of academic freedom — that is, to teach the truth as guaranteed in our constitution, of personal and religious freedom.”

John Thomas Scopes Monkey Trial

Bryan dies

John Thomas Scopes Monkey Trial

July 26, 1925: five days after the Scopes trial ends, Bryan died in his sleep in Dayton and on July 31 he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. The words “He Kept the Faith” are inscribed on his tombstone.

John Thomas Scopes Monkey Trial

Appeal

January 15, 1927: the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that the Butler law was constitutional. However, it overturned Scopes’ verdict on a technicality, ruling that his fine should have been set by the jury hearing the case instead of by Judge Raulston. The justices declared in their ruling that “[n]othing is to be gained by prolonging the life of this bizarre case.”

John Thomas Scopes Monkey Trial

The end…sort of

May 17, 1967, more than 40 years later, Tennessee Governor Buford Ellington signed into law the repeal of the Butler Act

John Thomas Scopes Monkey Trial

John Scopes after trial

Scopes accepted a scholarship for graduate study in geology at the University of Chicago. Later he worked for Gulf Oil in Venezuela where he met and married his wife, Mildred.

In 1930, he returned to the University of Chicago for a third year of graduate study. In 1932 he took a position as a geologist with the United Gas Corporation, for which he studied oil reserves. He worked, in Houston, Texas then in Shreveport, Louisiana, until he retired in 1963.

He died on October 21, 1970, of cancer in Shreveport, Louisiana at the age of 70.

John Thomas Scopes Monkey Trial

John Thomas Scopes Monkey Trial

Legacy

Other state have since enacted laws that while not exactly copying the Butler Act, exactly copied its intent. These laws have met with resistance and typically failure after a court challenge.

Here are some examples:

Arkansas

November 12, 1968: the NY Times reported: “John Scopes hailed today the Supreme Court’s striking down Arkansas’s anti-evolution law.”

Tennessee, again

September 11, 1974 the NY Times reported Tennessee’s 1973 “Genesis law,” which rekindled memories of the John. Scopes monkey trial, has been held unconstitutional.

The. Tennessee Legislattire passed the law in 1973; specifying that all biology textbooks in the state’s public chools must give equal consideration to all theories of creation of man.

Nashville Chancellor Ben Cantrel ruled Yesterday that the law is an act “respectting the establishment Of religion” and thus runs counter to constititional doctrine of separation of state and Church. The Nashville Chancellery Court rules on all civi challenges to state laws.

The law decreed that the Adam and Eve theory of man’s origin be described in text books aongside the theory Of evolution.

Ohio

On February 15, 2006, the NY Times reportedThe Ohio Board of Education voted 11 to 4…to toss out a mandate that 10th-grade biology classes include critical analysis of evolution and an accompanying model lesson plan, dealing the intelligent design movement its second serious defeat in two months.

And Tennessee yet again

On April 15, 2012, the NY Times reportedEighty-seven years after Tennessee was nationally embarrassed for criminally prosecuting the teaching of evolution, the state government is at it again. This time it has enacted a law that protects teachers who invite students to challenge the science underlying evolution and climate change. The measure is a transparent invitation to indulge pseudoscience in the classroom and a transparent pandering to a vocal, conservative fringe.

Louisiana

On November 19, 2017, the NY Times reportedDarwinism has long been under siege in parts of the United States, even if its critics have practiced their own form of evolution, adapting their arguments to accommodate altered legal circumstances. This installment of Retro Report shows the enduring strength of the forces that embrace the biblical account of Creation or reasonable facsimiles of it. For some of them, the rejection of broad scientific consensus extends to issues like climate change and stem-cell research. And the beat goes on.

John Thomas Scopes Monkey Trial
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