The Evolution Controversy in North Carolina in the 1920s

Glossary

Anti-Evolution League of America
The Anti-Evolution League of America was formed in 1924 in order to support anti-evolution challenges in Kentucky and, most notably, in Tennessee, where the Scopes "Monkey Trial" was held in the summer of 1925. The Anti-Evolution League encouraged the Poole Bill in North Carolina. T.T. Martin, the field secretary of the organization, traveled to the state a number of times to speak in favor of prohibiting the teaching of evolution in state-supported schools.
Committee of One Hundred
The "Committee of One Hundred" was formed in early April, 1926, by a group of ministers and laymen. Though the organizers were from various denominations, Baptists and Presbyterians were most prominent. With the statewide Democratic primaries approaching in early June, the Committee of One Hundred was organized with the goal of consolidating opposition to the teaching of evolution in North Carolina's public schools. The "one hundred" in the group's title referred to the state's one hundred counties, from which it hoped to attract members. Although the group was committed to a general cause, there was strong disagreement on some issues, which became clear in a contentious meeting held in Charlotte on May 4, 1926. Around three hundred people gathered to affirm their commitment to the anti-evolution cause, however, heated arguments nearly led to fistfights and resulted in negative coverage in the press, which likely damaged the organization's standing across the state.
Dayton Case
The case of State v. John Scopes, a 1925 challenge to Tennessee's law prohibiting the teaching of evolution in public schools, is now commonly known as the Scopes "Monkey Trial." In contemporary literature, including some of the primary sources on this site, the case is referred to as the "Dayton Case," after the town of Dayton, Tennessee in which the trial was held.
North Carolina Bible League
In December 1926, the Committee of One Hundred changed its name to the North Carolina Bible League. Still based in Charlotte, the Bible League remained committed to the fight to prohibit the teaching of evolution in North Carolina's public schools. Members of the Bible League were instrumental in drafting the anti-evolution bill introduced in the 1927 legislature.
Poole Bill
On January 8, 1925, Hoke County representative D. Scott Poole introduced a "Joint Resolution Restricting the Teaching of Darwinism in the Public Schools of North Carolina." In newspaper coverage that followed, and in much of the writing about it since, the bill has been commonly known as the "Poole Bill."
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