The Evolution Controversy in North Carolina in the 1920s

[Source description: North Carolina General Assembly, "Joint Resolution Restricting the Teaching of Darwinism in the Public Schools of North Carolina," 1925. Courtesy of the North Carolina State Archives. About this source.]

Poole Bill

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JOINT RESOLUTION RESTRICTING THE TEACHING OF DARWINISM IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF NORTH CAROLINA.

Resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:

1. That it is the sense of the General Assembly of North Carolina that it is injurious to the welfare of the people of the State of North Carolina for any official or teacher in the State, paid wholly or in part by taxation, to teach or permit to be taught, as a fact, either Darwinism or any other evolutionary hypotheses that links man in blood relationship with any lower form or life.

2. That this resolution be in effect from and after its ratification.


About this Source:

D. Scott Poole, state representative from Hoke County, introduced this joint resolution at the beginning of the General Assembly session in 1925. (Legislative resolutions differ from bills in that they are expressions of opinion by the House or Senate; they do not have the force of law.) After its introduction, the resolution was sent to the House Committee on Education, where the membership evaluated whether or not this item should be sent back to the full House with a favorable or unfavorable report. The committee's vote split evenly on the question, and the chairman, Henry Groves Connor, Jr., cast the deciding negative vote against Poole's resolution. The resolution was returned to the House with the negative opinion of the committee stamped on it. However, the committee members who supported the resolution attempted to bypass the majority opinion by submitting a minority report, which enabled the resolution to return to the House for a vote. On February 19, 1925, the full House defeated the measure by a vote of 67 to 46.

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