How did evolution support sports, fun, entertainment etc

We know that many animals entertain themselves by playing games. But sports actually increases risks of death,or at least accidents. So why did evolution choose it? And why did evolution decide to make us look for entertainment every now and then?

This answer can be from many different perspectives! I'll try to blend them all together as much as possible.

First of all evolution did not choose to make us love sports. Evolution made us social animals. And sports is just one of the tools we use for that purpose. Think about it, because if evolution gave us sports, then you will play sports, your kids will inherit that bit of experience from you and they would be that much better than you. But no, we all start from level 0 when we try to play any games or sports. This is because, sports is primarily a motor memory

So why are we social?

This study back in 2014 was one of the first to suggest that memory can be heritable. It generated a lot of attention and the authors themselves suggested that their findings were standing on a very capricious footing and required further validation.

This point is valid because evolutionary forces require mechanisms by which features/mechanism which bestow advantages towards the survival of the species are positively reinforced. In this case social behaviour is the function.

Do not go googling the word Social behaviour, for some reason the wiki article looks only at dogs and cats. That is unpragmatic, because we also have the same function.

I will broadly breakdown social behaviour into

  1. Accommodation of non-aggressive behaviour from individuals in neutral territory.
  2. A means to communicate

But, you may ask how does social behaviour benefit you? Well the answer is simple, increased survival capacity, and better chances of propagation.

Such studies exist in crows, which have studied social behaviour. Indeed, if you start to consider studies in behavioural biology, you would find that there are instances where female mosquitoes do not just mate with any male mosquitoes, even in this case you can call it a very rudimentary form of socialising.

So in your case sports is a tool which allows us to accommodate and communicate with others in neutral territory.

You can take a look at this which better explains the social aspects of sports


Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.

Sports, physical contests pursued for the goals and challenges they entail. Sports are part of every culture past and present, but each culture has its own definition of sports. The most useful definitions are those that clarify the relationship of sports to play, games, and contests. “Play,” wrote the German theorist Carl Diem, “is purposeless activity, for its own sake, the opposite of work.” Humans work because they have to they play because they want to. Play is autotelic—that is, it has its own goals. It is voluntary and uncoerced. Recalcitrant children compelled by their parents or teachers to compete in a game of football (soccer) are not really engaged in a sport. Neither are professional athletes if their only motivation is their paycheck. In the real world, as a practical matter, motives are frequently mixed and often quite impossible to determine. Unambiguous definition is nonetheless a prerequisite to practical determinations about what is and is not an example of play.

There are at least two types of play. The first is spontaneous and unconstrained. Examples abound. A child sees a flat stone, picks it up, and sends it skipping across the waters of a pond. An adult realizes with a laugh that he has uttered an unintended pun. Neither action is premeditated, and both are at least relatively free of constraint. The second type of play is regulated. There are rules to determine which actions are legitimate and which are not. These rules transform spontaneous play into games, which can thus be defined as rule-bound or regulated play. Leapfrog, chess, “playing house,” and basketball are all games, some with rather simple rules, others governed by a somewhat more complex set of regulations. In fact, the rule books for games such as basketball are hundreds of pages long.

As games, chess and basketball are obviously different from leapfrog and playing house. The first two games are competitive, the second two are not. One can win a game of basketball, but it makes no sense to ask who has won a game of leapfrog. In other words, chess and basketball are contests.

A final distinction separates contests into two types: those that require at least a minimum of physical skill and those that do not. Shuffleboard is a good example of the first the board games Scrabble and Monopoly will do to exemplify the second. It must of course be understood that even the simplest sports, such as weightlifting, require a modicum of intellectual effort, while others, such as baseball, involve a considerable amount of mental alertness. It must also be understood that the sports that have most excited the passions of humankind, as participants and as spectators, have required a great deal more physical prowess than a game of shuffleboard. Through the ages, sports heroes have demonstrated awesome strength, speed, stamina, endurance, and dexterity.

Sports, then, can be defined as autotelic (played for their own sake) physical contests. On the basis of this definition, one can devise a simple inverted-tree diagram. Despite the clarity of the definition, difficult questions arise. Is mountain climbing a sport? It is if one understands the activity as a contest between the climber and the mountain or as a competition between climbers to be the first to accomplish an ascent. Are the drivers at the Indianapolis 500 automobile race really athletes? They are if one believes that at least a modicum of physical skill is required for winning the competition. The point of a clear definition is that it enables one to give more or less satisfactory answers to questions such as these. One can hardly understand sport if one does not begin with some conception of what sports are.

How Lucy the Australopithecus Changed the Way We Understand Human Evolution

T he Australopithecus has been around for a while now&mdashand so has our knowledge of that human ancestor. The species Australopithecus africanus (“the southern ape of Africa”) was first classified based on a skull found in 1924, which seemed to have characteristics of both humans and apes but which clearly belonged to a creature that walked upright, based on the position of the spinal cord.

For the next 50 years or so, new human ancestors were discovered every now and then, including different Australopithecus species&mdashbut it was in the 1970s that a “surge of discoveries” brought a new level of understanding to human origins. One of those big discoveries was the famous skeleton known as Lucy, who was found on this day, Nov. 24, in 1974:

In 1972 Maurice Taieb, 40, of France’s National Center for Scientific Research, and Donald Carl Johanson, 34, of Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, found stone tools dating back 2.6 million years in the Afar region of Ethiopia. Two years later their team made an even more dramatic discovery. Not far from their first find, they [later] uncovered the fossilized remnants of a 20-year-old female Australopithecus lying in a layer of sediment 3 million years old. Unlike most other fossils of early man &mdasha tooth here, a bone fragment there, occasionally a portion of a skull&mdashthis one comprised a good part of the skeleton.

Named after the Beatles’ song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Lucy was a small creature, not much more than a meter tall, with a brain capacity about a third that of modern man. Lucy‘s skeleton gave scientists their best clues yet to the proportions of Australopithecus, and revealed her to be surprisingly short-legged. But the find left no doubts that she walked erect. The shape of her pelvis showed clearly that she was bipedal.

A few years would pass, however, before the full importance of Lucy would become clear. It was early 1979 when TIME declared her a “front-page celebrity” after Johanson announced the Lucy was a specimen of Australopithecus afarensis, a whole different species from those previously known Australopithecus examples. Significantly, she dated to a period before hominids split into the brand that led to us and the one that led to extinction. “The implications, says Johanson, are profound,” TIME noted. “First, the old notion that man became bipedal as his brain grew is certainly false: Lucy was small-brained, but could stand erect. Second, because Lucy is basically so primitive, man may have split from his ape ancestors much later than 15 million years ago, as is commonly supposed.”

Others in the field, however, like Richard Leakey (son of the famous anthropologists Louis and Mary Leakey and a believer that the common ancestor lived earlier than Lucy did), disputed some of Johanson’s analysis that afarensis was a single, separate species.

Despite quibbles over classification, there’s no question that Lucy was and is important to our understanding of human evolution. In 2012, scientist Derek Rossi nominated the spot where she was found for TIME’s list of the most influential places in history: “The single most significant place in human history is where hominids first evolved and emerged,” he said. “More specifically, the Afar region of Ethiopia has been the site where many of the most significant early hominid fossils have been unearthed, including the Australopithecus afarensis fossil find by Donald Johanson, dubbed Lucy.”

Read a 1977 cover story about Richard Leakey’s work, here in the TIME Vault:Puzzling Out Man’s Ascent

Activity 2. Getting There

Refer again to the Inventions timeline introduced above. Discuss some of the transportation inventions listed in the timeline, such as the steamboat (1807), the transcontinental railroad (1869), the electric trolley (1885), the automobile (1892), and the airplane (1903). Use the timeline as a springboard to discuss turn-of-the-century technologies that influenced the growth of the leisure industry.

To provide historical context, explain that transportation improvements opened inland and coastal areas and led to the establishment of national parks and resorts. By the turn of the century, a growing network of railroad, trolley, and steamship lines and inexpensive fares made it possible for Americans to travel to new destinations. Transportation companies often financed the construction of amusement parks and other attractions to encourage people to use their transportation services to reach resort areas.

Have students explore the interactive map, On the Old Fall River Line, to see how steamship lines carried passengers to and from a turn-of-the-century seaside resort. As part of this exercise, students will explore The Fall River Line and Other Steamers website, available at the EDSITEment-reviewed American Studies at UVA.

The Role Of Technology In The Evolution Of Communication

For as long as humans have been on this planet, we’ve invented forms of communication—from smoke signals and messenger pigeons to the telephone and email—that have constantly evolved how we interact with each other.

One of the biggest developments in communication came in 1831 when the electric telegraph was invented. While post existed as a form of communication before this date, it was electrical engineering in the 19th century which had a revolutionary impact.

Now, digital methods have superseded almost all other forms of communication, especially in business. I can’t remember the last time I hand wrote a letter, rather than an email at work, even my signature is digital these days. Picking up the phone is a rare occurrence too—instead, I FaceTime, Zoom, or join a Google Hangout.

When I look back at how communication has advanced over the years, it really is quite incredible…

The Telephone

In 1849, the telephone was invented and within 50 years it was an essential item for homes and offices, but tethering impacted the flexibility and privacy of the device. Then, came the mobile phone. In 1973, Motorola created a mobile phone which kick-started a chain of developments that transformed communication forever.

Early smartphones were primarily aimed towards the enterprise market, bridging the gap between telephones and personal digital assistants (PDAs), but they were bulky and had short battery lives. By 1996, Nokia was releasing phones with QWERTY keyboards and by 2010, the majority of Android phones were touchscreen-only.

Time’s Almost Up To Get A Discounted Instant Pot For Prime Day

The JBL Boombox Has Wall-Shaking Sound And It’s Lower Than Ever For Amazon Prime Day With $125 Off

In 2007, Steve Jobs revealed the first iPhone to the world and Apple paved the way for the aesthetics of modern smartphones. Before the iPhone, “flip phones”, and phones with a split keyboard and screen were the norm. A year later, a central application store with an initial 500 downloadable ‘apps’ was launched. Currently, there are over two million apps available in the Apple App Store.

The Internet

Since the mid-1990s, the Internet has had a revolutionary impact on communication, including the rise of near-instant communication by electronic mail, instant messaging, voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone calls, two-way interactive video calls, discussion forums, blogs, and social networking.

The internet has made communication easier and faster, it’s allowed us to stay in contact with people regardless of time and location. It’s accelerated the pace of business and widened the possibilities within the enterprise space. It’s allowed people to find their voice and express themselves through social media, YouTube and memes. The internet has connected and divided us like nothing before.

As a byproduct of the World Wide Web, email was introduced to the world in 1991 (although it had been operating years before) and it has vastly changed our lives—whether for better or worse depends on your viewpoint. The first users of the messaging platform were educational systems and the military who used email to exchange information. In 2018, there were more than 3.8 billion email users—that’s more than half the planet. By 2022, it’s expected that we will be sending 333 billion personal and business emails each day.

While email is invaluable and we can’t imagine a world without it, there are tools that are springing up that are giving email a run for its money. Take Slack (an acronym for “Searchable Log of All Communication and Knowledge”) for example, the company which launched in 2014 has often been described as an email killer. However, while Slack has become the most popular chat and productivity tool in the world used by 10 million people every day, email is still going strong. In recognition of this, Slack’s upgrades have ensured that people who still rely heavily on email are not excluded from collaboratory work.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Wearable Technology

The first instance of wearable technology was a handsfree mobile headset launched in 1999, which became a piece of tech synonymous with city workers. It gave businesspeople the ability to answer calls on the go, most importantly, while driving.

Ten years ago, the idea that you could make a video call from an item other than a phone would have been a sci-fi dream. Now, with smartwatches, audio sunglasses, and other emerging wearable technology, these capabilities are a part of our daily lives.

Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash

Virtual Reality (VR)

The next generation of VR has only been around since 2016, but it’s already shaking up communications. The beauty of VR—presence—means you can connect to someone in the same space at the same time, without the time sink and cost of travel, even if participants are on different continents.

VR also helps to facilitate better communication. In a typical discussion, a lot of information is non-verbal communication which can be transcribed in VR. Voice tone, hesitations, head and hand movements greatly improve the understanding of the participants' emotions and intents. Plus in VR, all distractions are removed and people can be fully focused on what is happening around them. In fact, MeetinVR claims that there is a 25% increase in attention span when meeting in virtual reality compared to video conferencing.

In addition, research suggests we retain more information and can better apply what we have learned after participating in virtual reality. 3D is a natural communication language overcoming linguistic barriers as well as technical jargon.

5G, the 5th generation of mobile network, promises much faster data download and upload speeds, wider coverage, and more stable connections. These benefits will bring about significant improvements in communication. Instantaneous communication will be possible and those patchy frustrating video calls will be a thing of the past.

The average 4G transmission speed currently available for our smartphones is around the 21 Mbps mark. 5G will be 100 to 1000 times faster. The Consumer Technology Association notes that at this speed, you could download a two-hour movie in just 3.6 seconds, versus 6 minutes on 4G or 26 hours on 3G. The impact of 5G will go far beyond our smartphones as it will allow millions of devices to be connected simultaneously.

Looking ahead, there is already buzz about 6G. Although it’s still in basic research and around 15-20 years away, it’s interesting from an innovation point of view. 6G will form the framework of the connected utopia we aspire towards, and with it will come untold improvements in the speed and consistency of our communication.


At the age of 16, Hovind became a born-again Christian [1] [ dead link ] within the Independent Fundamental Baptist church. [2]

In 1971, he graduated from East Peoria Community High School in East Peoria, Illinois. He entered Illinois Central College and then transferred to the unaccredited Midwestern Baptist College in 1972, attaining a Bachelor of Religious Education in 1974. [1]

He married his wife Jo in 1973 and they had three children between 1977 and 1979. Between 1975 and 1988, Hovind served as an assistant pastor and teacher at three private Baptist schools, including one he started. [1]

In 1989, the family moved to Pensacola, Florida, where Jo attended Pensacola Christian College and earned a bachelor's degree in music and master's degrees in music and sacred music. [3] [4]

In 1998, he created his Dr. Dino web site and began producing articles and selling video tapes, books, and fossil replicas. [3] Prior to his incarceration, Hovind had numerous speaking engagements (around 700 in 2004 [5] ) at churches, private schools, and other venues each year, in addition to hosting a daily internet radio talk show and establishing Dinosaur Adventure Land in Pensacola, Florida. In 1999, his son Eric Hovind began traveling to present his arguments and seminars. [6] [7] Kent and Jo divorced in 2016. [8]

In 1988 and 1991 respectively, Hovind received a master's degree and doctorate in Christian Education through correspondence from (also unaccredited) Patriot University in Colorado Springs, Colorado. [notes 1] [9] [10] Patriot University is a diploma mill. [11] [12]

Having a website called "Dr. Dino" has provoked some academics to look closely at how Hovind presents his education and credentials. All his known degrees are from unaccredited institutions, and he has no training in paleontology. [13] Barbara Forrest, a professor of philosophy, expert on the history of creationism and activist in the creation–evolution controversy, wrote that Hovind's lack of training makes academic discussion impossible [10] and has said that his understanding of historical and scientific research is deficient. [11] Karen Bartelt, an organic chemistry professor who debated Hovind, [10] examined Hovind's dissertation and found it is incomplete, [notes 2] contains numerous spelling errors, lacks references, shows flawed reasoning, and states that it does not present any original research. [13] [14] [15]

Creation Science Evangelism and Creation Today

Hovind established Creation Science Evangelism in 1989 to evangelize and teach creationism. [3] In May 1999, his son Eric joined Creation Science Evangelism as a speaker, and his daughter Marlissa began training to become Hovind's secretary. [7] That year, CSE merged with Faith Baptist Fellowship of Hawthorne, Florida, beginning a relationship that lasted until 2002. In 2003, with the aid of Glenn Stoll (a promoter of tax-avoidance schemes), Hovind set up a series of entities starting with "an unincorporated association of pure trust" on May 13, under which a corporation sole and several ministerial trusts were established starting on May 23. CSE properties were conveyed to the trusts which operated under business licenses from the "Kingdom of Heaven". [16] Hovind is associated with the Unregistered Baptist Fellowship (UBF), a loosely affiliated group of roughly 100 churches which share a "theology of Christian resistance" to civil governments. Because the UBF would consider it an acknowledgement of government authority over the church, they reject the highly favorable 501(c)3 status, which makes donations tax deductible and exempts them from income tax, but not FICA taxes or employee income tax withholding. [17] [18] The UBF holds that governmental authority stops "at the threshold of the church", [18] [19] and Hovind has likened his ministry's status to that of the Vatican City State. [20] When the federal government obtained a search warrant in 2004, an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) criminal investigator made the sworn statement that the organization did not have a business license and did not have tax-exempt status. [21]

Hovind was convicted of 58 felony counts in November 2006 [22] and sentenced to ten years in prison in January 2007 Eric Hovind took over Creation Science Evangelism. [23] In July 2007, God Quest Inc. was incorporated with Eric Hovind as president, [24] and that November, God Quest Inc. filed in Florida to do business under the trade name Creation Science Evangelism. [25] In June 2008, Eric announced that the CSE website would incorporate the CSE blog and change format allowing for "only positive comments" about Hovind and CSE, [26] and in late 2011, Creation Science Evangelism's website was redirected to [27] The new website announced "Creation Today is a ministry of God Quest, Inc." with focus on "creation, apologetics and evangelism." [28]

Dinosaur Adventure Land

In 2001 Hovind started Dinosaur Adventure Land, a young Earth creationist theme park located behind Hovind's home in Pensacola. [29] With the slogan, "Where Dinosaurs and the Bible meet!", the facility on roughly seven acres [30] had an indoor "Science Center" and an outdoor space with a variety of simple dinosaur-themed rides and activities, each of which was tied to some religious message. For example, the "Jumpasaurus" was a trampoline next to a basketball hoop children would have one minute to make as many baskets as they could, and the message was that one has to be coordinated to do more for Jesus. Annual attendance was 38,000. [5] [29] The park depicted humans and dinosaurs co-existing in the last 4,000–6,000 years and also contains a depiction of the Loch Ness Monster. [31] The Southern Poverty Law Center said the park also "claims that a few small dinosaurs still roam the planet". [32] A 2004 Skeptical Inquirer article discussed a visit to Hovind's dinosaur theme park and concluded that the park is "deceptive on many levels". [29] In Reports of the National Center for Science Education, George Allan Alderman described it as "essentially a playground with a few exhibits, several fiberglass dinosaurs, a climbing wall, and a couple of buildings." He summarized it as "shabby". [33]

The venture encountered legal issues when the owners did not get a building permit in 2002 (see below). In April 2006, Escambia County officials closed the building in question. [34] In July 2009, the courts ruled that the properties could be seized and sold to satisfy Hovind's criminal penalties (see below). [35] Another Florida ministry theme park, the Holy Land Experience, successfully lobbied for a property tax exemption law for parks "used to exhibit, illustrate, and interpret biblical manuscripts" in 2006 Dinosaur Adventure Land, which was not a 501(c)(3) organization, failed to have the law expanded to be included. [36] [37] Eric Hovind kept the park and CSE operating throughout 2008, [20] but in July 2009, a judge allowed the government seizure to proceed. [38] In August 2009, Dinosaur Adventure Land's website announced it was closed, [39] and CSE announced its re-opening as the "Creation Store" in November 2010. [40]

In April 2016, Hovind discussed plans for a new Dinosaur Adventure Land, which included an 80-foot-tall model dinosaur that would be the largest in the state, with commissioners in Conecuh County, Alabama. [41] A supporter donated a 140-acre parcel of land in Lenox, Alabama, a former gravel pit. [42] Volunteers started work by June 2016, [43] and it opened in April 2018. As of September 2018 [update] , attendance exceeded 1,000. Dinosaur Adventure Land is operated by a new 501(c)(3) organization, Creation Science Evangelism Ministries Inc. Its revenue streams are donations, book and DVD sales, and YouTube advertising. There is no admission charge and it operates without liability insurance. Facilities include a science center, a campground, a four-wheeler park, and church services including baptisms. [42]

On March 15, 2020, a seven-year-old boy drowned at the park. [44]

The Hovind Theory

Hovind presented a version of young Earth creationism he calls the "Hovind Theory" in lectures and in the book Unmasking the False Religion of Evolution. [45] [46] The Hovind Theory is entirely rejected in the scientific community, and its plausibility has been criticized by other young Earth creationists. [47] [48]

In Hovind's "theory", dinosaurs and humans coexisted and Tyrannosaurus rex was a vegetarian prior to the fall of man. [30] [49] Hovind expands upon the early-20th-century vapor canopy concept of a protective shield that made Earth a relative paradise between the expulsion from Paradise and Noah's flood. [50] The flood is expressed as a function of natural rather than miraculous processes. [51] Noah's family and two of every kind of animal [52] (including dinosaurs, which fit because babies were taken aboard and conditions allowed larger humans, making the ark's size, based on cubits, larger [53] ) boarded Noah's Ark before an ice meteor impacted the Earth. Fragments from the meteor caused planetary rings and impact craters on the moon and other solar system bodies. [54] The remainder were drawn to the North and South Poles by the Earth's magnetic field as cataclysmic snowfall which buried the mammoths standing up. [46] [54] The ice on the poles cracked the Earth's crust, releasing the "fountains of the deep". According to Hovind, these events caused an ice age, and made the Earth wobble around, collapsing the vapor canopy that protected it. [55]

In the next few months of the flood, the dead animals and plants were buried, and became oil, coal, and fossils. [56] The last months of the flood included geological instability, when the plates shifted, forming ocean basins and mountain ranges. The Grand Canyon was formed in a couple of weeks during this time. [49]

Criticism from creationists

In a rare case of open dissent within the movement over the substance of creation science, [57] Answers in Genesis (AiG) published a 2002 position paper titled: "Arguments we think creationists should NOT use". [58] After Hovind issued a point-by-point rebuttal, [59] Carl Wieland, Ken Ham, and Jonathan Sarfati of AiG wrote that the claims made by Hovind were "fraudulent" and contained "mistakes in facts and logic which do the creationist cause no good." [5] [48] [58] In particular, AiG criticized Hovind for "persistently us[ing] discredited or false arguments" as well as "fraudulent claims" from Ron Wyatt, [48] and described one of Hovind's claims as "self-refuting". [60] Rancorous disagreements resulted in AiG splitting into U.S. and Australian chapters in 2005. The Australian branch, renamed Creation Ministries International (CMI), maintained content critical of Hovind on their website, while the U.S. branch, led by Ken Ham, removed it. [61] In 2009, CMI said that they had relaxed their stance because CSE's revamped website had removed some of Hovind's claims to which they objected. [48]

Greg Neyman, an old-Earth creationist who runs the Old Earth Ministries website [62] (renamed from Answers in Creation), writes that Hovind's articles about humans and dinosaurs coexisting are unsupported by evidence and that they "embarrass the young earth creation science community as a whole". [63] [64]

To the Orthodox Jewish creationist, Hovind's approach relies upon a strict literal reading of the King James translation. Where Jews interpret the Hebrew through Talmud and Midrash, Hovind relies on a direct reading of English. For example, Hovind claims that the word dinosaur, which was introduced to English in 1841, refers to what previously had been called dragon. Dragon is used where tannin (Hebrew: תנין ‎) appears, but it means serpent or crocodile. [31]

Anti-evolution claims

Hovind contends that Darwinism produced "Communism, Socialism, Nazism, abortion, liberalism and the New Age Movement". [65] [66] He blamed the forced Cherokee resettlement on a belief in evolution, although the Trail of Tears preceded Origin of Species by roughly two decades. [10] [11] Hovind maintains that biology textbooks are lying in order to brainwash youth. [67] [68] He said, "Satan is using evolution theory to make kids go to hell." [69] Hovind claims he is not trying to eliminate evolution from schools, [67] but says "schools should teach both viewpoints." [69] Hovind said that in order to forge "missing link" transitional fossils to support human evolution, the Smithsonian Institution has 33,000 sets of human remains in its basement, some taken alive (murder). [10] [49] In an interview prior to speaking at Kent State University, Hovind said "You should have another rebellion here at Kent State and do it for the right reason," the reason being protesting evolution and referred to the Kent State shootings when he added, "This time, don't get shot." [66]

In the pseudoscience of cryptozoology, Hovind published and co-authored Claws, Jaws, and Dinosaurs with William Gibbons, another Creationist who has searched for dinosaurs in the Congo under the belief that discovering a cryptid would somehow undermine evolutionary theory and that dinosaurs were dragons. [13] Dinosaur Adventure Land had displays about the existence of the Loch Ness Monster [54] and Beowulf as history rather than legend. [29]


Prior to his convictions, Hovind was a prolific debater. While Hovind campaigns against evolution, the level of support for evolution is essentially universal within the scientific community and academia [70] support for creationism is minimal among scientists in general, and virtually nonexistent among those in the relevant fields: biology, paleontology, geology, etc. [71] [72] C. A. Chinn and L. A. Buckland classify his debate style, common among Young Earth Creationists, as eristic: focused on winning by rhetoric rather than illuminating by careful examination of evidence. [73]

In 1993, Hovind announced that he would be debating the renowned evolutionary biologist, Stephen Jay Gould, who had a longstanding opposition to debating Creationists and had turned down numerous challenges. When contacted about the announcement, Gould said he had never heard of Hovind, much less agreed to debate. [74]

In May 2004, Michael Shermer debated Hovind in front of a predominantly creationist audience. Shermer claimed the exchange was "not an intellectual exercise", but rather "an emotional drama," and concluded, "Unless there is a subject that is truly debatable with a format that is fair, in a forum that is balanced, it only serves to belittle both the magisterium of science and the magisterium of religion." [75] Massimo Pigliucci also debated Hovind, and expressed surprise at Hovind's ignorance of evolutionary theory. Pigliucci recalled Hovind tried "to convince the audience that evolutionists believe humans came from rocks" and subsequently "evolved from bananas." [76] William Reville, Director of Microscopy at University College Cork, wrote that Hovind's ideas are not rational or scientific because they are not testable. [77] Hovind has repeatedly declined offers for written debates where his claims would be scrutinized by scientists, including his decline of a debate offer from Dave Thomas. [78]

During a debate with Farrell Till, Hovind said that Donald Johanson had uncovered the leg bones of Lucy at a different site over a mile away from the reported site, in a deeper stratum, quipping, "I would like to know how fast the train was going that hit that chimpanzee." [79] This was clearly contrary to the published statements by Johanson. After Hovind had been informed in 1993 that his statement was false, he agreed to stop using the claim. When he repeated the claim in 1995, he once more agreed he was in error. [80]

$250,000 offer

In 1990, Hovind made a $10,000 offer to anyone who could meet a set of requirements he said would prove evolution, and he later raised the amount to $250,000. [81] In 2007, Creation Science Evangelism removed the offer from its website. [82]

I have a standing offer of $250,000 to anyone who can give any empirical evidence (scientific proof) for evolution.* My $250,000 ofer demonstrates that the hypothesis of evolution is nothing more than a religious belief. [81]


*NOTE: When I use the word evolution, I am not referring to the minor variations found in all of the various life forms (microevolution). I am referring to the general theory of evolution which believes these five major events took place without God:

1. Time, space, and matter came into existence by themselves.

2. Planets and stars formed from space dust.

3. Matter created life by itself.

4. Early life-forms learned to reproduce themselves.

5. Major changes occurred between these diverse life forms (i.e., fish changed to amphibians, amphibians changed to reptiles, and reptiles changed to birds or mammals).

The premises of Hovind's offer have been rejected both by scientists and fellow creationists as fundamentally flawed. [48] [83] Hovind's conditions would require a claimant to not only prove the theory of evolution, but also abiogenesis, astrophysics and cosmology, and additionally prove that no gods could possibly exist. [83] The judges would be hand-picked without assurances that they would be unbiased or qualified to assess the merit of claims, and it is possible that no panel was convened when a claim was submitted. Some forms of evidence would be excluded prior to judging. [84]

Answers in Genesis dismissed the challenge as a gimmick. [49] : 172–3 A 2005 challenge on Boing Boing offered $250,000 to anyone who could prove that the Flying Spaghetti Monster (the deity of a parody religion constructed to make a point about giving time to alternative views on evolution) was not the father of Jesus. [85]

Political activity

In 1999, a Bradenton, Florida pastor asked the school board to consider adding Creationism to the curriculum. The school board chairman's actions raised issues when, in his capacity as a citizen, he helped fund a series of seminars by Hovind, but he was within ethical guidelines. More controversy was raised when a school employee was sent to videotape the lectures, although without intention for rebroadcast. [86] Ultimately, there was no curriculum change. [87]

Hovind was criticized for his involvement with Arkansas state Representative Jim Holt's Anti-Evolution Bill in 2001 (House Bill 2548). [88] [89] This bill "would have required that when public schools refer to evolution that it be identified as an unproven theory." Opponents of the bill worried that it would subject Arkansas to the same type of derision that occurred when the state's balanced-treatment law was struck down in McLean v. Arkansas. [90] Holt called upon Hovind as an expert who "testified for Holt before the State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee, alleging much of the information pertaining to evolution in our science textbooks is false." [88]

In 2007, David Vitter added a $100,000 earmark in a U.S. Senate appropriations bill, directed towards the Louisiana Family Forum "to develop a plan to promote better science education". Their website included a document, " 'A Battle Plan—Practical Steps to Combat Evolution' by Kent Hovind". After a reporter's inquiries, the document, which called evolution "not a harmless theory but a dangerous religious belief" and blamed it for atrocities by Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Pol Pot, was removed from their website. The earmark was withdrawn from the bill. [91] [92]

Chick tracts

The most widely distributed antievolution work, Big Daddy?, [93] was first published in 1972 [notes 3] [94] and revised several times it is one of the controversial Chick tracts, comic strips intended to convert people to fundamentalist Christianity. [95] Material from Hovind was incorporated into the 2000 revision. [94] [96] [97]

Hovind has made controversial remarks regarding conspiracies, science, creation, equal rights, religion, and government. His presentations on creationism and evolution are a mix of Christian Fundamentalism and conspiracy theories. [75] His creationist presentations have asserted that creationism is not taught in public schools due to a New World Order conspiracy, established by Satan and involving Ted Turner and Jane Fonda, the British Royal Family, the State of Israel, the American Civil Liberties Union (which he calls "the American Communist Lawyers Union"), U.S. government officials, business leaders, and social activists. In May 1999, he claimed "the implementation of the NWO's world-domination plan was May 5, 2000." [14] [98]

Hovind has several conspiracy theories about the U.S. government. He has claimed that the U.S. government was behind the 9/11 attacks [91] and the Oklahoma City bombing. [49] Regarding UFOs, Hovind recommends books by conspiracy theorists who believe "some UFO's are U.S. Government experiments with electrogravitic propulsion as opposed to jet propulsion, while others are Satanic apparitions." [99] [100] The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) criticized Hovind for referring followers to books by Irwin Schiff, [32] a tax protester who has been convicted of tax evasion multiple times. [101] The SPLC has criticized Hovind for "point[ing] his followers to Citizens Rule Book, popular among antigovernment 'Patriots', and to Media Bypass, an antigovernment magazine with strong antisemitic leanings", [32] and for selling of books such as Des Griffin's Fourth Reich of the Rich and Peter Kershaw's In Caesar's Grip, and recommending The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a well-known antisemitic hoax. [65]

Hovind claims that the cyanide-releasing compound laetrile is a "cancer cure" which the U.S. government is conspiring to suppress [29] [102] and that diseases including HIV, Gulf war syndrome, Crohn's colitis, and rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer's were engineered by "the money masters and governments of the world" for the purpose of global economic domination. [91] [103] He has denounced democracy as "evil and contrary to God's law", [65] and called global warming a communist conspiracy. [100]

In his lectures, he claimed that the United States government was implanting pet-tracking microchips into people allowing them to be tracked by satellite, [104] even though the transponder range made that impossible. [105] On his website, Hovind associated the UPC bar code with the Mark of the Beast, and wrote that there were reports of people paying for groceries by having their hands scanned in 1999. [10] [65] [106]

On September 16, 2007, the Rational Response Squad complained that Creation Science Evangelism was filing spurious DMCA requests that had caused RRS YouTube videos to be taken down and the RRS YouTube account to be banned. [107] In response to the copyright claims, the RRS threatened a lawsuit. [108] [109]

At the time of the complaints, the CSE's website indicated the videos were not copyrighted, and the CSE encouraged copying and distributing them. [107] Five days later, the CSE copyright page was changed to say that copied material must be left unedited. [110] According to a spokesperson for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, CSE's claim was "clearly bogus", [111] and as of September 25, 2007, the Rational Response Squad account had been reinstated, and some of the videos had been put back online. [111]

Escambia County (2002–2006)

On August 15, 2002 Hovind was arrested for assault, battery, and burglary in an incident with a CSE secretary. The charges were dropped in December. [29] [49] [112]

On September 13, 2002, Hovind was charged with failure to observe county zoning regulations for Dinosaur Adventure Land, a misdemeanor. [29] In April 2006, the Dinosaur Adventure Land buildings were closed by county officials, and the Florida circuit court found the owners in contempt, ordering fines of $500 for each day the buildings were used. [34] Hovind argued he did not need a permit due to the nature of the building, but after a 5-year court battle over the $50 building permit, on June 5, 2006, Hovind pleaded nolo contendere as charged to three counts: constructing a building without a permit, refusing to sign a citation, [113] and violating the county building code. [34] [114] Hovind paid fines totaling $675. [113] [114]

Federal civil tax matters, bankruptcy, and renouncing citizenship (1996–2006)

Hovind was originally reported to the Internal Revenue Service by Pensacola Christian College senior vice President Rebekah Horton in the mid-1990s, after she learned of Hovind's anti-tax stand. [115] Hovind's organization had neither business licenses nor tax-exempt status, [21] nor was it considered a church by people who worked there. [116] [117] The ministry's organizational structure was described by the United States Tax Court as appearing to be "based on various questionable trust documents purchased from Glen Stoll, a known promoter of tax avoidance schemes", leading the Court to conclude that Hovind used these trust documents as well as other fraudulent means to conceal the ownership and control of his activities and properties. [118]

According to the IRS, Hovind earned $50,000 a year through speaking engagements, [notes 4] [5] and in 2002 alone, CSE sold more than $1.8 million in merchandise. [119] On average, Hovind made bank deposits in excess of $1 million each year, [120] and eventually that grew to about $2 million a year. [121] [122] About half that income went to employees who were salaried or were paid hourly wages. However, Hovind derived "substantial revenue" from these activities that appeared to be "income to [him] personally". [118]

On March 1, 1996, Hovind filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition to avoid paying federal income taxes, claiming he was not a citizen of the United States and that he did not earn income. [123] He claimed that as a minister, everything he owned belonged to God and he was not subject to paying taxes for doing God's work. [124] On June 5, 1996, the Court dismissed Hovind's bankruptcy case, finding he had lied about his possessions and income. The court upheld the IRS's determination that his claim "was filed in bad faith for the sole purpose of avoiding payment of federal income taxes" and called Hovind's arguments "patently absurd". It also said that "the IRS has no record of the debtor ever having filed a federal income tax return." [123]

In 1998, the IRS requested account information about Hovind from an internet provider after Hovind made claims on an internet broadcast about his own tax law noncompliance, going back to the 1970s. When the provider initially balked, the courts granted a subpoena on the basis that the IRS could demonstrate that Hovind had received income but had filed no income tax returns going back to 1991. [125] In 2003, Hovind would tell The New York Times, "I haven't filed a tax return in 30 years." [126]

On May 13, 1998, Hovind and his wife filed a "Power of Attorney and Revocation of Signature" document in Escambia County which would nullify any of their promises, debts, or legal agreements made prior to April 15, 1998. The Hovinds claimed they had signed government documents "due to the use of various elements of fraud and misrepresentations, duress, coercion, under perjury, mistake, 'bankruptcy'," and argued that Social Security is a "Ponzi scheme". The document referred to the United States Government as "the 'bankrupt' corporate government", renounced the Hovinds' United States citizenship and Social Security numbers to become "a natural citizen of 'America' and a natural sojourner", and referred to their home state of Florida as "the State of Florida Body-Politic Corporation." [127] Judges and the IRS did not appear to honor this as a legally relevant document in future decisions. [128] In 2002, Hovind was again delinquent in paying his taxes, and unsuccessfully sued the IRS for harassment. [128]

At various times, the government alleged that Hovind had not filed personal U.S. federal income tax returns for the years 1989 through 1997. [129] In the spring of 2004, the IRS conducted an audit and criminal investigation regarding Hovind's unfiled personal Federal income tax for 1995 through 1997. [118] IRS agent Scott Schneider said, "Since 1997, Hovind has engaged in financial transactions indicating sources of income and has made deposits to bank accounts well in excess of $1 million per year during some of these years, which would require the filing of federal income taxes." [21] On June 3, 2004, the IRS executed a search warrant on Hovind's home and businesses to confiscate financial records and attempt to deliver notices of Federal tax liens of $504,957.24, which Hovind refused to accept. [118] [130] [131] Agents confiscated $42,000 in cash found in various places in the residence. Six guns were present, including an SKS semiautomatic rifle. [128] That day, Hovind withdrew $70,000 from the CSE bank account, half in cash. [132]

On July 7, 2006, the United States Tax Court found that Hovind was deficient in paying his federal income taxes in 1995–1997, totaling $520,099. The Tax Court ruled that the IRS had a valid lien on Hovind's property and said that Hovind's defense was based on "bizarre arguments, some of which constitute tax protester arguments involving excise taxes and the alleged '100% voluntary' nature of the income tax." [118] With penalties, he owed $3.3 million for tax years 1998–2006 by 2013. [133] [134] Jo Hovind was ordered to pay $1.6 million. [3] [133]

Federal criminal tax-related trial and convictions in 2006

On July 11, 2006, Hovind was indicted on 58 counts in the District Court in Northern Florida in Pensacola. The first 12 counts were charges for willful failure to collect, account for, and pay over federal income taxes and FICA taxes in connection with the CSE operation, totaling $473,818 for the 12 fiscal quarters of 2001–2003. The next 45 counts were charges for knowingly structuring transactions by making multiple cash withdrawals totaling $430,500 in amounts just under the $10,000 which requires reporting (a technique known as "structuring"), for which his wife was also charged. The last count was a charge of corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the administration of the internal revenue laws by falsely listing the IRS as his only creditor when filing for bankruptcy, filing a false and frivolous lawsuit against the IRS in which he demanded damages for criminal trespass, making threats of harm to those investigating him and to those who might consider cooperating with the investigation, filing a false complaint against IRS agents investigating him, filing a false criminal complaint against IRS special agents (criminal investigators), and destroying records. [135] [136] [137] Because of reports of weapons on the Hovind property, the indictment was originally sealed for fear of danger to the arresting agents. [138]

At arraignment, Hovind claimed incomprehension to the charges, telling the court: "I still don't understand what I'm being charged for and who is charging me." [136] The presiding magistrate judge asked Hovind if he wrote and spoke English, to which Hovind responded, "To some degree." The judge replied that the government adequately explained the allegations and the defendant understands the charges "whether you want to admit it or not." [139] Hovind stated that he did not recognize the government's right to try him on tax-fraud charges. At first he attempted to enter a plea of "subornation of false muster," but then entered a not guilty plea "under duress" when the judge offered to enter a plea for him. When asked about his home, Hovind called it a "church parish", and denied any residence except the "church of Jesus Christ", worldwide. [128] Hovind's passport and guns were seized. Hovind protested, arguing that he needed his passport to continue his evangelism work, and that "thousands and thousands" were waiting to hear him preach in South Africa the following month. The court refused to reconsider, accepting the argument that "like-minded people" might secret Hovind away if he left the country. [136]

The trial began on October 21, 2006. Hovind hoped to convince a jury that his amusement park admission and merchandise sales, over $5 million from 1999 through March 2004, belonged to God and could not be taxed. [116] Evidence produced at the trial revealed that Jo Hovind had requested financial assistance from Baptist Healthcare by claiming that the Hovinds had no income. [140] IRS agents told the court how Hovind had attempted "bullying tactics" and had sued the government three times to pressure them to stop investigating. The lawsuits had been thrown out. [116] The prosecution countered attempts to describe workers as missionaries, ministers, and volunteers, introducing memos in which they had been called employees. Workers testified that they had to punch time cards, had vacation and sick days, and did not receive W-2 tax forms. After the IRS executed the search warrant, employees were required to sign non-disclosure agreements to remain employed. [117] A lawyer who did work for a non-profit Christian organization testified that Hovind claimed that Hovind had "beat" the tax system and that he favored cash transactions because they were untraceable and, consequently, untaxable. [141]

Hovind's lawyer engaged in a lengthy cross-examination of the lead IRS investigator, [142] and the case ended on November 1 with the defense calling no witnesses. [143] After closing arguments were presented on November 2, the jury deliberated three hours before finding the Hovinds guilty on all counts, 58 for Hovind and 45 for his wife. [144] The Pensacola News Journal said, "The saddest thing: Had they cooperated with the agents, they probably wouldn't be worrying about prison sentences now." [121]

Sentencing, appeals, and imprisonment (2007–2019)

After the convictions, Hovind was incarcerated in the Escambia County Jail as a "danger to the community" and a flight risk. [145] His wife would remain free until after the appeal. [146]

On January 19, 2007, Hovind was sentenced to ten years in prison with three years' probation and ordered to pay the federal government restitution of over $600,000. During the sentencing phase, a tearful Hovind, hoping to avoid prison, told the court, "If it's just money the IRS wants, there are thousands of people out there who will help pay the money they want so I can go back out there and preach." [147] However, Hovind's court room behavior was in stark contrast to phone calls he made while in jail and played by the prosecution. [148] The tapes, posted online by the Pensacola News Journal, included one conversation with Hovind and Eric Hovind, who were planning to hide a motor vehicle title and property deeds to prevent the government from collecting the property to pay for owed debt. [149] At sentencing, he denied being a "tax protester", [148] but the prosecution, [116] an IRS spokesman, [148] and the Pensacola News Journal [140] [150] used the term to describe him.

On June 29, 2007, Jo Hovind was sentenced to one year of imprisonment, three years of supervision upon release and fined $8,000. [144] In court, Jo Hovind offered explanations for the 45 checks just under $10,000 and for checks cashed before and after the reporting deadline, telling the judge "I really did not have a leadership role in CSE" and finished "I would never knowingly do anything illegal." The judge said that while Hovind was the principal authority at CSE, Jo managed the payroll she had cashed roughly 200 checks totaling $1.5 million over a four-year period, relying on cash to avoid IRS scrutiny. [150] The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit denied both appeals on December 30, 2008, [146] and the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari on November 2, 2009. [151]

Hovind appealed the amount of his 2006 U.S. Tax Court ruling on personal income taxes to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, but on July 2, 2007, a three-judge panel denied the appeal, finding that Hovind had failed to raise the issue at the appropriate time. [152]

In November 2010, Hovind filed a motion in U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida claiming the prosecution and defense erred at various stages of the case [153] it was denied the following May. [154] It was one of at least six motions to dismiss he filed that year on various procedural or constitutional grounds. [155]

In July 2015, Hovind was released to home confinement for roughly one month to finish his prison sentence for his 2006 conviction. [156] Almost a year after his release, Hovind said he would continue to fight his conviction and the property seizure. [157]

In October 2019, Hovind filed a motion to vacate in the trial court without obtaining the required certification from the appellate court the motion was dismissed, summarily. [155]

CSE property forfeitures

In 2007, the government placed liens on ten of the Hovinds' properties for money owed [150] following a June 27, 2007 judgment, which included an order that the properties be forfeited under 18 U.S.C. § 3613 for costs of $5,800, a fine of $2000, and restitution of $604,874.87. [158] On December 30, 2008, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit denied the Hovinds' appeal and affirmed the convictions and sentences entered by the district court. [159] [160] Following the appeal, Jo Hovind served her prison term from January 20, 2009 [161] to December 3, 2009. [162]

In 2008, Eric Hovind and Glen Stoll, an individual who has been associated with the Embassy of Heaven organization and who has falsely claimed to be a lawyer, [163] attempted to prevent the forfeitures of Hovind's ten properties, including Dinosaur Adventure Land, in connection with the federal tax problems. [164] (In early 2019, Stoll himself was indicted by a Federal grand jury in Portland, Oregon on unrelated charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, making a false statement on a loan application, and tax evasion. [165] ) The government sought the property, deeded to Stoll and Eric prior to Hovind's convictions, since cash had been withdrawn from the bank accounts and could not be recovered. In a court filing, however, Eric Hovind said that he owned one of the properties and that he "took active control over the lot by personally building a home on it with $70,000 he borrowed from CSE." [16] The court accepted Eric's ownership of that property, but allowed the government to seize the other nine properties. [16] The court ruling denying the Hovinds' appeal cleared the way for forfeiture proceedings on Hovind-owned properties, including those on which Dinosaur Adventure Land sat, to continue [146] to satisfy the debt. [35]

In March 2012, the federal government sued Creation Science Evangelism to remove liens placed on Hovind's former property that was seized after his conviction, and in June, the court ruled in favor of the government. [166]

In May 2013, facing the sale of lots that were once part of Dinosaur Adventure land, Hovind acted. Using legal advice from another inmate, he filed a civil right suit against corrections personnel (a "Bivens action") alleging that they intentionally delayed court documents which hindered another appeal. Based on the assumption that it would trigger a chain of rulings that would ultimately result in the original sentence being overturned, he then filed several lis pendens on the properties. [167] [168] A federal judge rejected Hovind's claims and dismissed the filings ("void ab initio"), and asked for a "show of cause" from Hovind to explain why he should not be found in contempt of court for the false filings. [169] His release date was approaching when he would face new charges related to the lis pendens filings. [170]

Federal mail fraud and criminal contempt trial in 2015

On October 21, 2014, Hovind was indicted by a federal grand jury in Pensacola, Florida, on two counts of mail fraud, one count of conspiracy with Paul John Hansen to commit mail fraud, and one count of criminal contempt for [171] interfering with the sale of Pensacola properties Hovind was forced to forfeit as a result of the 2006 case. [170] Hovind and Hansen pleaded not guilty and were tried together. [172] [173]

On March 2, 2015, the trial began in U.S. District Court for Northern Florida. On the first day of testimony, the prosecution discussed Hovind and Hansen's "dozens of filings", including several lis pendens, used to resist a court-ordered forfeiture due in part to legal advice Hovind took from his "cellmate in a New Hampshire prison camp". [174] The prosecution case included numerous emails, recorded phone calls, and court filings related to the forfeited properties. [168] The prosecution presented audio of Hovind characterizing a lis pendens by asking his daughter, "Have you ever taken a step into dog crap and it gets stuck on your feet and it's really hard to get off?" [174] Hansen and Hovind took the stand in their own defense. According to journalist Kevin Robinson, during Hovind's testimony, he "refused to give short answers" and said that he believed his actions were lawful. [175] On March 12, 2015, Hovind was found guilty on one count of criminal contempt, [176] Hansen on two counts of criminal contempt, [177] and jury was hung on the remaining charges. [176]

A trial on the counts on which the jury could not reach a verdict had been ordered to begin on May 18, 2015. [178] However, on May 16, 2015, the prosecution filed its "Government's Motion to Dismiss Counts One, Two and Four of the Superseding Indictment Without Prejudice," citing "issues regarding the technical sufficiency of the Superseding Indictment, including the adequacy of notice." [179] Later, on May 16, the Court cancelled the jury selection and trial that had been scheduled to begin on Monday, May 18, in order, in the Court's words, to permit the defendants to respond to the government's motion. [180] [181]

On Monday, May 18, 2015, the U.S. District Court made two decisions. First, the Court granted the prosecutor's request for a "without prejudice" dismissal of the three remaining charges against Hovind, allowing the prosecutor to go back to a Federal grand jury and seek a new indictment if desired. [182] Second, the Court rendered a judgment of acquittal on the criminal contempt charge on which Hovind had been found guilty by the jury. On that point, the Court concluded that in the specific order that Hovind had been found guilty of violating, there was no actual language that prohibited Hovind from doing anything. [183] [184]

On August 21, 2015, Paul John Hansen was sentenced to 18 months in prison and three years' probation for the two counts of contempt. [177]


The Roaring Twenties was a decade of economic growth and widespread prosperity, driven by recovery from wartime devastation and deferred spending, a boom in construction, and the rapid growth of consumer goods such as automobiles and electricity in North America and Europe and a few other developed countries such as Australia. [15] The economy of the United States, which had successfully transitioned from a wartime economy to a peacetime economy, boomed and provided loans for a European boom as well. Some sectors stagnated, especially farming and coal mining. The US became the richest country in the world per capita and since the late-19th century had been the largest in total GDP. Its industry was based on mass production, and its society acculturated into consumerism. European economies, by contrast, had a more difficult postwar readjustment and did not begin to flourish until about 1924. [16]

At first, the end of wartime production caused a brief but deep recession, the post–World War I recession of 1919–20. Quickly, however, the economies of the U.S. and Canada rebounded as returning soldiers re-entered the labor force and munitions factories were retooled to produce consumer goods.

New products and technologies Edit

Mass production made technology affordable to the middle class. [16] The automotive industry, the film industry, the radio industry, and the chemical industry took off during the 1920s.

Automobiles Edit

Before World War I, cars were a luxury good. In the 1920s, mass-produced vehicles became commonplace in the US and Canada. By 1927, the Ford Motor Company discontinued the Ford Model T after selling 15 million units of that model. It had been in continuous production from October 1908 to May 1927. [17] [18] The company planned to replace the old model with a newer one, the Ford Model A. [19] The decision was a reaction to competition. Due to the commercial success of the Model T, Ford had dominated the automotive market from the mid-1910s to the early-1920s. In the mid-1920s, Ford's dominance eroded as its competitors had caught up with Ford's mass production system. They began to surpass Ford in some areas, offering models with more powerful engines, new convenience features, and styling. [20] [21] [22]

Only about 300,000 vehicles were registered in 1918 in all of Canada, but by 1929, there were 1.9 million. By 1929, the United States had just under 27,000,000 [23] motor vehicles registered. Automobile parts were being manufactured in Ontario, near Detroit, Michigan. The automotive industry's influence on other segments of the economy were widespread, jump starting industries such as steel production, highway building, motels, service stations, car dealerships, and new housing outside the urban core.

Ford opened factories around the world and proved a strong competitor in most markets for its low-cost, easy-maintenance vehicles. General Motors, to a lesser degree, followed. European competitors avoided the low-price market and concentrated on more expensive vehicles for upscale consumers. [24]

Radio Edit

Radio became the first mass broadcasting medium. Radios were expensive, but their mode of entertainment proved revolutionary. Radio advertising became a platform for mass marketing. Its economic importance led to the mass culture that has dominated society since this period. During the "Golden Age of Radio", radio programming was as varied as the television programming of the 21st century. The 1927 establishment of the Federal Radio Commission introduced a new era of regulation.

In 1925, electrical recording, one of the greater advances in sound recording, became available with commercially issued gramophone records.

Cinema Edit

The cinema boomed, producing a new form of entertainment that virtually ended the old vaudeville theatrical genre. Watching a film was cheap and accessible crowds surged into new downtown movie palaces and neighborhood theaters. Since the early 1910s, lower-priced cinema successfully competed with vaudeville. Many vaudeville performers and other theatrical personalities were recruited by the film industry, lured by greater salaries and less arduous working conditions. The introduction of sound film, a.k.a. "the talkies" which didn't surge until the end of the decade of the 1920s, eliminated vaudeville's last major advantage and put it into sharp financial decline. The prestigious Orpheum Circuit, a chain of vaudeville and movie theaters, was absorbed by a new film studio. [25]

Sound movies Edit

In 1923 inventor Lee de Forest at Phonofilm released a number of short films with sound. Meanwhile, inventor Theodore Case developed the Movietone sound system and sold the rights to the film studio, Fox Film. In 1926, the Vitaphone sound system was introduced. The feature film Don Juan (1926) was the first feature-length film to use the Vitaphone sound system with a synchronized musical score and sound effects, though it had no spoken dialogue. [26] The film was released by the film studio Warner Bros. In October 1927, the sound film The Jazz Singer (1927) turned out to be a smash box-office success. It was innovative for its use of sound. Produced with the Vitaphone system, most of the film does not contain live-recorded audio, relying on a score and effects. When the movie's star, Al Jolson, sings, however, the film shifts to sound recorded on the set, including both his musical performances and two scenes with ad-libbed speech—one of Jolson's character, Jakie Rabinowitz (Jack Robin), addressing a cabaret audience the other an exchange between him and his mother. The "natural" sounds of the settings were also audible. [27] The film's profits were proof enough to the film industry that the technology was worth investing in. [28]

In 1928, the film studios Famous Players-Lasky (later known as Paramount Pictures), First National Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and Universal Studios signed an agreement with Electrical Research Products Inc. (ERPI) for the conversion of production facilities and theaters for sound film. Initially, all ERPI-wired theaters were made Vitaphone-compatible most were equipped to project Movietone reels as well. [29] Also in 1928, Radio Corporation of America (RCA) marketed a new sound system, the RCA Photophone system. RCA offered the rights to its system to the subsidiary RKO Pictures. Warner Bros. continued releasing a few films with live dialogue, though only in a few scenes. It finally released Lights of New York (1928), the first all-talking full-length feature film. The animated short film Dinner Time (1928) by the Van Beuren Studios was among the first animated sound films. It was followed a few months later by the animated short film Steamboat Willie (1928), the first sound film by the Walt Disney Animation Studios. It was the first commercially successful animated short film and introduced the character Mickey Mouse. [30] Steamboat Willie was the first cartoon to feature a fully post-produced soundtrack, which distinguished it from earlier sound cartoons. It became the most popular cartoon of its day. [31]

For much of 1928, Warner Bros. was the only studio to release talking features. It profited from its innovative films at the box office. Other studios quickened the pace of their conversion to the new technology and started producing their own sound films and talking films. In February 1929, sixteen months after The Jazz Singer, Columbia Pictures became the eighth and last major studio to release a talking feature. In May 1929, Warner Bros. released On with the Show! (1929), the first all-color, all-talking feature film. [32] Soon silent film production ceased. The last totally silent feature produced in the US for general distribution was The Poor Millionaire, released by Biltmore Pictures in April 1930. Four other silent features, all low-budget Westerns, were also released in early 1930. [33]

Aviation Edit

The 1920s saw milestones in aviation that seized the world's attention. In 1927, Charles Lindbergh rose to fame with the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight. He took off from Roosevelt Field in New York and landed at Paris–Le Bourget Airport. It took Lindbergh 33.5 hours to cross the Atlantic Ocean. [34] His aircraft, the Spirit of St. Louis, was a custom-built, single engine, single-seat monoplane. It was designed by aeronautical engineer Donald A. Hall. In Britain, Amy Johnson (1903–1941) was the first woman to fly alone from Britain to Australia. Flying solo or with her husband, Jim Mollison, she set numerous long-distance records during the 1930s. [35]

Television Edit

The 1920s saw several inventors advance work on television, but programs did not reach the public until the eve of World War II, and few people saw any television before the late 1940s.

In July 1928, John Logie Baird demonstrated the world's first color transmission, using scanning discs at the transmitting and receiving ends with three spirals of apertures, each spiral with a filter of a different primary color and three light sources at the receiving end, with a commutator to alternate their illumination. [36] That same year he also demonstrated stereoscopic television. [37]

In 1927, Baird transmitted a long-distance television signal over 438 miles (705 km) of telephone line between London and Glasgow Baird transmitted the world's first long-distance television pictures to the Central Hotel at Glasgow Central Station. [38] Baird then set up the Baird Television Development Company Ltd, which in 1928 made the first transatlantic television transmission, from London to Hartsdale, New York and the first television programme for the BBC. [39]

Medicine Edit

For decades biologists had been at work on the medicine that became penicillin. In 1928, Scottish biologist Alexander Fleming discovered a substance that killed a number of disease-causing bacteria. In 1929, he named the new substance penicillin. His publications were largely ignored at first, but it became a significant antibiotic in the 1930s. In 1930, Cecil George Paine, a pathologist at Sheffield Royal Infirmary, used penicillin to treat sycosis barbae, eruptions in beard follicles, but was unsuccessful. Moving to ophthalmia neonatorum, a gonococcal infection in infants, he achieved the first recorded cure with penicillin, on November 25, 1930. He then cured four additional patients (one adult and three infants) of eye infections, but failed to cure a fifth. [40] [41] [42]

New infrastructure Edit

The automobile's dominance led to a new psychology celebrating mobility. [43] Cars and trucks needed road construction, new bridges, and regular highway maintenance, largely funded by local and state government through taxes on gasoline. Farmers were early adopters as they used their pickups to haul people, supplies and animals. New industries were spun off—to make tires and glass and refine fuel, and to service and repair cars and trucks by the millions. New car dealers were franchised by the car makers and became prime movers in the local business community. Tourism gained an enormous boost, with hotels, restaurants and curio shops proliferating. [44] [45]

Electrification, having slowed during the war, progressed greatly as more of the US and Canada was added to the electrical grid. Industries switched from coal power to electricity. At the same time, new power plants were constructed. In America, electricity production almost quadrupled. [46]

Telephone lines also were being strung across the continent. Indoor plumbing was installed for the first time in many homes, made possible due to modern sewer systems.

Urbanization reached a milestone in the 1920 census, the results of which showed that slightly more Americans lived in urban areas, towns, and cities, populated by 2,500 or more people, than in small towns or rural areas. However, the nation was fascinated with its great metropolitan centers that contained about 15% of the population. The cities of New York and Chicago vied in building skyscrapers, and New York pulled ahead with its Empire State Building. The basic pattern of the modern white-collar job was set during the late-19th century, but it now became the norm for life in large and medium sized cities. Typewriters, filing cabinets, and telephones, brought many unmarried women into clerical jobs. In Canada, by the end of the decade, one in five workers were women. Interest in finding jobs, in the now ever-growing manufacturing sector of U.S. cities, became widespread among rural Americans. [47]

Suffrage Edit

With some exceptions, [48] many countries expanded women's voting rights in representative and direct democracies across the world such as the United States, Canada, Great Britain and most major European countries in 1917–1921, as well as India. This influenced many governments and elections by increasing the number of voters. Politicians responded by focusing more on issues of concern to women, especially peace, public health, education, and the status of children. On the whole, women voted much like men, except they were more interested in peace. [49] [50] [51] [52]

Lost Generation Edit

The Lost Generation was composed of young people who came out of World War I disillusioned and cynical about the world. The term usually refers to American literary notables who lived in Paris at the time. Famous members included Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein. These authors, some of them expatriates, wrote novels and short stories expressing their resentment towards the materialism and individualism rampant during this era.

In the United Kingdom, the bright young things were young aristocrats and socialites who threw fancy dress parties, went on elaborate treasure hunts, were seen in all the trendy venues, and were well covered by the gossip columns of the London tabloids. [53]

Social criticism Edit

As the average American in the 1920s became more enamored of wealth and everyday luxuries, some began satirizing the hypocrisy and greed they observed. Of these social critics, Sinclair Lewis was the most popular. His popular 1920 novel Main Street satirized the dull and ignorant lives of the residents of a Midwestern town. He followed with Babbitt, about a middle-aged businessman who rebels against his dull life and family, only to realize that the younger generation is as hypocritical as his own. Lewis satirized religion with Elmer Gantry, which followed a con man who teams with an evangelist to sell religion to a small town.

Other social critics included Sherwood Anderson, Edith Wharton, and H. L. Mencken. Anderson published a collection of short stories titled Winesburg, Ohio, which studied the dynamics of a small town. Wharton mocked the fads of the new era through her novels, such as Twilight Sleep (1927). Mencken criticized narrow American tastes and culture in essays and articles.

Art Deco Edit

Art Deco was the style of design and architecture that marked the era. Originating in Europe, it spread to the rest of western Europe and North America towards the mid-1920s.

In the U.S., one of the more remarkable buildings featuring this style was constructed as the tallest building of the time: the Chrysler Building. The forms of art deco were pure and geometric, though the artists often drew inspiration from nature. In the beginning, lines were curved, though rectilinear designs would later become more and more popular.

Expressionism and surrealism Edit

Painting in North America during the 1920s developed in a different direction from that of Europe. In Europe, the 1920s were the era of expressionism and later surrealism. As Man Ray stated in 1920 after the publication of a unique issue of New York Dada: "Dada cannot live in New York".

Cinema Edit

At the beginning of the decade, films were silent and colorless. In 1922, the first all-color feature, The Toll of the Sea, was released. In 1926, Warner Bros. released Don Juan, the first feature with sound effects and music. In 1927, Warner released The Jazz Singer, the first sound feature to include limited talking sequences.

The public went wild for sound films, and movie studios converted to sound almost overnight. [54] In 1928, Warner released Lights of New York, the first all-talking feature film. In the same year, the first sound cartoon, Dinner Time, was released. Warner ended the decade by unveiling On with the Show in 1929, the first all-color, all-talking feature film.

Cartoon shorts were popular in movie theaters during this time. In the late 1920s, Walt Disney emerged. Mickey Mouse made his debut in Steamboat Willie on November 18, 1928, at the Colony Theater in New York City. Mickey was featured in more than 120 cartoon shorts, the Mickey Mouse Club, and other specials. This started Disney and led to creation of other characters going into the 1930s. [55] Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, a character created by Disney, before Mickey, in 1927, was contracted by Universal for distribution purposes, and starred in a series of shorts between 1927 and 1928. Disney lost the rights to the character, but in 2006, regained the rights to Oswald. He was the first Disney character to be merchandised. [56]

Harlem Edit

African-American literary and artistic culture developed rapidly during the 1920s under the banner of the "Harlem Renaissance". In 1921, the Black Swan Corporation was founded. At its height, it issued 10 recordings per month. All-African American musicals also started in 1921. In 1923, the Harlem Renaissance Basketball Club was founded by Bob Douglas. During the late-1920s, and especially in the 1930s, the basketball team became known as the best in the world.

The first issue of Opportunity was published. The African American playwright Willis Richardson debuted his play The Chip Woman's Fortune at the Frazee Theatre (also known as the Wallacks theatre). [1] Notable African American authors such as Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston began to achieve a level of national public recognition during the 1920s.

Jazz Age Edit

The 1920s brought new styles of music into the mainstream of culture in avant-garde cities. Jazz became the most popular form of music for youth. [58] Historian Kathy J. Ogren wrote that, by the 1920s, jazz had become the "dominant influence on America's popular music generally" [59] Scott DeVeaux argues that a standard history of jazz has emerged such that: "After an obligatory nod to African origins and ragtime antecedents, the music is shown to move through a succession of styles or periods: New Orleans jazz up through the 1920s, swing in the 1930s, bebop in the 1940s, cool jazz and hard bop in the 1950s, free jazz and fusion in the 1960s. There is substantial agreement on the defining features of each style, the pantheon of great innovators, and the canon of recorded masterpieces." [60]

The pantheon of performers and singers from the 1920s include Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Sidney Bechet, Jelly Roll Morton, Joe "King" Oliver, James P. Johnson, Fletcher Henderson, Frankie Trumbauer, Paul Whiteman, Roger Wolfe Kahn, Bix Beiderbecke, Adelaide Hall and Bing Crosby. The development of urban and city blues also began in the 1920s with performers such as Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey. In the latter part of the decade, early forms of country music were pioneered by Jimmie Rodgers, The Carter Family, Uncle Dave Macon, Vernon Dalhart, and Charlie Poole. [61]

Dance Edit

Dance clubs became enormously popular in the 1920s. Their popularity peaked in the late 1920s and reached into the early 1930s. Dance music came to dominate all forms of popular music by the late 1920s. Classical pieces, operettas, folk music, etc., were all transformed into popular dancing melodies to satiate the public craze for dancing. For example, many of the songs from the 1929 Technicolor musical operetta "The Rogue Song" (starring the Metropolitan Opera star Lawrence Tibbett) were rearranged and released as dancing music and became popular dance club hits in 1929.

Dance clubs across the U.S.-sponsored dancing contests, where dancers invented, tried and competed with new moves. Professionals began to hone their skills in tap dance and other dances of the era throughout the stage circuit across the United States. With the advent of talking pictures (sound film), musicals became all the rage and film studios flooded the box office with extravagant and lavish musical films. The representative was the musical Gold Diggers of Broadway, which became the highest-grossing film of the decade. Harlem played a key role in the development of dance styles. Several entertainment venues attracted people of all races. The Cotton Club featured black performers and catered to a white clientele, while the Savoy Ballroom catered to a mostly black clientele. Some religious moralists preached against "Satan in the dance hall" but had little impact. [62]

The most popular dances throughout the decade were the foxtrot, waltz, and American tango. From the early 1920s, however, a variety of eccentric novelty dances were developed. The first of these were the Breakaway and Charleston. Both were based on African American musical styles and beats, including the widely popular blues. The Charleston's popularity exploded after its feature in two 1922 Broadway shows. A brief Black Bottom craze, originating from the Apollo Theater, swept dance halls from 1926 to 1927, replacing the Charleston in popularity. [63] By 1927, the Lindy Hop, a dance based on Breakaway and Charleston and integrating elements of tap, became the dominant social dance. Developed in the Savoy Ballroom, it was set to stride piano ragtime jazz. The Lindy Hop later evolved into other Swing dances. [64] These dances, nonetheless, never became mainstream, and the overwhelming majority of people in Western Europe and the U.S. continued to dance the foxtrot, waltz, and tango throughout the decade. [65]

The dance craze had a large influence on popular music. Large numbers of recordings labeled as foxtrot, tango, and waltz were produced and gave rise to a generation of performers who became famous as recording artists or radio artists. Top vocalists included Nick Lucas, Adelaide Hall, Scrappy Lambert, Frank Munn, Lewis James, Chester Gaylord, Gene Austin, James Melton, Franklyn Baur, Johnny Marvin, Annette Hanshaw, Helen Kane, Vaughn De Leath, and Ruth Etting. Leading dance orchestra leaders included Bob Haring, Harry Horlick, Louis Katzman, Leo Reisman, Victor Arden, Phil Ohman, George Olsen, Ted Lewis, Abe Lyman, Ben Selvin, Nat Shilkret, Fred Waring, and Paul Whiteman. [66]

Fashion Edit

Attire Edit

Paris set the fashion trends for Europe and North America. [67] The fashion for women was all about getting loose. Women wore dresses all day, everyday. Day dresses had a drop waist, which was a sash or belt around the low waist or hip and a skirt that hung anywhere from the ankle on up to the knee, never above. Daywear had sleeves (long to mid-bicep) and a skirt that was straight, pleated, hank hem, or tired. Jewelry was less conspicuous. [68] Hair was often bobbed, giving a boyish look. [69]

For men in white collar jobs, business suits were the day to day attire. Striped, plaid, or windowpane suits came in dark gray, blue, and brown in the winter and ivory, white, tan, and pastels in the summer. Shirts were white and neckties were essential. [70]

Immortalized in movies and magazine covers, young women's fashions of the 1920s set both a trend and social statement, a breaking-off from the rigid Victorian way of life. These young, rebellious, middle-class women, labeled 'flappers' by older generations, did away with the corset and donned slinky knee-length dresses, which exposed their legs and arms. The hairstyle of the decade was a chin-length bob, which had several popular variations. Cosmetics, which until the 1920s were not typically accepted in American society because of their association with prostitution, became extremely popular. [71]

In the 1920s, new magazines appealed to young German women with a sensuous image and advertisements for the appropriate clothes and accessories they would want to purchase. The glossy pages of Die Dame and Das Blatt der Hausfrau displayed the "Neue Frauen," "New Girl" – what Americans called the flapper. She was young and fashionable, financially independent, and was an eager consumer of the latest fashions. The magazines kept her up to date on styles, clothes, designers, arts, sports, and modern technology such as automobiles and telephones. [72]

Sexuality of women during the 1920s Edit

The 1920s was a period of social revolution, coming out of World War I, society changed as inhibitions faded and youth demanded new experiences and more freedom from old controls. Chaperones faded in importance as "anything goes" became a slogan for youth taking control of their subculture. [73] A new woman was born—a "flapper" who danced, drank, smoked and voted. This new woman cut her hair, wore make-up, and partied. She was known for being giddy and taking risks. [74] Women gained the right to vote in most countries. New careers opened for single women in offices and schools, with salaries that helped them to be more independent. [75] With their desire for freedom and independence came change in fashion. [76] One of the more dramatic post-war changes in fashion was the woman's silhouette the dress length went from floor length to ankle and knee length, becoming more bold and seductive. The new dress code emphasized youth: Corsets were left behind and clothing was looser, with more natural lines. The hourglass figure was not popular anymore, and a slimmer, boyish body type was considered appealing. The flappers were known for this and for their high spirits, flirtation, and recklessness when it came to the search for fun and thrills. [77]

Coco Chanel was one of the more enigmatic fashion figures of the 1920s. She was recognized for her avant-garde designs her clothing was a mixture of wearable, comfortable, and elegant. She was the one to introduce a different aesthetic into fashion, especially a different sense for what was feminine, and based her design on new ethics she designed for an active woman, one that could feel at ease in her dress. [78] Chanel's primary goal was to empower freedom. She was the pioneer for women wearing pants and for the little black dress, which were signs of a more independent lifestyle.

The changing role of women Edit

Most British historians depict the 1920s as an era of domesticity for women with little feminist progress, apart from full suffrage which came in 1928. [79] On the contrary, argues Alison Light, literary sources reveal that many British women enjoyed:

. the buoyant sense of excitement and release which animates so many of the more broadly cultural activities which different groups of women enjoyed in this period. What new kinds of social and personal opportunity, for example, were offered by the changing cultures of sport and entertainment . by new patterns of domestic life . new forms of a household appliance, new attitudes to housework? [80]

With the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, that gave women the right to vote, American feminists attained the political equality they had been waiting for. A generational gap began to form between the "new" women of the 1920s and the previous generation. Prior to the 19th Amendment, feminists commonly thought women could not pursue both a career and a family successfully, believing one would inherently inhibit the development of the other. This mentality began to change in the 1920s, as more women began to desire not only successful careers of their own, but also families. [81] The "new" woman was less invested in social service than the Progressive generations, and in tune with the consumerist spirit of the era, she was eager to compete and to find personal fulfillment. [82] Higher education was rapidly expanding for women. Linda Eisenmann claims, "New collegiate opportunities for women profoundly redefined womanhood by challenging the Victorian belief that men's and women's social roles were rooted in biology." [83]

Advertising agencies exploited the new status of women, for example in publishing automobile ads in women's magazines, at a time when the vast majority of purchasers and drivers were men. The new ads promoted new freedoms for affluent women while also suggesting the outer limits of the new freedoms. Automobiles were more than practical devices. They were also highly visible symbols of affluence, mobility, and modernity. The ads, wrote Einav Rabinovitch-Fox, "offered women a visual vocabulary to imagine their new social and political roles as citizens and to play an active role in shaping their identity as modern women". [84]

Significant changes in the lives of working women occurred in the 1920s. World War I had temporarily allowed women to enter into industries such as chemical, automobile, and iron and steel manufacturing, which were once deemed inappropriate work for women. [85] Black women, who had been historically closed out of factory jobs, began to find a place in industry during World War I by accepting lower wages and replacing the lost immigrant labor and in heavy work. Yet, like other women during World War I, their success was only temporary most black women were also pushed out of their factory jobs after the war. In 1920, 75% of the black female labor force consisted of agricultural laborers, domestic servants, and laundry workers. [86]

Legislation passed at the beginning of the 20th century mandated a minimum wage and forced many factories to shorten their workdays. This shifted the focus in the 1920s to job performance to meet demand. Factories encouraged workers to produce more quickly and efficiently with speedups and bonus systems, increasing the pressure on factory workers. Despite the strain on women in the factories, the booming economy of the 1920s meant more opportunities even for the lower classes. Many young girls from working-class backgrounds did not need to help support their families as prior generations did and were often encouraged to seek work or receive vocational training which would result in social mobility. [87]

The achievement of suffrage led to feminists refocusing their efforts towards other goals. Groups such as the National Women's Party continued the political fight, proposing the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923 and working to remove laws that used sex to discriminate against women, [88] but many women shifted their focus from politics to challenge traditional definitions of womanhood.

Young women, especially, began staking claim to their own bodies and took part in a sexual liberation of their generation. Many of the ideas that fueled this change in sexual thought were already floating around New York intellectual circles prior to World War I, with the writings of Sigmund Freud, Havelock Ellis and Ellen Key. There, thinkers claimed that sex was not only central to the human experience, but also that women were sexual beings with human impulses and desires, and restraining these impulses was self-destructive. By the 1920s, these ideas had permeated the mainstream. [89]

In the 1920s, the co-ed emerged, as women began attending large state colleges and universities. Women entered into the mainstream middle class experience but took on a gendered role within society. Women typically took classes such as home economics, "Husband and Wife", "Motherhood" and "The Family as an Economic Unit". In an increasingly conservative postwar era, a young woman commonly would attend college with the intention of finding a suitable husband. Fueled by ideas of sexual liberation, dating underwent major changes on college campuses. With the advent of the automobile, courtship occurred in a much more private setting. "Petting", sexual relations without intercourse, became the social norm for a portion of college students. [90]

Despite women's increased knowledge of pleasure and sex, the decade of unfettered capitalism that was the 1920s gave birth to the "feminine mystique". With this formulation, all women wanted to marry, all good women stayed at home with their children, cooking and cleaning, and the best women did the aforementioned and in addition, exercised their purchasing power freely and as frequently as possible to better their families and their homes. [91]

Liberalism in Europe Edit

The Allied victory in the First World War seems to mark the triumph of liberalism, not just in the Allied countries themselves, but also in Germany and in the new states of Eastern Europe, as well as Japan. Authoritarian militarism as typified by Germany had been defeated and discredited. Historian Martin Blinkhorn argues that the liberal themes were ascendant in terms of "cultural pluralism, religious and ethnic toleration, national self-determination, free-market economics, representative and responsible government, free trade, unionism, and the peaceful settlement of international disputes through a new body, the League of Nations". [92] However, as early as 1917, the emerging liberal order was being challenged by the new communist movement taking inspiration from the Russian Revolution. Communist revolts were beaten back everywhere else, but they did succeed in Russia. [93]

Homosexuality Edit

Homosexuality became much more visible and somewhat more acceptable. London, New York, Paris, Rome, [94] and Berlin were important centers of the new ethic. [95] Historian Jason Crouthamel argues that in Germany, the First World War promoted homosexual emancipation because it provided an ideal of comradeship which redefined homosexuality and masculinity. The many gay rights groups in Weimar Germany favored a militarised rhetoric with a vision of a spiritually and politically emancipated hypermasculine gay man who fought to legitimize "friendship" and secure civil rights. [96] Ramsey explores several variations. On the left, the Wissenschaftlich-humanitäres Komitee (Scientific-Humanitarian Committee WhK) reasserted the traditional view that homosexuals were an effeminate "third sex" whose sexual ambiguity and nonconformity was biologically determined. The radical nationalist Gemeinschaft der Eigenen (Community of the Self-Owned) proudly proclaimed homosexuality as heir to the manly German and classical Greek traditions of homoerotic male bonding, which enhanced the arts and glorified relationships with young men. The politically centrist Bund für Menschenrecht (League for Human Rights) engaged in a struggle for human rights, advising gays to live in accordance with the mores of middle-class German respectability. [97]

Humor was used to assist in acceptability. One popular American song, "Masculine Women, Feminine Men", [98] was released in 1926 and recorded by numerous artists of the day it included these lyrics: [99]

Masculine women, Feminine men
Which is the rooster, which is the hen?
It's hard to tell 'em apart today! And, say!
Sister is busy learning to shave,
Brother just loves his permanent wave,
It's hard to tell 'em apart today! Hey, hey!
Girls were girls and boys were boys when I was a tot,
Now we don't know who is who, or even what's what!
Knickers and trousers, baggy and wide,
Nobody knows who's walking inside,
Those masculine women and feminine men! [100]

The relative liberalism of the decade is demonstrated by the fact that the actor William Haines, regularly named in newspapers and magazines as the #1 male box-office draw, openly lived in a gay relationship with his partner, Jimmie Shields. Other popular gay actors/actresses of the decade included Alla Nazimova and Ramón Novarro. [101] In 1927, Mae West wrote a play about homosexuality called The Drag, [102] and alluded to the work of Karl Heinrich Ulrichs. It was a box-office success. West regarded talking about sex as a basic human rights issue, and was also an early advocate of gay rights. [103]

Profound hostility did not abate in more remote areas such as western Canada. [104] With the return of a conservative mood in the 1930s, the public grew intolerant of homosexuality, and gay actors were forced to choose between retiring or agreeing to hide their sexuality even in Hollywood. [105]

Psychoanalysis Edit

Vienna psychiatrist Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) played a major role in Psychoanalysis, which impacted avant-garde thinking, especially in the humanities and artistic fields. Historian Roy Porter wrote:

He advanced challenging theoretical concepts such as unconscious mental states and their repression, infantile sexuality and the symbolic meaning of dreams and hysterical symptoms, and he prized the investigative techniques of free association and dream interpretation, to methods for overcoming resistance and uncovering hidden unconscious wishes. [106]

Other influential proponents of psychoanalysis included Alfred Adler (1870–1937), Karen Horney (1885–1952), and Helene Deutsch (1884–1982). Adler argued that a neurotic individual would overcompensate by manifesting aggression. Porter notes that Adler's views became part of "an American commitment to social stability based on individual adjustment and adaptation to healthy, social forms". [106]

Immigration restrictions Edit

The United States became more anti-immigration in policy. The Immigration Act of 1924 limited immigration to a fraction proportionate to that ethnic group in the United States in 1890. The goal was to freeze the pattern of European ethnic composition, and to exclude almost all Asians. Hispanics were not restricted. [107]

Australia, New Zealand and Canada also sharply restricted or ended Asian immigration. In Canada, the Chinese Immigration Act of 1923 prevented almost all immigration from Asia. Other laws curbed immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe. [108] [109] [110] [111]

Prohibition Edit

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries the Progressive movement gradually caused local communities in many parts of Western Europe and North America to tighten restrictions of vice activities, particularly gambling, alcohol, and narcotics (though splinters of this same movement were also involved in racial segregation in the U.S.). This movement gained its strongest traction in the U.S. and its crowning achievement was the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the associated Volstead Act which made illegal the manufacture, import and sale of beer, wine and hard liquor (though drinking was technically not illegal). The laws were specifically promoted by evangelical Protestant churches and the Anti-Saloon League to reduce drunkenness, petty crime, wife abuse, corrupt saloon-politics, and (in 1918), Germanic influences. The KKK was an active supporter in rural areas, but cities generally left enforcement to a small number of federal officials. The various restrictions on alcohol and gambling were widely unpopular leading to rampant and flagrant violations of the law, and consequently to a rapid rise of organized crime around the nation (as typified by Chicago's Al Capone). [112] In Canada, prohibition ended much earlier than in the U.S., and barely took effect at all in the province of Quebec, which led to Montreal's becoming a tourist destination for legal alcohol consumption. The continuation of legal alcohol production in Canada soon led to a new industry in smuggling liquor into the U.S. [113]

Rise of the speakeasy Edit

Speakeasies were illegal bars selling beer and liquor after paying off local police and government officials. They became popular in major cities and helped fund large-scale gangsters operations such as those of Lucky Luciano, Al Capone, Meyer Lansky, Bugs Moran, Moe Dalitz, Joseph Ardizzone, and Sam Maceo. They operated with connections to organized crime and liquor smuggling. While the U.S. Federal Government agents raided such establishments and arrested many of the small figures and smugglers, they rarely managed to get the big bosses the business of running speakeasies was so lucrative that such establishments continued to flourish throughout the nation. In major cities, speakeasies could often be elaborate, offering food, live bands, and floor shows. Police were notoriously bribed by speakeasy operators to either leave them alone or at least give them advance notice of any planned raid. [114]

Literature Edit

The Roaring Twenties was a period of literary creativity, and works of several notable authors appeared during the period. D. H. Lawrence's novel Lady Chatterley's Lover was a scandal at the time because of its explicit descriptions of sex. Books that take the 1920s as their subject include:

  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, set in 1922 in the vicinity of New York City, is often described as the symbolic meditation on the "Jazz Age" in American literature.
  • All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque recounts the horrors of World War I and also the deep detachment from German civilian life felt by many men returning from the front.
  • This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald, primarily set up in post-World War I Princeton University, portrays the lives and morality of youth.
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway is about a group of expatriate Americans in Europe during the 1920s.

The 1920s also saw the widespread popularity of the pulp magazine. Printed on cheap pulp paper, these magazines provided affordable entertainment to the masses and quickly became one of the most popular forms of media during the decade. Many prominent writers of the 20th century would get their start writing for pulps, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dashiell Hammett and H. P. Lovecraft. Pulp fiction magazines would last in popularity until the 1950s. [115]

Solo flight across the Atlantic Edit

Charles Lindbergh gained sudden great international fame as the first pilot to fly solo and non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean, flying from Roosevelt Airfield (Nassau County, Long Island), New York to Paris on May 20–21, 1927. He had a single-engine airplane, the "Spirit of St. Louis", which had been designed by Donald A. Hall and custom built by Ryan Airlines of San Diego, California. His flight took 33.5 hours. The president of France bestowed on him the French Legion of Honor and, on his arrival back in the United States, a fleet of warships and aircraft escorted him to Washington, D.C., where President Calvin Coolidge awarded him the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Sports Edit

The Roaring Twenties was the breakout decade for sports across the modern world. Citizens from all parts of the country flocked to see the top athletes of the day compete in arenas and stadia. Their exploits were loudly and highly praised in the new "gee whiz" style of sports journalism that was emerging champions of this style of writing included the legendary writers Grantland Rice and Damon Runyon in the U.S. Sports literature presented a new form of heroism departing from the traditional models of masculinity. [116]

High school and junior high school students were offered to play sports that they hadn't been able to play in the past. Several sports, such as golf, that had previously been unavailable to the middle-class finally became available.

In 1929, driver Henry Segrave reached a record land speed of 231.44 mph in his car, the Golden Arrow. [ citation needed ]

Olympics Edit

Following the 1922 Latin American Games in Rio de Janeiro, IOC officials toured the region, helping countries establish national Olympic committees and prepare for future competition. In some countries, such as Brazil, sporting and political rivalries hindered progress as opposing factions battled for control of the international sport. The 1924 Olympic Games in Paris and the 1928 games in Amsterdam saw greatly increased participation from Latin American athletes. [117]

Sports journalism, modernity, and nationalism excited Egypt. Egyptians of all classes were captivated by news of the Egyptian national soccer team's performance in international competitions. Success or failure in the Olympics of 1924 and 1928 was more than a betting opportunity but became an index of Egyptian independence and a desire to be seen as modern by Europe. Egyptians also saw these competitions as a way to distinguish themselves from the traditionalism of the rest of Africa. [118]

Balkans Edit

The Greek government of Eleftherios Venizelos initiated a number of programs involving physical education in the public schools and raised the profile of sports competition. Other Balkan nations also became more involved in sports and participated in several precursors of the Balkan Games, competing sometimes with Western European teams. The Balkan Games, first held in Athens in 1929 as an experiment, proved a sporting and a diplomatic success. From the beginning, the games, held in Greece through 1933, sought to improve relations among Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Romania, and Albania. As a political and diplomatic event, the games worked in conjunction with an annual Balkan Conference, which resolved issues between these often-feuding nations. The results were quite successful officials from all countries routinely praised the games' athletes and organizers. During a period of persistent and systematic efforts to create rapprochement and unity in the region, this series of athletic meetings played a key role. [119]

United States Edit

The most popular American athlete of the 1920s was baseball player Babe Ruth. His characteristic home-run hitting heralded a new epoch in the history of the sport (the "Live-ball era"), and his high style of living fascinated the nation and made him one of the highest-profile figures of the decade. Fans were enthralled in 1927 when Ruth hit 60 home runs, setting a new single-season home run record that was not broken until 1961. Together with another up-and-coming star named Lou Gehrig, Ruth laid the foundation of future New York Yankees dynasties.

A former bar room brawler named Jack Dempsey, also known as The Manassa Mauler, won the world heavyweight boxing title and became the most celebrated pugilist of his time. Enrique Chaffardet the Venezuelan Featherweight World Champion was the most sought-after boxer in 1920s Brooklyn, New York City. College football captivated fans, with notables such as Red Grange, running back of the University of Illinois, and Knute Rockne who coached Notre Dame's football program to great success on the field and nationwide notoriety. Grange also played a role in the development of professional football in the mid-1920s by signing on with the NFL's Chicago Bears. Bill Tilden thoroughly dominated his competition in tennis, cementing his reputation as one of the greatest tennis players of all time. And Bobby Jones popularized golf with his spectacular successes on the links. Ruth, Dempsey, Grange, Tilden, and Jones are collectively referred to as the "Big Five" sporting icons of the Roaring Twenties.

Organized crime Edit

During the 19th century vices such as gambling, alcohol, and narcotics had been popular throughout the United States in spite of not always being technically legal. Enforcement against these vices had always been spotty. Indeed, most major cities established red-light districts to regulate gambling and prostitution despite the fact that these vices were typically illegal. However, with the rise of the Progressive Movement in the early 20th century, laws gradually became tighter with most gambling, alcohol, and narcotics outlawed by the 1920s. Because of widespread public opposition to these prohibitions, especially alcohol, a great economic opportunity was created for criminal enterprises. Organized crime blossomed during this era, particularly the American Mafia. [120] So lucrative were these vices that some entire cities in the U.S. became illegal gaming centers with vice actually supported by the local governments. Notable examples include Miami, Florida, and Galveston, Texas.

Many of these criminal enterprises would long outlast the roaring twenties and ultimately were instrumental in establishing Las Vegas as a gambling center.

Weimar culture was the flourishing of the arts and sciences in Germany during the Weimar Republic, from 1918 until Adolf Hitler's rise to power in 1933. [121] 1920s Berlin was at the hectic center of the Weimar culture. Although not part of Germany, German-speaking Austria, and particularly Vienna, is often included as part of Weimar culture. [122] Bauhaus was a German art school operational from 1919 to 1933 that combined crafts and the fine arts. Its goal of unifying art, craft, and technology became influential worldwide, especially in architecture. [123]

Germany, and Berlin in particular, was fertile ground for intellectuals, artists, and innovators from many fields. The social environment was chaotic, and politics were passionate. German university faculties became universally open to Jewish scholars in 1918. Leading Jewish intellectuals on university faculties included physicist Albert Einstein sociologists Karl Mannheim, Erich Fromm, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, and Herbert Marcuse philosophers Ernst Cassirer and Edmund Husserl sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld political theorists Arthur Rosenberg and Gustav Meyer and many others. Nine German citizens were awarded Nobel prizes during the Weimar Republic, five of whom were Jewish scientists, including two in medicine. [124]

Sport took on a new importance as the human body became a focus that pointed away from the heated rhetoric of standard politics. The new emphasis reflected the search for freedom by young Germans alienated from rationalized work routines. [125]

The 1920s saw dramatic innovations in American political campaign techniques, based especially on new advertising methods that had worked so well selling war bonds during the First World War. Governor James M. Cox of Ohio, the Democratic Party candidate, made a whirlwind campaign that took him to rallies, train station speeches, and formal addresses, reaching audiences totaling perhaps 2,000,000 people. It resembled the William Jennings Bryan campaign of 1896. By contrast, the Republican Party candidate Senator Warren G. Harding of Ohio relied upon a "Front Porch Campaign". It brought 600,000 voters to Marion, Ohio, where Harding spoke from his home. Republican campaign manager Will Hays spent some $8,100,000 nearly four times the money Cox's campaign spent. Hays used national advertising in a major way (with advice from adman Albert Lasker). The theme was Harding's own slogan "America First". Thus the Republican advertisement in Collier's Magazine for October 30, 1920, demanded, "Let's be done with wiggle and wobble." The image presented in the ads was nationalistic, using catchphrases like "absolute control of the United States by the United States," "Independence means independence, now as in 1776," "This country will remain American. Its next President will remain in our own country," and "We decided long ago that we objected to a foreign government of our people." [126]

1920 was the first presidential campaign to be heavily covered by the press and to receive widespread newsreel coverage, and it was also the first modern campaign to use the power of Hollywood and Broadway stars who traveled to Marion for photo opportunities with Harding and his wife. Al Jolson, Lillian Russell, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, were among the celebrities to make the pilgrimage. Business icons Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone also lent their cachet to the Front Porch Campaign. [127] On election night, November 2, 1920, commercial radio broadcast coverage of election returns for the first time. Announcers at KDKA-AM in Pittsburgh, PA read telegraph ticker results over the air as they came in. This single station could be heard over most of the Eastern United States by the small percentage of the population that had radio receivers.

Calvin Coolidge was inaugurated as president after the sudden death of President Warren G. Harding in 1923 he was re-elected in 1924 in a landslide against a divided opposition. Coolidge made use of the new medium of radio and made radio history several times while president: his inauguration was the first presidential inauguration broadcast on radio on 12 February 1924, he became the first American president to deliver a political speech on radio. Herbert Hoover was elected president in 1928.

Decline of labor unions Edit

Unions grew very rapidly during the war but after a series of failed major strikes in steel, meatpacking and other industries, a long decade of decline weakened most unions and membership fell even as employment grew rapidly. Radical unionism virtually collapsed, in large part because of Federal repression during World War I by means of the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918.

The 1920s marked a period of sharp decline for the labor movement. Union membership and activities fell sharply in the face of economic prosperity, a lack of leadership within the movement, and anti-union sentiments from both employers and the government. The unions were much less able to organize strikes. In 1919, more than 4,000,000 workers (or 21% of the labor force) participated in about 3,600 strikes. In contrast, 1929 witnessed about 289,000 workers (or 1.2% of the workforce) stage only 900 strikes. Unemployment rarely dipped below 5% in the 1920s and few workers faced real wage losses. [128]

Progressivism in 1920s Edit

The Progressive Era in the United States was a period of social activism and political reform that flourished from the 1890s to the 1920s. The politics of the 1920s was unfriendly toward the labor unions and liberal crusaders against business, so many if not all historians who emphasize those themes write off the decade. Urban cosmopolitan scholars recoiled at the moralism of prohibition and the intolerance of the nativists of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), and denounced the era. Historian Richard Hofstadter, for example, in 1955 wrote that prohibition, "was a pseudo-reform, a pinched, parochial substitute for reform" that "was carried about America by the rural-evangelical virus". [129] However, as Arthur S. Link emphasized, the progressives did not simply roll over and play dead. [130] Link's argument for continuity through the 1920s stimulated a historiography that found Progressivism to be a potent force. Palmer, pointing to people like George Norris, say, "It is worth noting that progressivism, whilst temporarily losing the political initiative, remained popular in many western states and made its presence felt in Washington during both the Harding and Coolidge presidencies." [131] Gerster and Cords argue that "Since progressivism was a 'spirit' or an 'enthusiasm' rather than an easily definable force with common goals, it seems more accurate to argue that it produced a climate for reform which lasted well into the 1920s, if not beyond." [132] Even the Klan has been seen in a new light as numerous social historians reported that Klansmen were "ordinary white Protestants" primarily interested in purification of the system, which had long been a core progressive goal. [133]

Business progressivism Edit

What historians have identified as "business progressivism", with its emphasis on efficiency and typified by Henry Ford and Herbert Hoover [134] reached an apogee in the 1920s. Reynold M. Wik, for example, argues that Ford's "views on technology and the mechanization of rural America were generally enlightened, progressive, and often far ahead of his times." [135]

Tindall stresses the continuing importance of the Progressive movement in the South in the 1920s involving increased democracy, efficient government, corporate regulation, social justice, and governmental public service. [136] [137] William Link finds political progressivism dominant in most of the South in the 1920s. [138] Likewise it was influential in Midwest. [139]

Historians of women and of youth emphasize the strength of the progressive impulse in the 1920s. [140] Women consolidated their gains after the success of the suffrage movement, and moved into causes such as world peace, [141] good government, maternal care (the Sheppard–Towner Act of 1921), [142] and local support for education and public health. [143] The work was not nearly as dramatic as the suffrage crusade, but women voted [144] and operated quietly and effectively. Paul Fass, speaking of youth, wrote "Progressivism as an angle of vision, as an optimistic approach to social problems, was very much alive." [145] The international influences which had sparked a great many reform ideas likewise continued into the 1920s, as American ideas of modernity began to influence Europe. [146]

There is general agreement that the Progressive era was over by 1932, especially since a majority of the remaining progressives opposed the New Deal. [147]

Canadian politics were dominated federally by the Liberal Party of Canada under William Lyon Mackenzie King. The federal government spent most of the decade disengaged from the economy and focused on paying off the large debts amassed during the war and during the era of railway over expansion. After the booming wheat economy of the early part of the century, the prairie provinces were troubled by low wheat prices. This played an important role in the development of Canada's first highly successful third political party, the Progressive Party of Canada that won the second most seats in the 1921 national election. As well with the creation of the Balfour Declaration of 1926, Canada achieved with other British former colonies autonomy, forming the British Commonwealth.

Black Tuesday Edit

The Dow Jones Industrial Stock Index had continued its upward move for weeks, and coupled with heightened speculative activities, it gave an illusion that the bull market of 1928 to 1929 would last forever. On October 29, 1929, also known as Black Tuesday, stock prices on Wall Street collapsed. The events in the United States added to a worldwide depression, later called the Great Depression, that put millions of people out of work around the world throughout the 1930s.

Repeal of Prohibition Edit

The 21st Amendment, which repealed the 18th Amendment, was proposed on February 20, 1933. The choice to legalize alcohol was left up to the states, and many states quickly took this opportunity to allow alcohol. Prohibition was officially ended with the ratification of the Amendment on December 5, 1933.

Sports brands

More interesting topics

Related topics

Dossier on the topic

How did evolution support sports, fun, entertainment etc - Biology

The nucleus is perhaps the most important structure inside animal and plant cells. It is the main control center for the cell and acts kind of like the cell's brain. Only eukaryotic cells have a nucleus. In fact, the definition of a eukaryotic cell is that it contains a nucleus while a prokaryotic cell is defined as not having a nucleus.

The nucleus is an organelle within the cell. This means it has a special function and is surrounded by a membrane that protects it from the rest of the cell. It floats within the cytoplasm (the fluid inside the cell).

How many nuclei are in a cell?

Most cells only have one nucleus. It would get confusing if there were two brains! However, there are some cells that develop with more than one nucleus. It's not common, but it does happen.

  • Nuclear envelope - The nuclear envelope is made up of two separate membranes: the outer membrane and the inner membrane. The envelope protects the nucleus from the rest of the cytoplasm in the cell and keeps the special molecules within the nucleus from getting out.
  • Nucleolus - The nucleolus is a large structure in the nucleus that mainly makes ribosomes and RNA.
  • Nucleoplasm - The nucleoplasm is the liquid that fills the inside of the nucleus.
  • Chromatin - Chromatin are composed of proteins and DNA. They organize into chromosomes prior to the cell dividing.
  • Pore - The pores are small channels through the nuclear envelope. They allow for smaller molecules to pass through such as messenger RNA molecules, but keep larger DNA molecules inside the nucleus.
  • Ribosome - Ribosomes are made inside the nucleolus and then sent outside the nucleus to make proteins.

The most important function of the nucleus is to store the cell's genetic information in the form of DNA. DNA holds the instructions for how the cell should work. DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid. The molecules of DNA are organized into special structures called chromosomes. Sections of DNA are called genes which hold hereditary information such as eye color and height. You can go here to learn more about DNA and chromosomes.

Scopes Trial

Scopes Trial Summary: The Scopes Trial, commonly referred to as the Scopes Evolution Trial or the Scopes Monkey trial, began on July 10th, 1925. The defendant, John Thomas Scopes, was a high school coach and substitute teacher who had been charged with violating the Butler Act by teaching the theory of evolution in his classes. The Butler Act forbid the teaching of any theory that denied the biblical story of Creationism. By teaching that man had descended from apes, the theory of evolution, Scopes was charged with breaking the law.

The trial took place in Dayton, Tennessee, and was the result of a carefully orchestrated series of events that were intended to bring publicity, and therefore money, into the town by a group of local businessmen. In reality, Scopes was unsure of whether he had ever technically taught the theory of evolution, but he had reviewed the chapter in the evolution chapter in the textbook with students, and he agreed to incriminate himself so that the Butler Act could be challenged by the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union). Several students were encouraged to testify against Scopes at the trial.

The Scopes Trial brought in hundreds of reporters from all over the country, and it was the first trial to be broadcast on radio. Both the prosecuting attorney and Scopes’ defense attorney were charismatic men and drew significant attention to the case, which for the defense was more about defeating the Butler Act then about defending Scopes. Scopes was found guilty and charged a fine of $100, but the verdict was thrown out on a technicality on an appeal. For the next few years, textbooks in Tennessee had all mention of evolution removed. The Butler Act was repealed in 1967.

Travelers wandering through Dayton, Tennessee, in mid-July 1925 might have been excused for thinking that the tiny hill town was holding a carnival or perhaps a religious revival. The street leading to the local courthouse was busy with vendors peddling sandwiches, watermelon, calico, and books on biology. Evangelists had erected an open-air tabernacle, and nearby buildings were covered with posters exhorting people to ‘read your Bible’ and avoid eternal damnation.

If there was a consistent theme to the garish exhibits and most of the gossip in Dayton it was, of all things, monkeys. Monkey jokes were faddish. Monkey toys and souvenirs were ubiquitous. A soda fountain advertised something called a ‘monkey fizz,’ and the town’s butcher shop featured a sign reading, ‘We handle all kinds of meat except monkey.’

As comical as this scene sounds, its background was anything but amusing. Sixty-six years after Charles Darwin published his controversial Origin of Species, the debate he’d engendered over humankind’s evolution from primates had suddenly reached a fever pitch in this hamlet on the Tennessee River. Efforts to enforce a new state statute against the teaching of evolution in public schools had precipitated the arrest of Dayton educator John T. Scopes. His subsequent prosecution drew international press attention as well as the involvement of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). It also attracted two headliners of that era–Chicago criminal attorney Clarence Darrow and former presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan–to act as opposing counsel.

Bryan characterized the coming courtroom battle as a ‘duel to the death’–one that would pit religious fundamentalists against others who trusted in scientific conclusions, and would finally determine the right of citizens to dictate the curricula of the schools their tax dollars supported. The case rapidly took on a farcical edge, however, as attorneys shouted at each other and outsiders strove to capitalize on the extraordinary publicity surrounding this litigation. (At one point, for instance, a black man with a cone-shaped head who worked New York’s Coney Island sideshows as Zip, the ‘humanoid ape,’ was offered to the defense as the ‘missing link’ necessary to prove Darwin’s scientific claims.) The ‘Scopes Monkey Trial,’ as history would come to know it, also included a personal dimension, becoming a hard-fought contest not just between rival ideas, but between Bryan and Darrow, former allies whose political differences had turned them into fierce adversaries.

Crusades to purge Darwinism from American public education began as early as 1917 and were most successful in the South, where Fundamentalists controlled the big Protestant denominations. In 1923, the Oklahoma Legislature passed a bill banning the use of all school texts that included evolutionist instruction. Later that same year, the Florida Legislature approved a joint resolution declaring it ‘improper and subversive for any teacher in a public school to teach Atheism or Agnosticism, or to teach as true, Darwinism, or any other hypothesis that links man in blood relationship to any other form of life.’

To Fundamentalists, for whom literal interpretation of the Bible was central to their faith, there was no room for compromise between the story of God’s unilateral creation of man and Darwin’s eons-long development of the species. Moreover, these critics deemed evolutionist theories a threat not only to the belief in God but to the very structure of a Christian society. ‘To hell with science if it is going to damn souls,’ was how one Fundamentalist framed the debate.

John Washington Butler couldn’t have agreed more. In January 1925, this second-term member of the Tennessee House of Representatives introduced a bill that would make it unlawful for teachers working in schools financed wholly or in part by the state to ‘teach any theory that denies the story of the divine creation of man as taught in the Bible.’ Violation of the statute would constitute a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $100 or more than $500 for each offense.

Butler’s bill flummoxed government observers but delighted its predominately Baptist backers, and it sailed through the Tennessee House on a lopsided 71 to 5 vote. It went on to the state Senate, where objections were more numerous, and where one member tried to kill the legislation by proposing an amendment to also ‘prohibit the teaching that the earth is round.’ Yet senators ultimately sanctioned the measure 24 to 6. As the story goes, many Tennessee lawmakers thought they were safe in voting for this ‘absurd’ bill because Governor Austin Peay, a well-recognized progressive, was bound to veto it. However, Peay–in a prickly political trade-off that won him the support of rural representatives he needed in order to pass educational and infrastructural reforms–signed the Butler Act into law. As he did so, though, he noted that he had no intention of enforcing it. ‘Probably,’ the governor said in a special message to his Legislature, ‘the law will never be applied.’

Peay’s prediction might have come true, had not the ACLU chosen to make the statute a cause célèbre. Worried that other states would follow Tennessee’s lead, the ACLU agreed in late April 1925 to guarantee legal and financial assistance to any teacher who would test the law.

John Scopes wasn’t the obvious candidate. A gawky, 24-year-old Illinois native, he was still new to his job as a general science teacher and football coach at Rhea County Central High School. Yet his views on evolution were unequivocal. ‘I don’t see how a teacher can teach biology without teaching evolution,’ Scopes insisted, adding that the state-approved science textbook included lessons in evolution. And he was a vocal supporter of academic freedom and freedom of thought. Yet Scopes was reluctant to participate in the ACLU’s efforts until talked into it by Dayton neighbors who hoped that a prominent local trial would stimulate prosperity in their sleepy southeastern Tennessee town.

On May 7, Scopes was officially arrested for violating Tennessee’s anti-evolution statute. Less than a week later, William Jennings Bryan accepted an invitation from the World’s Christian Fundamentals Association to assist in Scopes’ prosecution.

No one who knew the 65-year-old Bryan well should have been surprised by his involvement in the case. Bryan had been trained in the law before being elected as a congressman from Nebraska, and he made three spirited but unsuccessful runs at the presidency on the Democratic ticket. He had served as secretary of state during President Woodrow Wilson’s first term but had spent the last decade writing and lecturing more often about theology than politics. With the same silver tongue he’d once used to excoriate Republican office seekers and decry U.S. involvement in World War I, Bryan had since promoted religious ethics over man’s exaltation of science. ‘It is better to trust in the Rock of Ages than to know the ages of the rocks,’ Bryan pronounced ‘It is better for one to know that he is close to the Heavenly Father than to know how far the stars in the heavens are apart.’ Ever the rural populist– ‘the Great Commoner’–Bryan saw religion as the crucial backbone of agrarian America, and he reserved special enmity for accommodationists who struggled to reconcile Christianity and evolution. Such modernism, he wrote, ‘permits one to believe in a God, but puts the creative act so far away that reverence for the Creator is likely to be lost.’

Bryan’s role elevated the Scopes trial from a backwoods event into a national story. Clarence Darrow’s agreement to act in the teacher’s defense guaranteed the story would be sensational. A courtroom firebrand and a political and social reformer, the 68-year-old Darrow was still riding high from his success of the year before, when his eloquent insanity defense of Chicago teenagers Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, who had kidnapped and murdered a younger neighbor, had won them life imprisonment instead of the electric chair. The ACLU would have preferred a less controversial and more religiously conservative counsel than Darrow, an agnostic who characterized Christianity as a’slave religion’ that encouraged complacency and acquiescence toward injustices. According to biographer Kevin Tierney, the Chicago attorney ‘believed that religion was a sanctifier of bigotry, of narrowness, of ignorance and the status quo.’ The ACLU feared that with Darrow taking part, the case would, to quote Scopes, ‘become a carnival and any possible dignity in the fight for liberties would be lost.’ In the end, Darrow took part in the Dayton trial only after offering his services free of charge–’for the first, the last, and the only time in my life,’ the attorney later remarked.

After spending the previous Friday impaneling a jury (most members of which turned out to be churchgoing farmers), all parties gathered for the start of the real legal drama on Monday, July 13, 1925. Approximately 600 spectators–including newspaper and radio reporters, along with a substantial percentage of Dayton’s 1,700 residents–elbowed their way into the Eighteenth Tennessee Circuit Court. Presiding was Judge John T. Raulston, who liked to call himself ‘jest a reg’lar mountin’er jedge.’ The crowded courtroom made the week’s stifling heat even more unbearable. Advocates on both sides of the case quickly resorted to shirtsleeves. The prosecution included Bryan, Circuit Attorney General Arthur Thomas Stewart, and Bryan’s son, William Jennings Bryan, Jr., a Los Angeles lawyer. For the defense were Darrow, New York lawyer and co-counsel Dudley Field Malone, ACLU attorney Arthur Garfield Hays, and Scopes’ local lawyer, John Randolph Neal.

The prosecution’s strategy was straightforward. It wasn’t interested in debating the value or wisdom of the Butler Law, only in proving that John Scopes had broken it. ‘While I am perfectly willing to go into the question of evolution,’ Bryan had told an acquaintance, ‘I am not sure that it is involved. The right of the people speaking through the legislature, to control the schools which they create and support is the real issue as I see it.’ With this direction in mind, Bryan and his fellow attorneys took two days to call four witnesses. All of them confirmed that Scopes had lectured his biology classes on evolution, with two students adding that these lessons hadn’t seemed to hurt them. The prosecution then rested its case.

Scopes’ defense was more problematic. Once a plea of innocence had been lodged, Darrow moved to quash the indictment against his client by arguing that the Butler Law was a ‘foolish, mischievous, and wicked act . . . as brazen and bold an attempt to destroy liberty as ever was seen in the Middle Ages.’ Neal went on to point out how the Tennessee constitution held that ‘no preference shall be given, by law, to any religious establishment or mode of worship.’ Since the anti-evolution law gave preference to the Bible over other religious books, he concluded, it was thus unconstitutional. Raulston rejected these challenges.

From the outset, defense attorneys focused their arguments on issues related to religion and the influences of a fundamentalist morality. Early in the proceedings, Darrow objected to the fact that Judge Raulston’s court opened, as was customary, with a prayer, saying that it could prejudice the jury against his client. The judge overruled Darrow’s objection. Later the defense examined the first of what were to be 12 expert witnesses–scientists and clergymen both–to show that the Butler Law was unreasonable and represented an improper exercise of Tennessee’s authority over education. When the state took exception, however, Raulston declared such testimony inadmissible (though he allowed affidavits to be entered into the record for appeal purposes).

With the defense’s entire case resting on those 12 experts, veteran courtroom watchers figured that this decision effectively ended the trial. ‘All that remains of the great case of the State of Tennessee against the infidel Scopes is the formal business of bumping off the defendant . . . ‘ harrumphed journalist H.L. Mencken after the sixth day of litigation. ‘[T]he main battle is over, with Genesis completely triumphant.’ So sure were they of a swift summation that Mencken and others in the press corps simply packed their bags and left town. Yet Darrow had a surprise up his sleeve. When the court reconvened on Monday, July 20, the ACLU’s Arthur Hays rose to summon one more witness–William Jennings Bryan. ‘Hell is going to pop now,’ attorney Malone whispered to John Scopes.

Calling Bryan was a highly unusual move, but an extremely popular one. Throughout the trial, the politician-cum-preacher had been the toast of Dayton. Admirers greeted Bryan wherever he went and sat through long, humid hours in court just for the opportunity to hear him speak. He’d generally been silent, listening calmly, cooling himself with a fan that he’d received from a local funeral home, and saving his voice for an hour-and-a-half-long closing argument that he hoped would be ‘the mountain peak of my life’s effort.’ But Bryan didn’t put up a fight when asked to testify. In fact, he agreed with some enthusiasm, convinced–as he always had been–of his righteous cause.

Judge Raulston, concerned that the crowd massing to watch this clash of legal titans would prove injurious to the courthouse, ordered that the trial reconvene on the adjacent lawn. There, while slouched back in his chair and pulling now and then on his signature suspenders, Darrow examined Bryan for almost two hours, all but ignoring the specific case against Scopes while he did his best to demonstrate that Fundamentalism–and Bryan, as its representative–were both open to ridicule.

Darrow wanted to know if Bryan really believed, as the Bible asserted, that a whale had swallowed Jonah. Did he believe that Adam and Eve were the first humans on the planet? That all languages dated back to the Tower of Babel? ‘I accept the Bible absolutely,’ Bryan stated. As Darrow continued his verbal assault, however, it became clear that Bryan’s acceptance of the Bible was not as literal as his followers believed. ‘[S]ome of the Bible is given illustratively,’ he observed at one point. ‘For instance: `Ye are the salt of the earth.’ I would not insist that man was actually salt, or that he had flesh of salt, but it is used in the sense of salt as saving God’s people.’ Similarly, when discussing the creation, Bryan conceded that the six days described in the Bible were probably not literal days but periods of time lasting many years.

With this examination dragging on, the two men’s tempers became frayed, and humorous banter gave way to insults and fists shaken in anger. Fundamentalists in the audience listened with increasing discomfort as their champion questioned Biblical ‘truths,’ and Bryan slowly came to realize that he had stepped into a trap. The sort of faith he represented could not adequately be presented or justly parsed in a court of law. His only recourse was to impugn Darrow’s motives for quizzing him, as he sought to do in this exchange:

BRYAN: Your Honor, I think I can shorten this testimony. The only purpose Mr. Darrow has is to slur at the Bible, but I will answer his questions . . . and I have no objection in the world. I want the world to know that this man, who does not believe in God, is trying to use a court in Tennessee–

BRYAN: –to slur at it, and, while it will require time I am willing to take it.

DARROW: I object to your statement. I am examining you on your fool ideas that no intelligent Christian on earth believes.

It was a bleak moment in what had been Bryan’s brilliant career. He hoped to regain control of events and the trust of his followers the next day by putting Darrow on the stand. But Attorney General Stewart, who’d opposed Bryan’s cross-examination, blocked him and instead convinced the judge to expunge Bryan’s testimony from the record.

Before the jury was called to the courtroom the following day, Darrow addressed Judge Raulston. ‘I think to save time,’ he declared, ‘we will ask the court to bring in the jury and instruct the jury to find the defendant guilty.’ This final ploy by Darrow would ensure that the defense could appeal the case to a higher court that might overturn the Butler Law. The defense also waived its right to a final address, which, under Tennessee law, deprived the prosecution of a closing statement. Bryan would not get an opportunity to make his last grandiloquent speech.

The jury conferred for only nine minutes before returning a verdict of guilty. Yet Bryan’s public embarrassment in Dayton would become legend–one that the prosecutor could never overcome, for he died in his sleep five days after the trial ended.

Following the trial, the school board offered to renew Scopes’ contract for another year providing he complied with the anti-evolution law. But a group of scientists arranged a scholarship so he could attend graduate school, and Scopes began his studies at the University of Chicago in September. Mencken’s Baltimore Sun agreed to pay the $100 fine Judge Raulston levied against Scopes. On appeal, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that the jury, rather than the judge, should have determined Scopes’ fine, but it upheld the Butler Law’s constitutionality. Darrow had hoped to take the matter all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Any chance of that, though, was foreclosed when Tennessee’s chief justice nullified Scopes’ indictment and threw what he called ‘this bizarre case’ out of the courts.

Not until April 1967–42 years after the Butler Law was passed, and 12 years after Inherit the Wind, a play based on the Scopes Monkey Trial, became a Broadway hit–did the Tennessee Legislature repeal the anti-evolution law.

Since then, a series of court decisions has barred creationists’ efforts to have their beliefs taught in public schools. Yet 75 years after the Scopes trial, debate over evolution still continues to simmer as states and education boards struggle with the subject that pits science against religion.

This article was written by J. Kingston Pierce and originally published in the August 2000 issue of American History Magazine. For more great articles, subscribe to American History magazine today!