It’s the first day of classes for children in North Carolina public schools. And, as students return to the books, some will find themselves discussing the origins of humans. The word evolution will eventually make its way into the dialogue. No doubt some parent or child from Murphy to Manteo will find the topic doesn’t agree with their beliefs. And the long simmering debate over the teaching of evolution will continue. Tar Heels have argued the subject for more than 75 years. In 1927, legislators tried to ban the teaching of “Darwinism or any other evolutionary hypotheses that links man in blood relationship with any lower form of life.” Check out The Evolution Controversy in North Carolina in the 1920s.
“At the Asheville, N.C., City College last fortnight Dean Henry Dexter Learned gave students, including girls, permission to smoke in the college building between classes. An outraged Board of Education planned to oust Dr. Learned…. The Dean calmly explained: ‘If nobody smoked cigarets what would happen to the public school system of North Carolina? This is the biggest cigaret producing state in the Union.’
“The pedagogs did not heed this economic plea [and] voted to dismiss the Dean….”
— From Time magazine, Aug. 12, 1929