FFRF proudly underwrites legal legend’s statue

1DarrowStatueDedicationThe Freedom From Religion Foundation is proudly financing a monument to the illustrious civil libertarian and lawyer who legally battled on behalf of science.

The statue of Clarence Darrow is to be dedicated on Friday, July 14, right in front of the site of the historic Scopes evolution trial he so famously participated in: the Rhea County Courthouse in Dayton, Tenn. Darrow defended John Scopes when he was charged with teaching evolution at the 1925 "trial of the century."

A local statue of Darrow's legal adversary, William Jennings Bryan, given to the county by the William Jennings Bryan College, inspired talented sculptor Zenos Frudakis, FFRF and others to seek to remedy the imbalance. Darrow will take his rightful place adjacent to Bryan on the courthouse lawn.

Frudakis, based in Philadelphia, is creating the 7-foot bronze statue of the famed attorney, to be installed July 13 upon a 3-foot-high base. Frudakis is a renowned American sculptor who has created an extensive, award-winning collection of more than 100 bronze sculptures in public and private collections. FFRF is contributing the lion's share of costs: $150,000, made possible through the generosity of its members.

The dedication will begin in front of the courthouse at 9:45 a.m. on Friday, July 14, and will include actor John de Lancie, who played Q in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and portrayed Darrow in a play about the Scopes trial. Andrew Kersten, author of the 2011 biography, "Clarence Darrow: American Iconoclast," will speak about Darrow and his "frenemy" relationship with Bryan. Kersten is dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences at the University of Idaho-Moscow. Margaret Downey, an FFRF state representative who is with the Freethought Society of Philadelphia, will emcee. FFRF Co-Presidents Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor will say a few words. Barker, a professional musician, will set the tone prior to the dedication with a rendition of '20s music. The short dedication will end with Frudakis unveiling his creation.

The 2017 Scopes Trial Play and Festival will kick off shortly after with bluegrass music, booths and other festivities.

"We're dedicating this magnificent statue to history," says Gaylor. "The monument is a tribute to a civil libertarian and freethinker who fought for science and rationality — to have them prevail for all time to come."

FFRF is holding a Clarence Darrow Celebration Dinner Party on Thursday, July 13, the evening before the dedication, at The Chattanoogan Hotel, in Chattanooga, Tenn. This includes a Southern buffet, more music by Barker, socializing, speakers Frudakis and Kersten, and guests of honor Nicole Jacobsen and Ro Frudakis. Fred Edwords of the American Humanist Association, which forwarded donations of several hundred dollars toward the statue, will say a few words, as well as William Dusenberry, the FFRF member who first suggested the statue.

FFRF also encourages participants to join FFRF and its guests at the kickoff on July 14 of the annual Scopes Trial play, which is held in the courthouse itself. Purchase tickets here.

Click here to make a tax deductible donation to FFRF for the artistic project (use the dropdown to designate for the Darrow statue).

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charity, is the nation's largest association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics), and has been working since 1978 to keep religion and government separate.

FFRF is a non-profit, educational organization. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes.

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