On the seventy-fifth anniversary of Clarence Darrow’s death, this year’s annual Darrow commemoration on Wednesday, March 13, seeks to build a bridge between Darrow’s ideals and the social injustices of our own time. This year’s program is titled “The Bridge to Darrow” with speakers Tom Geoghegan, Juan Perea and Anita Weinberg
The day begins with a brief ceremony at the Darrow Bridge in Jackson Park at 10 a.m., where Darrow’s ashes were scattered after his death and where, as a bet, he once agreed his spirit would return if it turned out communication was possible from the afterworld. For the past 56 years, through the annual commemoration ceremony and lecture, his spirit has returned—usually to remind us that his work is not yet done. This year’s speakers will focus on the labor movement and on class and race issues—exploring where Darrow stood and where we are today.
After the ritual outdoor wreath-tossing ceremony, guests will move inside to the Museum of Science and Industry’s New Columbia Room for a lecture and discussion.
Tom Geoghegan is a partner at the law firm of Despres, Schwartz and Geoghegan. He has filed suits in a wide variety of public interest, labor and employment law cases, and successfully represented countless individuals who were discriminated against in the workplace due to their race, sex, disability, age or sexual orientation. Geoghegan is the author of a number of books including Which Side Are You On, an eloquent plea for the relevance of organized labor in America.
Juan Perea is a Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and is visiting at John Marshall Law School as the Distinguished Lee Chair in Constitutional Law. His teaching and writing focuses on race and race relations, constitutional law, and employment law.
Anita Weinberg, daughter of Darrow biographers Arthur and Lila Weinberg, and director of the ChildLaw Policy Institute at Loyola University Chicago School of Law will set the stage with a brief look at the range of Darrow’s ideals as they relate to current events. This winter the University of Chicago Press reissued Arthur Weinberg’s bestselling book, Attorney for the Damned, on the 55th anniversary of its publication. The book is a compilation of Darrow’s summations to juries in which he eloquently challenged society’s injustices.
Darrow, who died March 13, 1938, is remembered for his crusading role as “attorney for the damned” in such controversial cases as the Scopes Monkey Trial, the Leopold and Loeb murder case, and the pardoning of the Haymarket anarchists.
Darrow’s death on March 13, 1938, was memorialized throughout the world. The Darrow Bridge, where his ashes (and later those of his wife Ruby and son Paul) were scattered, was dedicated to his memory by the Chicago Park District in 1957.
Please join us at 10 a.m. at the Clarence Darrow Bridge in Jackson Park for the traditional wreath-tossing and brief speeches to commemorate Darrow; the Symposium begins at 10:45 a.m. in the Museum of Science and Industry: The NEW Columbian Room. Beverages and rolls will be served. (The Darrow Bridge is behind the Museum of Science and Industry: Driving south on Lake Shore Drive, pass the light at 57th Drive and turn right at the next light (Science Drive). You will come almost immediately to Columbia Drive. If you turn left and follow Columbia Drive there is parking near the bridge. You may park near the OmniMax Theater and walk south to the bridge. Parking is only free by the bridge.)
Download the event flier here (PDF).
Media contact: Tracy Baim, 773-387-2394, firstname.lastname@example.org
Clarence Darrow aficionados will gather at the Darrow Bridge in Jackson Park Tuesday, March 13 at 10 a.m. for the annual ceremony commemorating Darrow’s death in Chicago on March 13, 1938. Darrow is remembered for his crusading role as “attorney for the damned” in such controversial cases as the Scopes Monkey Trial, the Leopold and Loeb murder case, and the pardoning of the Haymarket anarchists.
After the ritual outdoor wreath-tossing ceremony, guests will move inside to the Museum of Science and Industry’s New Columbia Room for a lecture and discussion on the Haymarket case, “Absolving Anarchy: John P. Altgeld and the Pardon that Shook Gilded Age America,” to be given by Heath W. Carter.
The talk delves into the precipitous rise and fall of one of Illinois’ most progressive governors. On June 26, 1893, Illinois Gov. John P. Altgeld pardoned the three surviving prisoners who had originally been sentenced to death for Chicago’s Haymarket bombing. He was widely vilified for this decision and his political career was never the same, but upon his death in 1902 Darrow praised him in a famous eulogy as “a soldier in the everlasting struggle of the human race for liberty and justice on the earth.”
Heath W. Carter is a Ph.D. candidate in U.S. history at the University of Notre Dame. He has broad interests in the social history of modern industrial society, and has published articles on race, religion, and labor in a variety of academic and popular journals. He is writing a book entitled Union Made: Working People and the Rise of Social Christianity in Chicago, which tells the story of how wage-earning believers innovated a fierce critique of both the captains of industry and the churches that underwrote their rule. He has taught courses at the University of Illinois (Chicago), Loyola University Chicago, and the Newberry Library. In the summer of 2012, he will assume a new post as the assistant professor of modern United States history at Valparaiso University.
Loyola Law Professor Anita Weinberg, daughter of the late Arthur and Lila Weinberg, will preside over the indoor program. Tracy Baim, daughter of the late Joy Darrow, will preside at the bridge. Other Darrow committee members are event co-founder Herb Kraus, Bill Campbell, Nina Helstein and Nina Barrett.
Darrow, who was born in 1857 in Farmdale, Ohio, practiced in Chicago, repeatedly represented underdog clients and vigorously opposed capital punishment. None of his many clients was sentenced to death.
Darrow’s death on March 13, 1938, was memorialized throughout the world. His ashes, and later the ashes of his wife Ruby and his son Paul, were scattered from the Darrow Bridge which was dedicated to his memory by the Chicago Park District in 1957.
Media contact: Tracy Baim, 773-387-2394
Attorneys, labor leaders, and social justice advocates celebrated the end of the Illinois death penalty at the annual Darrow Bridge gathering in Jackson Park today.
The group has gathered every March 13th for over 50 years to honor Darrow’s memory. While celebrating the new Illinois death penality legislation, speakers at the bridge event this year also addressed the current challenges facing organized labor in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and other states. Emceed by co-organizer Nina Helstein, bridge speakers included Larry Spivak, president of the Illinois Labor History Society and Regional Director of AFSCME Council 31. Other speakers included Illinois House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, 5th Ward Alderwoman Leslie Hairston, labor activist Ed Sadlowski, physician and activist Quentin Young and Susana Mendoza, a former Illinois state representative who recently was elected Chicago City Clerk.
Students from Hammond Academy also spoke at the bridge reading some of Darrow’s most famous quotes on capital punishment.
The symposium following at the Museum of Science and Industry included Edward Mogul and Joey Mogul, his niece, who are both long-time civil rights attorneys. Loyola Law Professor Anita Weinberg, one of the organizers of the event and daughter of Darrow biographers Arthur and Lila Weinberg, began the program by identifying the broad range of Darrow’s interests and causes, so many of them still relevant today including: freedom of speech, rights of immigrants, significance of labor unions, the link between crime and underlying social and economic causes. Ed Mogul followed with a talk titled, “‘Justice’ is Not a Legal Term, or the Gulf Between Justice and the Law. Joey Mogul spoke on “Dreaming of Darrow and the Fight for Human Rights in the 21st Century.”
Visit us on Facebook!
DarrowBridge.org has launched a Facebook page, where you can view a terrific short video of the 2011 celebration by videographers Aaron and Rich Cahan. We’ve also posted photo albums, and media coverage of the event. We hope you’ll visit our Facebook page, give it a thumbs up by “linking” it and recommend that your friends follow us there.
Scholars gather to remember legendary lawyer – Chicago Tribune.
CHICAGO – Aficionados of the legendary attorney Clarence Darrow – including attorneys, labor leaders, and social justice advocates – will gather at the Darrow Bridge in Jackson Park Sunday, March 13 at 10 a.m., as they have every March 13th for over 50 years to honor Darrow’s memory.
Darrow died March 13, 1938 in Chicago and his ashes were strewn at the lagoon. The focus this year is the death penalty, which Darrow opposed. By March 13, Illinoisans will know if Gov. Pat Quinn agrees with Darrow, because the state legislature has sent him a bill banning the practice in Illinois
The March 13 event will feature a special tribute to the late Lila Weinberg, who was a member of the Darrow commemorative committee and one of the founders of the Bridge ceremony in 1958. She and her husband Arthur authored a trilogy of books on Darrow.
After the outdoor wreath-tossing, guests will move inside to the Museum of Science and Industry’s New Columbia Room for a dual tribute to Darrow and his work on capital punishment. As Darrow said during a 1924 debate: “[W]hy am I opposed to capital punishment? It is too horrible a thing for a State to undertake.”
The speakers will be Edward Mogul and Joey Mogul, his niece, who are both long-time civil rights attorneys. The topic of Edward Mogul’s speech is “’Justice’ is Not a Legal Term, or the Gulf Between Justice and the Law.” Joey Mogul’s speech is, “Dreaming of Darrow and the Fight for Human Rights in the 21st Century.” Read more…
The Clarence Darrow Commemorative Committee invites you to participate in its annual wreath-tossing and symposium commemorating Darrow on Saturday March 13, 2010, 10 a.m. – noon. Read more…