Symposium: Death of the American Trial

On the seventy-sixth anniversary of famed attorney Clarence Darrow’s death, the annual Darrow commemoration on March 13, 2014 focused on the “The Death of the American Trial” with professor Robert P. Burns, author of a 2009 book by the same title.

Despite deep snow that kept participants from gathering right at the Darrow plaque in Jackson Park, and even though the Darrow bridge itself has been shut down pending repairs, about 50 people gathered to pay respects to the famous attorney known for winning difficult trials.

A unique aspect of this year’s event was several dozen Darrow-related items from the collection of the late actor Leslie Nielsen, courtesy of his widow Barbaree Earl. Nielsen was a fan but also played the attorney in theatrical productions. The collection includes videos, playbooks and other items treasured by the actor.

Ald. Leslie Hairston and Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie spoke briefly at the bridge ceremony. The lecture was held inside the Museum of Science and Industry.

Here’s video from the event.


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