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Oklahoma, 1923

Oklahoma's introduction into the anti-evolution legislation battles began with an ammendment to HB 197, and was also the first bill to pass in the United States that explicitly prohibited teaching evolution in the public school system. The bill started as an approprations measure that provided money to purchase textbooks in the state's public schools. An ammendment to the bill was later introduced by Representative J. L.

Iowa, 1923

A House FIle introduced in 1923 in Iowa, would have set aside a half day each week in schools within Iowa for, "the purpose of imparting moral and religious instruction to the pupils of such schools." Although not explicitly anti-evolution in it's language, the file's message -- that it's critica for studentsl to embrace, "Bible study, Christian doctrine, the foundation of the moral law, the obligation of obedience to such law and  the relationship that exists between the moral, the spiritual and the material realms," is a clear breach of Church and State in the public school system, and fi

Texas, 1923

Texas' 1923 HB 97, would have, if enacted, prohibted the teaching of evolution and use of textbooks containing lessons on evolution in any educational institution funded by state taxes. 

South Carolina, 1922

Proposed in 1922 in South Carolina, this ammendment to the General Approprations bill would have, if enacted, prohibited the flow of monies appropriated for the use in the State's public education system to institutions that taught, permitted the teaching of, or followed "the cult known as Darwinism." The amendment was originally passed in the Senate, but was later eliminated from the bill by a conference committee charged with correcting discrepencies between versions of the bill as passed by the Senate and by the House.

Ohio, 2014

Ohio's HB 597, introduced in 2014, would, if enacted, require the state's science standards to, "prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another." The bill includes numerous ammendments to the Common Core Cirriculum, including history and literature, but the most troubling is within Sec. 3301.079, article iii. The bill is currently pending within the House Rules and Reference Committee.

Kentucky, 1922

The Kentucky bill HB 260, introduced in 1922, is identical to the Kentucky bill SB 136. If passed, HB 260 would have: prohibited the teaching of evolution in any public institutions within the state; prohibited the use of textbooks containing lessons on evolution; impossed fines up to $1000 for violators. Those found guilty would also be forced to forfeit their academic positions and salary. Finally, the bill presented clear steps for witnesses to report violators to the appropriate compliance boards.

Kentucky, 1922

SB 136 introduced in Kentucky in 1922, if enacted, would have prohibted the teaching of evolution, as well as any textbooks containing material about evolution in any academic public institution within Kentucky. Stiff fines of up to $1000 would be imposed upon personnel found to be teaching evolution, as well as the forfeiture of their position within their academic institution. The bill also presented formal steps in which to bring complaints to advisory boards against personnel violating stated laws within the bill. The original version did not pass. 

Kentucky, 1922

Introduced in Kentucky in 1922, HB 191 was the first bill to explicitly mention the theory of evolution, and Darwinism. It aimed at preventing the teaching of such theories from both personnel (teachers, superintendents, principals, etc), as well as the public instiutions (college, university, training school, etc) themselves that allowed or promoted such lessons. Personnel found in violation of the proposed bill could face a monetary fine up to $5000, as well as imprisonment up to 1 year. Institutions found in violation could face a fine up to $5000 and forfetuire of its charter.

Utah, 1921

A bill introduced in Utah on February 1st, 1921, most likely the first legislative bill of the 20th century that could influence the teaching of evolution. The bill prohibited the teaching of certain sectarian, religious, and moral doctrines. Although the bill contained language to prevent the teaching of explicit religious doctrines, the bill also contained language that prevented teaching of 'atheistic or infidel' doctrines, which was largely associated with evolutionary theory. Moral instruction was 'permitted' in the bill, again, largely associated with religious thinking and belief.

Kentucky, 1888

Introduced on April 19th, 1888 in Kentucky, a bill introduced to amend and reform the Kentucky common school laws, contained a section that is likely the first legislative attempt to regulate the teaching of evolution in the United States school system. The bill and the contained section passed both the Kentucky House and Senate. It is interesting to note that this article has been reenacted and lightly modified since its original introduction in 1888.


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