Arundel History

August 13, 2006

Forty years ago, a 214-year-old theatrical debt was paid in the Anne Arundel County Courthouse.

The Sun reported on Aug. 13, 1966, that the Port Tobacco Players presented Inherit the Wind, a historical play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. The Charles County theatrical group told state capital audiences that it was repaying the visit of some Annapolis actors to their part of the Maryland colony in 1752.

The courthouse setting for the drama could not have been better. Inherit the Wind depicts the famous 1925 Scopes "monkey trial" about the teaching of evolution in schools. Lawyer, orator and former presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan successfully challenged a Tennessee high school teacher's classroom lessons on Charles Darwin's theory.

To watch the play in the Annapolis courthouse, spectators sat in the stands and the jury box.

[Source: Baltimore Sun archives and Paul McCardell, library researcher]

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