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The Scopes Trial 1925

In 1925, biology teacher John Scopes prosecuted of breaking the law that forbade the teaching of evolution in Tennessee’s state-supported schools named as Scopes Monkey Trial. In this legendary case, politician and fundamentalist William Bryan and attorney Clarence Darrow battled over the right of a public school teacher to read aloud to his class a passage from Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species in deliberate violation of local law. Although, the Scopes case focused on the conflict of evolution versus creationism, other social, ethical, and religious issues also surfaced during this trial. In fact, the trial served as a harbinger of current civil rights concerns, such as flag-burning, censorship, reproductive rights, and the very fine line, which separate church from state. The Scopes case dealt with whether John Thomas Scopes had committed a crime by teaching evolution to high school students (Kowalski 6). Darrow hoped Bryan would admit that the Bible did not spell out every detail about history and the natural world. Then Darrow could argue that the science of evolution did not necessarily contradict the Bible. The legal showdown in the Scopes case was great drama. John Scopes did not face the death penalty or even significant prison time for teaching evolution. Yet the case was criminal trial. Scopes faced a criminal fine ranging from one hundred to five hundred dollars. One side of the case included people who wanted freedom to teach evolution. Supporters of teaching evolution wanted young people to learn about current scientific thinking. Some people in that camp denied or doubted the existence of God. Others practiced a wide range of religions, including some forms of Christianity (Kowalski 7). They did not see an inherent conflict between evolutionary science and faith in God. For many other people, evolutionary teaching clashed directly with their faith. Christian fundamentalists took this side in the Scopes case. This tension between science and religion took center stage in the Scopes case.

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The KKK (Ku Klux Klan), 1915-1930

The research asserts that the KKK, 1915-1930 is referred to the second Ku Klux Klan that was revived by William J. Simmons in 1915. The revived KKK had a wider program, which provided the battle against political corruption, radicals, prostitution, aliens, and religious infidelity (Jackson 86). The movement had spread throughout the South and the North. It was the foundation of arising patriotism during WWI and fundamentalism in religion. The number of the KKK members was rather small, about two thousand. Therefore, there was a doubt that this small organization from among hundreds of secret societies and patriotic fraternities would vault to national prominence. The historical review shows that the KKK controlled politics and elected many state officials and Congressmen in 1920s. Its power was rather strong in Texas, Indiana, Oklahoma, Maine and Oregon. The peak of the KKK power was in the mid-1920s, when the number of its member had risen up to 4-5 million. The study reports that the Klan was a secret order of a lower-middle-class movement. Few men of wealth, education, or professional position affiliated with the Invisible Empire. The exceptions usually served in high Klan office.  By 1930, the number of the KKK members was estimated by 30,000. It was the Ku Klux Klan decline.

Stock purchases on "Margin" (buying on Margin) 1920's

People who lacked the financial resources to pay the full price of a stock could buy ‘on margin’. Buying on margin allow a buyer to put down some of their money and borrow the rest from the broker. In the 1920s, the buyer only needed to come up with 10 to 20% of their own money and could borrow 80 to 90% of the cost of the stock. There are inherent risks in buying on margin. In the event of the price of the stock falling lower than the loan amount, the broker would likely issue ‘a margin call’, which means that the buyer must come up with the cash to pay back their loan immediately. In the 1920s, many speculators purchased stock on margin (Stabile 93). Their confidence was buoyed by what appeared to be a never-ending upward spiral of prices. But many of these speculators neglected to consider the element of the risk involved. In early 1929, people across the USA were rushing to buy stocks. Some banks invested customers’ money in the stock market without their consent. Hence, a vast number of people were taken aback, when the market crashed in October. On 25 March 1929, the stock markets suffered a mini-crash. As prices began to fall, panic struck across the country as margin calls were issued. By spring of 1929, there were further signs that the economy might be heading for a grave setback. Steel production diminished, house construction slowed and car sales went down.

The Social Security Act of 1935

Created by the Social Security Act of 1935, Social Security replaces labor income lost due to retirement, death, or disability, by paying monthly benefits to retired and disabled workers, their dependents, and their survivors. Social Security payroll taxes, called ‘contributions’, are collected from employees’ wages or salaries. Self-employed persons pay taxes on income from self-employment (Stabile 21). These taxes on labor income furnish the chief source of revenue to pay benefits under Old-Age and Survivors Insurance, which pays benefits to retired workers and their families and to the survivors of diseased workers, and Disability Insurance, which pays benefits to disabled workers and their dependents. Payment of benefits is not automatic; one must apply at a Social Security office for them, and meet eligibility conditions, such as age, being retired, insurance status, and so on.

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