Annual commemoration of Clarence Darrow to be held at MSI next month

Staff Writer

The 61st annual commemoration ceremony for Clarence Darrow will take place on Tuesday, March 13, at 10 a.m.

This year marks the 80th anniversary of his death.

Darrow is remembered for his role as an attorney in controversial cases such as the Scopes Monkey Trial, the Leopold, and Loeb murder case and the pardoning of the Haymarket anarchists.

The annual ceremony will include a wreath tossing near the Darrow or (Columbia) bridge in Jackson Park, which is at the rear of the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI), 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive. The bridge is currently under construction.

The area is also where Darrow’s ashes were scattered after his death and is the place according to the legend where his spirit would return if it turned out communication was possible from the afterworld.

The day also serves as an opportunity to raise awareness and spread knowledge about Darrow while also reflecting on his life.

Following the ceremony there will be a symposium beginning at 10:45 a.m., at MSI where three legal experts who are active in progressive causes will answer the question “How does Darrow’s work and legacy influence you?” Speakers for the symposium include Catharine O’Daniel, Nabeela Rasheed, and Scott A. Schoettes.

O’Daniel is a criminal defense attorney and appellate lawyer in Chicago and the owner of her law firm. Rasheed is a Pakistani, British, American, Muslim, Queer, lawyer, biochemist, and activist. She retrained as a lawyer in Chicago. Schoettes is Counsel and HIV Project Director at Lambda Legal, where he litigates impact cases involving HIV discrimination, HIV criminalization, and access to care.

Marisa Novara will discuss the current effectiveness of the 1968 Fair Housing Law. Keith Butler will perform excerpts from one of Darrow’s most well-known cases. Butler starred in made for TV three-part series, Kevin’s Room and has made appearances in television shows including How I Met Your Mother and movies including Dreamgirls.

For more information visit or call 773-387-2394.