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From 1908, hear the great William Jennings Bryan speak on Immortality.


Company Edison's National Phonograph Company
Cylinder # 9923
Category Talking
Title Immortality
Performed by William Jennings Bryan
Circa September 1908
Announcement "Immortality, by William Jennings Bryan.  Edison record."

Lawyer, congressman, publisher, political and social leader, William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925) was thrice nominated and ran for President of the United States in 1896 (at the age of 36), 1900, and 1908 – being defeated each time (Bryan recorded this cylinder during his 1908 campaign).   He later served as Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson.

Bryan vigorously fought against the theory of evolution being taught in schools.   Appearing as a witness in the famous 1925 Scopes trial, his beliefs were in effect placed on trial and held up for high ridicule by counsel for the defense, Clarence Darrow.   Bryan died in his sleep five days after the trial.

"Although the nation consistently rejected him for the presidency, it eventually adopted many of the reforms he urged – the income tax, popular election of Senators, woman suffrage, public knowledge of newspaper ownership, and prohibition."   [The New Columbia Encyclopedia. Edited by William H. Harris and Judith S. Levey, New York: Columbia University Press, 1975.]

To hear Immortality   —

To hear an excerpt   —  
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