by Braswell D. Deen, Jr.
John Birch, was a genuine, World War II hero, who aided, greatly,
In the dramatic rescue of the famous pilot, Col. James Doolittle;
He, was a talented interpreter, for Gen. Claire Chennault, of the
"Flying Tigers," but, there is a bit more, a little known riddle.
Most people, recall hearing, of a much publicized society, in our
Country using and bearing today, the illustrious John Birch name;
It's not the organization's political action; but, a little known
Story that provides lots of significance to Birch's initial fame.
Reporter Sam Hopkins covered the trial in a very special article,
Its dated April 23, 1978, page 3 of The Atlanta Journal Magazine;
Was, all about young John Birch, a 20-year old student, at Mercer
University in Macon; this created another exciting Georgia scene.
One of his distinguished classmates, providing an interview said,
John Birch was one of the most dynamic persons that he ever knew.
That he had "personal magnetism" that he was a born leader and was
Capable and gifted without measure -- possessed by only just a few!
At Gore High School, in Floyd County, Georgia, he was thus chosen
Valedictorian, meriting graduation, at the very top of his class;
He also won first place at a field day declamation, and the topic
Was Patrick Henry's famous Liberty Oration showing lots of class.
While at Mercer, it was said, "he made A's almost automatically,"
And then finally, "graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. Degree";
Thereafter, at a college in Fort Worth, Texas, he there completed
Two year's, work in one, again, at the top of his class, you see!
John, and twelve other, of his fellow young ministerial students,
Later became widely known at Mercer, as the militant "Unholy 13;"
They publicly made charges against five respected professors, and
A "Heresy Trial" followed as amazing in these parts as ever seen!
Letters were written outlining the accusations and issues raised,
And were mailed out to many including over 1,000 Baptist Pastors;
Theological liberalism and one-sided interpretations favoring ape
Ancestry Evolution was most of the talk; sparks were flying fast.
Georgia Gov. Eugene Talmadge extended an invitation to then famed
Texas evangelist J. Frank Norris, to our state, for him to speak;
It helped spur on some of the rhetoric of fire-and-brimstone-type
Debates and speeches, in Macon's Municipal Auditorium, to a peak!
The Mercer college president trustees and the executive committee
And Macon's Baptist Pastors Union; the general public, and others
Became involved, in the investigation, an indictment, of charges.
Three Ministers were appointed counsel, for "Unholy 13" brothers.
There was set up, a six-member group, acting both judge and jury.
It was composed of exactly three lawyers, and of three ministers.
The trial, lasted for ten uninterrupted hours, in Roberts Chapel;
This all occurred on the Mercer campus causing then quite a stir.
The chief prosecutor, was, Rev. J. Seaborn Winn, and, the accused
Were Professors Freeman, Crudup, Smalley, Allen, and one Wallace.
Christianity, Physics, English, Journalism, and Biology was seen.
Placards were paraded saying this was a "Witch-Craft Trial" case.
Wallace was charged with teaching and implying that certain bones
On one's rear are ape related; "some babies are born with tails."
A skeleton was introduced into evidence, to show that the "human"
Tail might be a continuation of a spinal column? This tale fails?
Dr. Crudup, who had been selected as the most "popular professor"
On the Mercer Campus, at least, a period of three years in a row,
Was charged with teaching, only a one-sided, slow motions, "solar
Systems evolution," and, not adding other scientific views. Whoa!
Some athletes, threatened the "Unholy 13," to remove their pants,
And then to run them half-naked through the main street of Macon;
Dr. Crudup told all that young John Birch was a "dynamic fellow,"
Prevailing upon the athletes please don't carry out the nude run.
The final verdict was exoneration for all five of the Professors.
But the final written report expressed a few timely reservations;
It was held that Dr. Freeman, had "made some mistakes" and didn't
Emphasize, "his faith;" shortly thereafter, came his resignation.
Chauncey Daley commented to all, that Dr. Freeman "never overcame
The mortal wounds of the affair," and, was the trial really fair?
What were the real genuine issues and questions presented in this
Scopes-like trial? And, more importantly, do people, really care?
Many, most, and maybe the media, might say, the meat of the macro
Debate was issues of Science vs. Religion or Religion vs. Religion;
When in reality the genuine question is views Science vs. Science,
An Abrupt Appearance, Devolution and Evolution offer, a solution!
Most of the trials, heartaches and disputes of this kind could in
Schools and classrooms be much avoided, and absolutely eliminated
If textbooks, teachers, and curriculums, would provide, differing
Interpretations as to skeletons, solar systems and fossils dated!
John Birch went on to command 100,000 Chinese guerrillas. He also
Won, the coveted Legion of Merit citation, and, died a real hero;
Most of the general public, and pro and con fans of Robert Welch,
Aren't aware; what some might call Birch's finest hour. You know!
Some of the facts of this little known story are further told and
Outlined in Dr. Ferrol Sams best seller The Whisper of the River;
Peachtree Publishers in Atlanta, Ga. produced this book, and, the
Part on the trial, of the "Unholy 13," I read it "kiver to kiver!"