In 1869, the board of the public schools of Cincinnati ended Bible reading at the start of the school day. Accusations, petition drives, mass meetings, and a lawsuit followed. To learn more about the controversy that riveted the nation, click here and watch Professor Pski tell the story from the courtroom of the Ohio Supreme Court.
Listen to Professor Pski talk about Justice Harlan on
Backstory With the History Guys
Linda Przybyszewski, PhD
Professor Pski is working on a book called, "Who Won the Bible War? The Unexpected Origins of Religious Liberty in Modern America," which tells the story of what happened after the Cincinnati school board voted to end Bible reading in 1869. She won one of the first Public Scholar Awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities to work on this project for 2016 and a grant from the Spencer Foundation for 2015-2016.
She won the 2017 Hughes-Gossett Award for best article in the Journal of Supreme Court History for her article on “Scarlet Fever, Stanley Matthews, and the Cincinnati Bible War."
She spoke on writing for a public audience at the Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association in 2018 at a panel organized by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
She also spoke on how the religious conversion of a Stanley Matthews shaped modern religious liberty at the Annual Law & Religion Roundtable sponsored by the Program on Church, State & Society at the Notre Dame Law School in 2017.
Professor Pski is a Concurrent Associate Professor in the Law School at Notre Dame.
Religion, Morality, and the Constitutional Order (2011) for the American Historical Association. This booklet introduces readers to the story of how Americans argued over the role of religion in the Republic from the time of the Puritans to the 21st Century.
The Republic According to John Marshall Harlan (1999). A biography of the man best-known for declaring in 1896 that our Constitution is color-blind, a man who grew up the son of a slaveholder.
Some Memories of a Long Life, 1854-1911 by Malvina Shanklin Harlan (2002); with a foreward by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. The memoir of Justice Harlan's wife of more than fifty years.