Background: When I was the editor of Gilbert Magazine, I was responsible for the “Tremendous Trifles” column. It was occasionally hard to find a sufficient amount of interesting GKC material to fill the page, so John Peterson sent me a file full of Chesterton ancedotes. They were idiosyncratic, historical, and Chestertonian. He gave me permission to use them here. I hope y’all find them as interesting as I have over the years. Most of them have never been published.
Clarence Darrow’s biographer Kevin Tierney repeats the familiar story of the Darrow-Chesterton debate in 1930 before a packed house at the Mecca Temple in New York City. As the audience listened to Darrow explain his unquestioning faith in science (which, according to Tierney, was as naive as any literal fundamentalist’s faith in the Bible], a power failure cut off the microphones. While Darrow waited helplessly for repairs, Chesterton brought a roar from the crowd by shouting, “You see, science is not infallible!” [Darrow, New York: Crowell, 1979, p. 360]… Read the rest