Gunsmoke

The Fires of Ignorance

Season 20, Ep 17, Aired 1/27/75
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  • Episode Description
  • Henry Decory is a schoolteacher who makes a strong statement for compulsory education for frontier children as a stubborn father feels that books and education are a waste of time and tries to keep his son, Tommy, out of school.

  • Cast & Crew
  • James Arness

    Matt Dillon

  • Milburn Stone

    Doc

  • Allen Garfield

    Henry Decory

  • Janet Nichols

    Lucy

  • George DiCenzo

    Mr. Bruce

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (6)

    • Doc: Henry, all you can do is plant a seed and hope it grows.

    • Burke: A man don't need all that schoolin' to be somethin'. I didn't have much. Doc: Shows too!

    • Doc: Matt, for twenty years you and I have seen eye to eye on just about everything. On this, 'fraid we're gonna cross swords.

    • Matt: I still don't believe that a man's got a right to come between a father and his own boy.....

    • Henry Decory: That boy isn't an ox pulling a plow, and there must be somebody who can do something about it.

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    Notes (2)

    • In Mr. Decory's self cross-examination, he states that Massachusetts, Michigan, Vermont, New Hampshire, Washington D.C. and Connecticut had already passed compulsory education attendance laws for children. This occurred between 1851 and 1872. In 1874, Kansas became the eighth state to pass this law. In 1918, Mississippi was the last of the 48 states to pass this law.

    • George DiCenzo, who portrayed the lawyer, Mr. Bruce, was credited as George Di Cenzo.

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