Scopes Monkey Trial
Is teaching evolution to children a negative thing? In 1925, there was a trial that took place that has been questioned whether or not the trial was real or staged made to look real. The name of the famous American case is The State of Tennessee vs. John Thomas Scopes, which had become commonly known as the Scopes Monkey Trial. A high school teacher, known as John Scopes, was accused of violating Tennessee's Butler Act, which made it unlawful to teach evolution in any state-funded school. What many do not know is that this trial all the way down to the arrest was planned from the very beginning. The trial and the planning for this event took place in Dayton, Ohio. The planning started at a local drug store owned by Fred Robinson. “George Rappalyea, a 31-year-old transplanted New Yorker and local coal company manager, arrived at the drugstore with a copy of a paper containing an American Civil Liberties Union announcement that it was willing to offer its services to anyone challenging the new Tennessee anti-evolution statute” (Linder, 2000). Rappalyea, a modernist Methodist with contempt for the new law, argued to other town leaders that a trial would be a way of putting Dayton on the map. As others listened to Rappalyea, including School Superintendent Walter White, they became convinced that publicity generated by a controversial trial might help their town and probably boost their population, whose population had fallen from 3,000 in the 1890's to 1,800 in 1925 (Linder, 2000). They felt that their town had fallen off the map and they needed a way to bring the people back into their and gain some attention. Scope was summoned to the drugstore and Rappalyea approached him and asked if he would be willing to take a stand for test case over the illegal teaching of evolution in the schools. Scopes agreed to the trial. The took...