Tennessee vs. John Scopes: the Monkey Trial

Topics: Scopes Trial, Evolution, William Jennings Bryan Pages: 3 (1172 words) Published: October 23, 2005
Tennessee vs. John Scopes: The monkey trial

It was the year 1925 and in the town of Dayton, Tennessee a trial that would decide whether evolution would be taught in public schools. The trial was titled as Tennessee vs. John Scopes and is commonly known as the "monkey trial". This trial took place from July 10, 1925-July 25, 1925 (Douglas, On-line). The event the created this well renowned trail was the infringing of the Butler Act. This act, passed by the state of Tennessee, prohibited the teaching of the Evolution Theory in all the Universities and public schools of Tennessee on March 13, 1925. This act was known as the Butler act. It all started when The American Civil Liberties Union advertised in newspapers to locate a teacher in Tennessee who would be willing to test the Butler Act in the courts. Of course, the ACLU would pay all expenses. Dayton resident, George Rappleyea, saw an ACLU advertisement in a Chattanooga newspaper and persuaded his friend John Scopes to accept the offer. The only catch was that Scopes was not a science teacher and had never actually taught evolution. Scopes was a math teacher and football coach who had filled in for the sick biology teacher for two weeks at the end of the school year. With Scopes' permission, Rappleyea immediately notified the ACLU that Professor J.T. Scopes, teacher of science Rhea County High School, will be arrested and charged with teaching evolution (Menton, On-line). The Scopes trial began on July 10th, 1925 and lasted eight days. The trial became a major media event covered by over 200 newsmen. It was the first trial to be covered by a national radio broadcast, and the first to receive international coverage. Sixty telegraph operators sent daily reports over the newly laid transatlantic cable. Dayton became a spectacle as spectators, soap box orators, and vendors converged on the little town from all over America. Much of this attention resulted from the fact that two of America's most famous lawyers...
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