Scopes Trial
Overview
 
The Scopes Trial—formally known as The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes and informally known as the Scopes Monkey Trial—was a landmark American legal case in 1925 in which high school science teacher, John Scopes, was accused of violating Tennessee's Butler Act
Butler Act
The Butler Act was a 1925 Tennessee law prohibiting public school teachers from denying the Biblical account of man’s origin. It was enacted as Tennessee Code Annotated Title 49 Section 1922...

 which made it unlawful to teach evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

.

Scopes was found guilty, but the verdict was overturned on a technicality and he went free.
Encyclopedia
The Scopes Trial—formally known as The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes and informally known as the Scopes Monkey Trial—was a landmark American legal case in 1925 in which high school science teacher, John Scopes, was accused of violating Tennessee's Butler Act
Butler Act
The Butler Act was a 1925 Tennessee law prohibiting public school teachers from denying the Biblical account of man’s origin. It was enacted as Tennessee Code Annotated Title 49 Section 1922...

 which made it unlawful to teach evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

.

Scopes was found guilty, but the verdict was overturned on a technicality and he went free. The trial drew intense national publicity, as national reporters flocked to the small town of Dayton, Tennessee
Dayton, Tennessee
Dayton is a city in Rhea County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 6,180 at the 2000 census. The Dayton, TN, Urban Cluster, which includes developed areas adjacent to the city and extends south to Graysville, Tennessee, had 9,050 people in 2000...

, to cover the big-name lawyers representing each side. William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan was an American politician in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. He was a dominant force in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, standing three times as its candidate for President of the United States...

, three time presidential candidate for the Democrats, argued for the prosecution, while Clarence Darrow
Clarence Darrow
Clarence Seward Darrow was an American lawyer and leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union, best known for defending teenage thrill killers Leopold and Loeb in their trial for murdering 14-year-old Robert "Bobby" Franks and defending John T...

, the famed defense attorney, spoke for Scopes. The trial saw modernists, who said religion was consistent with evolution, against fundamentalists
Fundamentalism
Fundamentalism is strict adherence to specific theological doctrines usually understood as a reaction against Modernist theology. The term "fundamentalism" was originally coined by its supporters to describe a specific package of theological beliefs that developed into a movement within the...

 who said the word of God as revealed in the Bible took priority over all human knowledge. The trial was thus both a theological contest
Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy
The Fundamentalist–Modernist Controversy was a religious controversy in the 1920s and 30s within the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America that later created divisions in most American Christian denominations as well. The major American denomination was torn by conflict over the...

, and a trial on the veracity of modern science regarding the creation-evolution controversy
History of the creation-evolution controversy
The creation-evolution controversy has a long history. In response to theories developed by scientists, some religious individuals and organizations questioned the legitimacy of scientific ideas that contradicted the literal interpretation of the creation account in Genesis.Interpretation of the...

. The teaching of evolution expanded, as fundamentalist efforts to use state laws to reverse the trend had failed in the court of public opinion
Court of public opinion
Trying cases in the court of public opinion refers to using the news media to influence public support for one side or the other in a court case. This can result in persons outside the justice system taking action for or against a party. For instance, the reputation of a party may be greatly...

.

Origins

State Rep. John W. Butler, head of the World's Christian Fundamentals Association, lobbied state legislatures to pass anti-evolution laws, succeeding in Tennessee when the Butler Act
Butler Act
The Butler Act was a 1925 Tennessee law prohibiting public school teachers from denying the Biblical account of man’s origin. It was enacted as Tennessee Code Annotated Title 49 Section 1922...

 was passed. In response, the American Civil Liberties Union
American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties Union is a U.S. non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." It works through litigation, legislation, and...

 financed a test case in which John Scopes, a Tennessee high school teacher, intentionally violated the Act. Scopes was charged on May 5, 1925 with teaching evolution from a chapter in a textbook that showed ideas developed from Charles Darwin's book On the Origin of Species. The two sides brought in the biggest names in the nation, William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan was an American politician in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. He was a dominant force in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, standing three times as its candidate for President of the United States...

 for the prosecution and Clarence Darrow
Clarence Darrow
Clarence Seward Darrow was an American lawyer and leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union, best known for defending teenage thrill killers Leopold and Loeb in their trial for murdering 14-year-old Robert "Bobby" Franks and defending John T...

 for the defense, and the trial was followed on radio transmissions throughout America.

Dayton

The American Civil Liberties Union
American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties Union is a U.S. non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." It works through litigation, legislation, and...

 (ACLU) offered to defend anyone accused of teaching the theory of evolution in defiance of the Butler Act. George Rappleyea
George Rappleyea
George Washington Rappleyea , a New Yorker, was a metallurgical engineer and the manager of the Cumberland Coal and Iron Company in Dayton, Tennessee. He held this position in the summer of 1925 when he became the chief architect of the Scopes Trial...

, who managed several local mines, convinced a group of community leaders in Dayton, Tennessee, a town of 1,756, that the controversy of such a trial would give Dayton much needed publicity. With their agreement, he called in his friend, 24-year-old John T. Scopes
John T. Scopes
John Thomas Scopes , was a biology teacher in Dayton, Tennessee, who was charged on May 5, 1925 for violating Tennessee's Butler Act, which prohibited the teaching of evolution in Tennessee schools...

, a high school science and math teacher in Clark County. The community leaders asked Scopes to teach the theory of evolution in one of his classes.

Rappleyea pointed out that, while the Butler Act prohibited the teaching of the theory of evolution, the state required teachers to use a textbook that explicitly described and endorsed the theory of evolution, and that teachers were, therefore, effectively required to break the law. Scopes mentioned that while he couldn't remember whether he had actually taught evolution in class, he had, however, gone through the evolution chart and chapter with the class. Scopes added to the group: "If you can prove that I've taught evolution and that I can qualify as a defendant, then I'll be willing to stand trial."

Scopes became an increasingly willing participant, even incriminating himself and urging students to testify against him. He was indicted on May 25, after three students testified against him at the grand jury, at the behest of Scopes. Judge John T. Raulston accelerated the convening of the grand jury and "...all but instructed the grand jury to indict Scopes, despite the meager evidence against him and the widely reported stories questioning whether the willing defendant had ever taught evolution in the classroom." Scopes was charged with having taught from the chapter on evolution to an April 7, 1925, high-school class in violation of the Butler Act (and nominally arrested, though never detained). His bail of $100 was paid by Paul Patterson, owner of the Baltimore Sun.

The original prosecutor
Prosecutor
The prosecutor is the chief legal representative of the prosecution in countries with either the common law adversarial system, or the civil law inquisitorial system...

s were Herbert E. and Sue K. Hicks
Sue K. Hicks
Sue Kerr Hicks was an American jurist who practiced law and served as a circuit court judge in the state of Tennessee. He is best known for his role as a co-instigator and prosecutor in the 1925 trial of John T. Scopes, a Dayton, Tennessee teacher accused of teaching the Theory of Evolution in...

, two brothers who were local attorneys and friends of Scopes, but the prosecution would be ultimately led by Tom Stewart
Tom Stewart
Arthur Thomas Stewart , more commonly known as Tom Stewart, was a Democratic United States Senator from Tennessee from 1939 to 1949.-Early life and education:...

, a graduate of Cumberland School of Law
Cumberland School of Law
Cumberland School of Law is an ABA accredited law school at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. The 11th oldest law school in the United States, it is 160 years old and has more than 11,000 graduates. Its alumni include two United States Supreme Court Justices; Nobel Peace Prize recipient...

, who later became a U.S. Senator.

Hoping to attract major press coverage, George Rappleyea went so far as to write to the British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 novelist H. G. Wells
H. G. Wells
Herbert George Wells was an English author, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary, even writing text books and rules for war games...

 asking him to join the defense team. Wells replied that he had no legal training in Britain, let alone in America, and declined the offer. However, John R. Neal
John Randolph Neal, Jr.
John Randolph Neal, Jr. was an American attorney, law professor, politician, and activist, best known for his role as chief counsel during the 1925 Scopes Trial, and as an advocate for the establishment of the Tennessee Valley Authority in the 1920s and 1930s...

, a law school professor from Knoxville
Knoxville, Tennessee
Founded in 1786, Knoxville is the third-largest city in the U.S. state of Tennessee, U.S.A., behind Memphis and Nashville, and is the county seat of Knox County. It is the largest city in East Tennessee, and the second-largest city in the Appalachia region...

, announced that he would act as Scopes' attorney—whether Scopes liked it or not—and became the nominal head of the defense team.

Baptist
Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

 pastor William Bell Riley
William Bell Riley
William Bell Riley was known as "The Grand Old Man of Fundamentalism." After being educated at normal school in Valparaiso, Indiana, Riley received his teacher's certificate. After teaching in county schools, he attended college in Hanover, Indiana, where he received an A.B. degree in 1885...

, the founder and president of the World Christian Fundamentals Association
World Christian Fundamentals Association
World Christian Fundamentals Association, was an interdenominational organization founded in 1919 by the Baptist minister William Bell Riley of the First Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was originally formed to launch "a new Protestantism" based upon premillennial interpretations of...

, was instrumental in calling lawyer and three-time Democratic presidential
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 nominee, former United States Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

, and lifelong Presbyterian
Presbyterianism
Presbyterianism refers to a number of Christian churches adhering to the Calvinist theological tradition within Protestantism, which are organized according to a characteristic Presbyterian polity. Presbyterian theology typically emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures,...

 William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan was an American politician in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. He was a dominant force in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, standing three times as its candidate for President of the United States...

 to act as that organization's counsel. Bryan had originally been invited by Sue Hicks to become an associate of the prosecution and Bryan had readily accepted, despite the fact he had not tried a case in thirty-six years. As Scopes pointed out: "After [Bryan] was accepted by the state as a special prosecutor in the case, there was never any hope of containing the controversy within the bounds of constitutionality."

In response, Clarence Darrow
Clarence Darrow
Clarence Seward Darrow was an American lawyer and leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union, best known for defending teenage thrill killers Leopold and Loeb in their trial for murdering 14-year-old Robert "Bobby" Franks and defending John T...

, an agnostic
Agnosticism
Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable....

, volunteered his services to the defense. After many changes back and forth, the defense team consisted of Darrow, ACLU attorney Arthur Garfield Hays
Arthur Garfield Hays
Arthur Garfield Hays was a lawyer born in Rochester, New York. His father and mother, both of German descent, belonged to prospering families in the clothing manufacturing industry...

, and Dudley Field Malone
Dudley Field Malone
Dudley Field Malone was an attorney, politician, liberal activist and actor.-Biography:The son of Tammany Democratic official William C...

, an international divorce lawyer who had worked at the State Department
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

.

The prosecution team was led by Tom Stewart
Tom Stewart
Arthur Thomas Stewart , more commonly known as Tom Stewart, was a Democratic United States Senator from Tennessee from 1939 to 1949.-Early life and education:...

, district attorney
District attorney
In many jurisdictions in the United States, a District Attorney is an elected or appointed government official who represents the government in the prosecution of criminal offenses. The district attorney is the highest officeholder in the jurisdiction's legal department and supervises a staff of...

 for the 18th Circuit (and future United States Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

), and included, in addition to Herbert and Sue Hicks, Ben B. McKenzie and William Jennings Bryan.

The trial was covered by famous journalists from the South and around the world, including H. L. Mencken
H. L. Mencken
Henry Louis "H. L." Mencken was an American journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, acerbic critic of American life and culture, and a scholar of American English. Known as the "Sage of Baltimore", he is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the...

 for The Baltimore Sun
The Baltimore Sun
The Baltimore Sun is the U.S. state of Maryland’s largest general circulation daily newspaper and provides coverage of local and regional news, events, issues, people, and industries....

, which was also paying part of the defense's expenses. It was Mencken who provided the trial with its most colorful labels such as the "Monkey trial" of "the infidel Scopes". It was also the first United States trial to be broadcast on national radio.

Trial

The ACLU had originally intended to oppose the Butler Act
Butler Act
The Butler Act was a 1925 Tennessee law prohibiting public school teachers from denying the Biblical account of man’s origin. It was enacted as Tennessee Code Annotated Title 49 Section 1922...

 on the grounds that it violated the teacher's individual rights and academic freedom, and was therefore unconstitutional. Mainly because of Clarence Darrow, this strategy changed as the trial progressed, and the earliest argument proposed by the defense once the trial had begun was that there was actually no conflict between evolution and the creation account in the Bible (a viewpoint later called theistic evolution
Theistic evolution
Theistic evolution or evolutionary creation is a concept that asserts that classical religious teachings about God are compatible with the modern scientific understanding about biological evolution...

). In support of this claim, they brought in eight experts on evolution. Other than Dr. Maynard Metcalf, a zoologist from Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University
The Johns Hopkins University, commonly referred to as Johns Hopkins, JHU, or simply Hopkins, is a private research university based in Baltimore, Maryland, United States...

, the judge would not allow these experts to testify in person. Instead, they were allowed to submit written statements so that their evidence could be used at the appeal. In response to this decision, Darrow made a sarcastic comment to Judge Raulston (as he often did throughout the trial) on how he had been agreeable only on the prosecution's suggestions, for which he apologized the next day, keeping himself from being found in contempt of court
Contempt of court
Contempt of court is a court order which, in the context of a court trial or hearing, declares a person or organization to have disobeyed or been disrespectful of the court's authority...

.

The presiding judge John T. Raulston was accused of being biased towards the prosecution and frequently clashed with Darrow. At the outset of the trial Raulston quoted Genesis and the Butler Act. He also warned the jury not to judge the merit of the law (which would become the focus of the trial) but on the violation of the act, which he called a 'high misdemeanor'. The jury foreman himself wasn't convinced of the merit of the Act but acted, as did most of the jury, on the instructions of the judge.

By the later stages of the trial, Clarence Darrow had largely abandoned the ACLU's original strategy and attacked the literal interpretation of the Bible as well as Bryan's limited knowledge of other religions and science.

Only when the case went to appeal did the defense return to the original claim that the prosecution was invalid because the law was essentially designed to benefit a particular religious group, which would be unconstitutional
Constitutionality
Constitutionality is the condition of acting in accordance with an applicable constitution. Acts that are not in accordance with the rules laid down in the constitution are deemed to be ultra vires.-See also:*ultra vires*Company law*Constitutional law...

.
Bryan chastised evolution for teaching children that humans were but one of (precisely) 35,000 types of mammals and bemoaned the notion that human beings were descended "Not even from American monkeys, but from old world monkeys."

Malone responded for the defense in a speech that was universally considered the oratorical triumph of the trial. Arousing fears of "inquisitions", Malone argued that the Bible should be preserved in the realm of theology and morality and not put into a course of science. In his conclusion, Malone declared that Bryan's "duel to the death" against evolution should not be made one-sided by a court ruling that took away the chief witnesses for the defense. Malone promised that there would be no duel because "There is never a duel with the truth." The courtroom went wild when Malone finished, and Scopes declared Malone's speech to be the dramatic highpoint of the entire trial and insisted that part of the reason Bryan wanted to go on the stand was to regain some of his tarnished glory.

On the sixth day of the trial, the defense ran out of witnesses. The judge declared that all of the defense testimony on the Bible was irrelevant and should not be presented to the jury (which had been excluded during the defense). During the court proceedings (7th day of the trial) the defense asked the judge to call Bryan as a witness to question him on the Bible as their own experts have been rendered irrelevant; Darrow had planned the day before and called Bryan a "Bible expert". This move surprised those present in the court, as Bryan was a counsel for the prosecution and Bryan himself (according to a journalist reporting the trial) never made a claim of being an expert; although he did tout his knowledge of the Bible. This testimony revolved around several questions regarding biblical stories and Bryan's beliefs (as shown below), this testimony culminated in Bryan declaring that Darrow was using the court to "slur the Bible" while Darrow replied that Bryan's statements on the Bible were "foolish".

Examination of Bryan

On the seventh day of the trial, Clarence Darrow took the unorthodox step of calling William Jennings Bryan, counsel for the prosecution, to the stand as a witness in an effort to demonstrate that belief in the historicity of the Bible and its many accounts of miracles was unreasonable. Bryan accepted, on the understanding that Darrow would in turn submit to questioning by Bryan. Although Hays would claim in his autobiography that the cross-examination of Bryan was unplanned, Darrow spent the night before in preparation. The scientists the defense had brought to Dayton — and Charles Francis Potter
Charles Francis Potter
Dr Charles Francis Potter was an American Unitarian minister, theologian and author.In 1923 and 1924, he became nationally known through a series of debates with Dr. John Roach Straton, a fundamentalist Christian. The subjects, which Dr...

, a modernist minister who had lost a public debate on evolution with the fundamentalist preacher John Roach Straton
John Roach Straton
Dr. John Roach Straton was a noted pastor. Straton was born into a Baptist pastor's home, the son of Rev...

 — prepared topics and questions for Darrow to address to Bryan on the witness stand. Kirtley Mather, chairman of the geology department at Harvard and also a devout Baptist, played Bryan and answered questions as he believed Bryan would. Raulston had adjourned court to the stand on the courthouse lawn, ostensibly because he was "afraid of the building" with so many spectators crammed into the courtroom, but probably because of the stifling heat (227; Scopes and Presley 164).

Adam and Eve

An area of questioning involved the book of Genesis, including questions such as if Eve
Eve (Bible)
Eve was, according to the creation of Abrahamic religions, the first woman created by God...

 was actually created from Adam's rib, where did Cain
Cain and Abel
In the Hebrew Bible, Cain and Abel are two sons of Adam and Eve. The Qur'an mentions the story, calling them the two sons of Adam only....

 get his wife, and how many people lived in Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

. Darrow used these examples to suggest that the stories of the Bible could not be scientific and should not be used in teaching science with Darrow telling Bryan, "You insult every man of science and learning in the world because he does not believe in your fool religion." Bryan's declaration in response was "The reason I am answering is not for the benefit of the superior court. It is to keep these gentlemen from saying I was afraid to meet them and let them question me, and I want the Christian world to know that any atheist, agnostic, unbeliever, can question me anytime as to my belief in God, and I will answer him."
Stewart objected, demanding to know the legal purpose of Darrow's questioning. Bryan, gauging the effect the session was having, snapped that its purpose was "to cast ridicule on everybody who believes in the Bible". Darrow, with equal vehemence, retorted, "We have the purpose of preventing bigots and ignoramuses from controlling the education of the United States." (299)
A few more questions followed in the charged open-air courtroom. Darrow asked where Cain got his wife; Bryan answered that he would "leave the agnostics to hunt for her" (302–03). When Darrow addressed the issue of the temptation of Eve by the serpent
Serpent (Bible)
Serpent is the term used to translate a variety of words in the Hebrew bible, the most common being , , the generic word for "snake"....

, Bryan insisted that the Bible be quoted verbatim rather than allowing Darrow to paraphrase it in his own terms. However, after another angry exchange, Judge Raulston banged his gavel, adjourning court and bringing the drama to a sudden close (303–04).

End of the trial

The confrontation between Bryan and Darrow lasted approximately two hours on the afternoon of the seventh day of the trial. It is likely that it would have continued the following morning but for Judge Raulston's announcement that he considered the whole examination irrelevant to the case and his decision that it should be "expunged" from the record. Thus Bryan was denied the chance to cross-examine the defense lawyers in return, although after the trial Bryan would distribute nine questions to the press to bring out Darrow's "religious attitude". The questions and Darrow's short answers were published in newspapers the day after the trial ended, with the New York Times characterizing Darrow as answering Bryan's questions "with his agnostic's creed, 'I don't know,' except where he could deny them with his belief in natural, immutable law".

After the defense's final attempt to present evidence was denied, Darrow asked the judge to bring in the jury only to have them come to a guilty verdict:

We claim that the defendant is not guilty, but as the court has excluded any testimony, except as to the one issue as to whether he taught that man descended from a lower order of animals, and we cannot contradict that testimony, there is no logical thing to come except that the jury find a verdict that we may carry to the higher court, purely as a matter of proper procedure. We do not think it is fair to the court or counsel on the other side to waste a lot of time when we know this is the inevitable result and probably the best result for the case.


After they were brought in, Darrow then addressed the jury, telling them that:

We came down here to offer evidence in this case and the court has held under the law that the evidence we had is not admissible, so all we can do is to take an exception and carry it to a higher court to see whether the evidence is admissible or not... we cannot even explain to you that we think you should return a verdict of not guilty. We do not see how you could. We do not ask it.


Darrow closed the case for the defense without a final summation. Under Tennessee law, when the defense waived its right to make a closing speech, the prosecution was also barred from summing up its case.

Scopes never testified since there was never a factual issue as to whether he had taught evolution. Scopes later admitted that, in reality, he was unsure of whether he had taught evolution (another reason the defense did not want him to testify), but the point was not contested at the trial (Scopes 1967:59–60).

After eight days of trial, it took the jury only nine minutes to deliberate. Scopes was found guilty on July 21 and ordered to pay a US$100 fine (approximately $1,250 in 2010 when adjusted from 1925 for inflation). Raulston imposed the fine before Scopes was given an opportunity to say anything about why the court should not impose punishment upon him and after Neal brought the error to the judge's attention the defendant spoke for the first and only time in court:

Your honor, I feel that I have been convicted of violating an unjust statute. I will continue in the future, as I have in the past, to oppose this law in any way I can. Any other action would be in violation of my ideal of academic freedom — that is, to teach the truth as guaranteed in our constitution, of personal and religious freedom. I think the fine is unjust (World's Most Famous Court Trial 313).

Appeal to Supreme Court of Tennessee

Scopes' lawyers appealed, challenging the conviction on several grounds.

First, they argued that the statute was overly vague because it prohibited the teaching of "evolution", a very broad term. The court rejected that argument, holding:

Evolution, like prohibition
Prohibition
Prohibition of alcohol, often referred to simply as prohibition, is the practice of prohibiting the manufacture, transportation, import, export, sale, and consumption of alcohol and alcoholic beverages. The term can also apply to the periods in the histories of the countries during which the...

, is a broad term. In recent bickering, however, evolution has been understood to mean the theory which holds that man has developed from some pre-existing lower type. This is the popular significance of evolution, just as the popular significance of prohibition is prohibition of the traffic in intoxicating liquors. It was in that sense that evolution was used in this act. It is in this sense that the word will be used in this opinion, unless the context otherwise indicates. It is only to the theory of the evolution of man from a lower type that the act before us was intended to apply, and much of the discussion we have heard is beside this case.


Second, the lawyers argued that the statute violated Scopes' constitutional right
Constitutional right
An inalienable right is a freedom granted by a Nature or the Creator's endowment by birth , and may not be legally denied by that government.-United States:...

 to free speech because it prohibited him from teaching evolution. The court rejected this argument, holding that the state was permitted to regulate his speech as an employee of the state:

He was an employee of the state of Tennessee or of a municipal agency of the state. He was under contract with the state to work in an institution of the state. He had no right or privilege to serve the state except upon such terms as the state prescribed. His liberty, his privilege, his immunity to teach and proclaim the theory of evolution, elsewhere than in the service of the state, was in no wise touched by this law.


Third, it was argued that the terms of the Butler Act violated the Tennessee State Constitution
Tennessee State Constitution
The Constitution of the State of Tennessee defines the form, structure, activities, character, and fundamental rules of the U.S. State of Tennessee....

 which provided that "It shall be the duty of the General Assembly
Tennessee General Assembly
The Tennessee General Assembly is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Tennessee.-Constitutional structure:According to the Tennessee State Constitution of 1870, the General Assembly is a bicameral legislature and consists of a Senate of thirty-three members and a House of Representatives of...

 in all future periods of this government, to cherish literature and science." The argument was that the theory of the descent of man from a lower order of animals was now established by the preponderance of scientific thought, and that the prohibition of the teaching of such theory was a violation of the legislative duty to cherish science.

The court rejected this argument (Scopes v. State, 154 Tenn. 105, 1927), holding that the determination of what laws cherished science was an issue for the legislature, not the judiciary:

The courts cannot sit in judgment on such acts of the Legislature or its agents and determine whether or not the omission or addition of a particular course of study tends "to cherish science."


Fourth, the defense lawyers argued that the statute violated the provisions of the Tennessee Constitution that prohibited the establishment of a state religion. The Religious Preference provisions of the Tennessee Constitution (section 3 of article 1) stated that "that no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishment or mode of worship".

Writing for the court, Chief Justice Grafton Green
Grafton Green
Grafton Green was an American jurist who served on the Tennessee Supreme Court from 1910 to 1947, including more than 23 years as chief justice....

 rejected this argument, holding that the Tennessee Religious Preference clause was designed to prevent the establishment of a state religion as had been the experience in England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 and Scotland
Church of Scotland
The Church of Scotland, known informally by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is a Presbyterian church, decisively shaped by the Scottish Reformation....

 at the writing of the Constitution, and held:

We are not able to see how the prohibition of teaching the theory that man has descended from a lower order of animals gives preference to any religious establishment or mode of worship. So far as we know, there is no religious establishment or organized body that has in its creed or confession of faith any article denying or affirming such a theory. So far as we know, the denial or affirmation of such a theory does not enter into any recognized mode of worship. Since this cause has been pending in this court, we have been favored, in addition to briefs of counsel and various amici curiae, with a multitude of resolutions, addresses, and communications from scientific bodies, religious factions, and individuals giving us the benefit of their views upon the theory of evolution. Examination of these contributions indicates that Protestants, Catholics, and Jews are divided among themselves in their beliefs, and that there is no unanimity among the members of any religious establishment as to this subject. Belief or unbelief in the theory of evolution is no more a characteristic of any religious establishment or mode of worship than is belief or unbelief in the wisdom of the prohibition laws. It would appear that members of the same churches quite generally disagree as to these things.


Further, the court held that while the statute forbade the teaching of evolution (as the court had defined it), it did not require the teaching of any other doctrine, so that it did not benefit any one religious doctrine or sect over the others.

Nevertheless, having found the statute to be constitutional, the court set aside the conviction on appeal because of a legal technicality
Legal technicality
The term legal technicality is a casual or colloquial phrase referring to a technical aspect of law. The phrase is not a term of art in the law; it has no exact meaning, nor does it have a legal definition. It implies that that strict adherence to the letter of the law has prevented the spirit of...

: the jury should have decided the fine, not the judge, since under the state constitution, Tennessee judges could not at that time set fines above $50, and the Butler Act specified a minimum fine of $100.

Justice Green added a totally unexpected recommendation:

The court is informed that the plaintiff in error is no longer in the service of the state. We see nothing to be gained by prolonging the life of this bizarre case. On the contrary, we think that the peace and dignity of the state, which all criminal prosecutions are brought to redress, will be the better conserved by the entry of a nolle prosequi
Nolle prosequi
Nolle prosequi is legal term of art and a Latin legal phrase meaning "to be unwilling to pursue", a phrase amounting to "please do not prosecute". It is a phrase used in many common law criminal prosecution contexts to describe a prosecutor's decision to voluntarily discontinue criminal charges...

 herein. Such a course is suggested to the Attorney General.
Attorney General L.D. Smith immediately announced that he would not seek a retrial, while Scopes' lawyers offered angry comments on the stunning decision.

In 1968, the Supreme Court of the United States
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 ruled in Epperson v. Arkansas
Epperson v. Arkansas
Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97 , was a United States Supreme Court case that invalidated an Arkansas statute that prohibited the teaching of human evolution in the public schools...

393 U.S. 97 (1968) that such bans contravene the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment
Establishment Clause of the First Amendment
The Establishment Clause is the first of several pronouncements in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, stating, Together with the Free Exercise Clause The Establishment Clause is the first of several pronouncements in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution,...

 because their primary purpose is religious. Tennessee had repealed the Butler Act the previous year.

Image of science versus religion

The trial revealed a growing chasm in American Christianity and two ways of finding truth, one "biblical" and one "scientific". Liberals saw a division between educated, tolerant Christians and narrow-minded, obscurantist Christians. Author David Goetz claimed that the majority of Christians denounced evolution at the time.

Edwards (2000) contradicts the conventional view that in the wake of the Scopes trial a humiliated fundamentalism retreated into the political and cultural background, a viewpoint evidenced in the movie Inherit the Wind
Inherit the Wind (1960 film)
Inherit the Wind is a 1960 Hollywood film adaptation of the play of the same name, written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee, directed by Stanley Kramer....

and the majority of contemporary historical accounts. Rather, the cause of fundamentalism's retreat was the death of its leader, Bryan. Most fundamentalists saw the trial as a victory and not a defeat, but Bryan's death soon after created a leadership void that no other fundamentalist leader could fill. Bryan, unlike the other leaders, brought name recognition, respectability, and the ability to forge a broad-based coalition of fundamentalist and mainline religious groups to argue for the anti-evolutionist position.

Anti-evolution movement

The trial escalated the political and legal conflict between strict creationists and scientists to influence the extent to which evolution would be taught as science in Arizona and California schools. Before the Dayton trial only the South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

, Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

, and Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

 legislatures had dealt with anti-evolution laws or riders to educational appropriations bills.

After Scopes was convicted, creationists throughout the United States sought similar anti-evolution laws for their states.

By 1927, there were 13 states, both in the North
Northern United States
Northern United States, also sometimes the North, may refer to:* A particular grouping of states or regions of the United States of America. The United States Census Bureau divides some of the northernmost United States into the Midwest Region and the Northeast Region...

 and South
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

, that considered some form of anti-evolution law. At least 41 bills or resolutions were introduced into the state legislatures, with some states facing the issue repeatedly. Nearly all these efforts were rejected, but Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

 and Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

 did put anti-evolution laws on the books after the Scopes trial that would outlive the Butler Act.

In the Southwest, anti-evolution crusaders included ministers R. S. Beal and Aubrey L. Moore in Arizona and members of the Creation Research Society in California. They sought to ban evolution as a topic for study in the schools or, failing that, to relegate it to the status of unproven hypothesis perhaps taught alongside the biblical version of creation. Educators, scientists, and other distinguished laymen favored evolution. This struggle occurred later in the Southwest than elsewhere and persisted through the Sputnik era after 1957 when it collapsed, as the national mood inspired increased trust in science in general and support for evolution in particular.

The opponents of evolution made a transition from the anti-evolution crusade of the 1920s to the creation science
Creation science
Creation Science or scientific creationism is a branch of creationism that attempts to provide scientific support for the Genesis creation narrative in the Book of Genesis and disprove generally accepted scientific facts, theories and scientific paradigms about the history of the Earth, cosmology...

 movement of the 1960s. Despite some similarities between these two causes, the creation science movement represented a shift from overtly religious to covertly religious objections to evolutionary theory
Wedge strategy
The wedge strategy is a political and social action plan authored by the Discovery Institute, the hub of the intelligent design movement. The strategy was put forth in a Discovery Institute manifesto known as the Wedge Document, which describes a broad social, political, and academic agenda whose...

 - raising what it claimed to be scientific evidence in support of a literal interpretation of the Bible. Creation science also differed in terms of popular leadership, rhetorical tone, and sectional focus. It lacked a prestigious leader like Bryan, utilized pseudoscientific rather than religious rhetoric, and was a product of California and Michigan instead of the South.

Teaching of science

The Scopes trial had both short and long term effects in the teaching of science in schools in the United States. Though often upheld as a blow for the fundamentalists in the form of waning public opinion, the victory was not complete. Though the ACLU had taken on the trial as a cause, in the wake of Scopes’ conviction, they were unable to find any volunteers to take on the Butler law and by 1932, the ACLU gave up. The anti-evolutionary legislation was not challenged again until 1965 and in the meantime William Jennings Bryan's cause was taken up by a number of organizations including the Bryan Bible League and the Defenders of the Christian Faith.

The immediate effects of the trial are evident in the high school biology texts used in the second half of the 1920s and the early 1930s. Of the most widely used textbooks, there is only one which lists evolution in the index and in the wake of the trial, under the pressures of fundamentalist groups, the entry is countered with biblical quotations. The fundamentalists' target slowly veered off of evolution in the mid-1930s. As the anti-evolutionist movement died out, biology textbooks began to include the previously removed evolutionary theory. This also corresponds to the emerging demand that science textbooks be written by scientists rather than educators or education specialists.

In 1958 the National Defense Education Act
National Defense Education Act
The National Defense Education Act , signed into law on September 2, 1958, provided funding to United States education institutions at all levels. The act authorized funding for four years, increasing funding per year: for example, funding increased on eight program titles from 183 million dollars...

 was passed with the encouragement of many legislators who feared the United States education system was falling behind that of the Soviet Union. The act yielded textbooks, produced in cooperation with the American Institute of Biological Sciences, which stressed the importance of evolution as the unifying principle of biology. The new educational regime was not unchallenged. The greatest backlash was in Texas where attacks were launched in sermons and in the press. Complaints were lodged with the State Textbook Commission. However, in addition to federal support, a number of social trends had turned public discussion in favor of evolution. These included increased interest in improving public education, legal precedents separating religion and public education, and continued urbanization in the south. This led to a weakening of the backlash in Texas, as well as to the repeal of the Butler Law in Tennessee in 1967.

Publicity

Edward J. Larson, a historian who won the Pulitzer Prize for History
Pulitzer Prize for History
The Pulitzer Prize for History has been awarded since 1917 for a distinguished book upon the history of the United States. Many history books have also been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction and Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography...

 for his book Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion, notes "Like so many archetypal American events, the trial itself began as a publicity stunt
Publicity stunt
A publicity stunt is a planned event designed to attract the public's attention to the event's organizers or their cause. Publicity stunts can be professionally organized or set up by amateurs...

". The press coverage of the "Monkey Trial" was overwhelming. The front pages of newspapers like the New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

were dominated by the case for days. More than 200 newspaper reporters from all parts of the country and two from London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 were in Dayton. Twenty-two telegraphers
Telegraphy
Telegraphy is the long-distance transmission of messages via some form of signalling technology. Telegraphy requires messages to be converted to a code which is known to both sender and receiver...

 sent out 165,000 words per day on the trial over thousands of miles of telegraph wires hung for the purpose; more words were transmitted to Britain about the Scopes trial than for any previous American event. Trained
Animal training
Animal training refers to teaching animals specific responses to specific conditions or stimuli. Training may be for the purpose of companionship, detection, protection, entertainment or all of the above....

 chimpanzee
Chimpanzee
Chimpanzee, sometimes colloquially chimp, is the common name for the two extant species of ape in the genus Pan. The Congo River forms the boundary between the native habitat of the two species:...

s performed on the courthouse lawn. Chicago's WGN
WGN (AM)
WGN is a radio station in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It is the only radio station owned by the Tribune Company, which also owns the flagship television station WGN-TV, the Chicago Tribune newspaper and Chicago magazine locally. WGN's transmitter is located in Elk Grove Village, Illinois...

 radio station broadcast the trial with announcer Quin Ryan via clear-channel broadcasts for the first on-the-scene coverage of a criminal trial. Two movie cameramen had their film flown out daily in a small plane from a specially prepared airstrip. H.L. Mencken's trial reports were heavily slanted against the prosecution and the jury which was "unanimously hot for Genesis". He mocked the town's inhabitants as "yokels" and "morons". He called Bryan a "buffoon" and his speeches "theologic bilge". In contrast, he called the defense "eloquent" and "magnificent". Some creationists
Creationism
Creationism is the religious beliefthat humanity, life, the Earth, and the universe are the creation of a supernatural being, most often referring to the Abrahamic god. As science developed from the 18th century onwards, various views developed which aimed to reconcile science with the Genesis...

 have claimed that Mencken's trial reports turned public opinion against creationism.

The media's portrayal of Darrow's cross-examination of Bryan, and the play
Inherit the Wind (play)
Inherit the Wind is a play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee. The play, which debuted in 1955, is a parable that fictionalizes the 1925 Scopes "Monkey" Trial as a means to discuss the then-contemporary McCarthy trials.-Background:...

 and movie
Inherit the Wind (1960 film)
Inherit the Wind is a 1960 Hollywood film adaptation of the play of the same name, written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee, directed by Stanley Kramer....

 Inherit the Wind, caused millions of Americans to ridicule religious-based opposition to the theory of evolution.

The trial also brought publicity to the town of Dayton, Tennessee, and was hatched as a publicity stunt. From The Salem Republican, June 11, 1925:

"The whole matter has assumed the portion of Dayton and her merchants endeavoring to secure a large amount of notoriety and publicity with an open question as whether Scopes is a party to the plot or not."

Court house

At the site of the trial, the Rhea County Courthouse in Dayton, a $1-million restoration project was completed in 1979 which restored the second-floor courtroom to its original appearance during the Scopes trial. A museum of trial events in its basement contains such memorabilia as the microphone used to broadcast the trial, trial records, photographs, and an audiovisual history. Every July local people re-enact key moments in the courtroom. In front of the courthouse stands a commemorative plaque erected by the Tennessee Historical Commission:

2B 23
THE SCOPES TRIAL

Here, from July 10 to 21, 1925 John
Thomas Scopes, a County High School
teacher, was tried for teaching that
a man descended from a lower order
of animals in violation of a lately
passed state law. William Jennings
Bryan assisted the prosecution;
Clarence Darrow, Arthur Garfield
Hays, and Dudley Field Malone the
defense. Scopes was convicted.


Rhea County Courthouse was designated a National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...

 by the National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

 in 1976. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

 in 1972.

Humor

Anticipating that Scopes would be found guilty, the press fitted the defendant for martyrdom and created an onslaught of ridicule. Times initial coverage of the trial focused on Dayton as "the fantastic cross between a circus and a holy war". Life adorned its masthead with monkeys reading books and proclaimed, "the whole matter is something to laugh about". Hosts of cartoonists added their own portrayals to the attack (the greatest collection of cartoons available would be the 14 reprinted in L. Sprague de Camp
L. Sprague de Camp
Lyon Sprague de Camp was an American author of science fiction and fantasy books, non-fiction and biography. In a writing career spanning 60 years, he wrote over 100 books, including novels and notable works of non-fiction, including biographies of other important fantasy authors...

's
The Great Monkey Trial
The Great Monkey Trial
The Great Monkey Trial is a 1968 book on the Scopes Trial by L. Sprague de Camp, first published in hardcover by Doubleday. This history of the trial was based on the memoirs of John T...

). Both Literary Digest
Literary Digest
The Literary Digest was an influential general interest weekly magazine published by Funk & Wagnalls. Founded by Isaac Kaufmann Funk in 1890, it eventually merged with two similar weekly magazines, Public Opinion and Current Opinion.-History:...

and the popular humor magazine Life (1890–1930) ran compilations of jokes and humorous observations garnered from newspapers around the country.

Overwhelmingly, the butt of these jokes was the prosecution and those aligned with it: Bryan, the city of Dayton, the state of Tennessee, and the entire South, as well as fundamentalist Christians and anti-evolutionists. Rare exceptions were found in the Southern press, where the fact that Darrow had saved Leopold and Loeb
Leopold and Loeb
Nathan Freudenthal Leopold, Jr. and Richard Albert Loeb , more commonly known as "Leopold and Loeb", were two wealthy University of Michigan alumni and University of Chicago students who murdered 14-year-old Robert "Bobby" Franks in 1924 and were sentenced to life imprisonment.The duo were...

 from the death penalty continued to be a source of ugly humor. The most widespread form of this ridicule was directed at the inhabitants of Tennessee. Life described Tennessee as "not up to date in its attitude to such things as evolution". Time related Bryan's arrival in town with the disparaging comment, "The populace, Bryan's to a moron, yowled a welcome".

Attacks on Bryan were frequent and acidic:
Life awarded him its "Brass Medal of the Fourth Class", for having "successfully demonstrated by the alchemy of ignorance hot air may be transmuted into gold, and that the Bible is infallibly inspired except where it differs with him on the question of wine, women, and wealth". Papers across the country routinely dismissed the efforts of both sides in the trial, while the European press reacted to the entire affair with amused condescension.

Famously vituperative attacks came from journalist H. L. Mencken
H. L. Mencken
Henry Louis "H. L." Mencken was an American journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, acerbic critic of American life and culture, and a scholar of American English. Known as the "Sage of Baltimore", he is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the...

, whose syndicated columns from Dayton for the Baltimore Sun drew vivid caricatures of the "backward" local populace, referring to the people of Rhea county as "Babbits", "morons", "peasants", "hill-billies", "yaps" and "yokels". He chastised the "degraded nonsense which country preachers are ramming and hammering into yokel skulls". The nicest thing Mencken managed to say about the community was that "The Klan has never got a foothold here, though it rages everywhere else in Tennessee". Mencken attempted to perpetuate a hoax, distributing flyers for the "Rev. Elmer Chubb", but the claims that Chubb would drink poison and preach in lost languages were ignored as commonplace by the people of Dayton and only the Commonweal
Commonweal
Commonweal is a American journal of opinion edited and managed by lay Catholics. It is headquartered in The Interchurch Center in New York City.-History:...

 bit. Mencken continued to venomously assault Bryan, including in his famously withering obituary of Bryan, "In Memoriam: W.J.B.", in which Mencken became one of the few people ever to accuse Bryan of insincerity. Years later Mencken did question whether dismissing Bryan "as a quack pure and unadulterated" was "really just", but the damage could hardly be undone. Mencken's columns made the Dayton citizens irate and drew general fire from the Southern press. After Raulston ruled against the admission of scientific testimony, Mencken left Dayton, declaring in his last dispatch "All that remains of the great cause of the State of Tennessee against the infidel Scopes is the formal business of bumping off the defendant." Consequently, the journalist missed Darrow's cross-examination of Bryan on Monday.

Stage and film

The play Inherit the Wind
Inherit the Wind (play)
Inherit the Wind is a play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee. The play, which debuted in 1955, is a parable that fictionalizes the 1925 Scopes "Monkey" Trial as a means to discuss the then-contemporary McCarthy trials.-Background:...

 (1955), by Jerome Lawrence
Jerome Lawrence
Jerome Lawrence was an American playwright and author.-Life and career:Lawrence was born Jerome Lawrence Schwartz in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Sarah , a poet, and Samuel Schwartz, a printer. He worked for several small newspapers as a reporter/editor before moving into radio as a writer for CBS....

 and Robert Edwin Lee
Robert Edwin Lee
Robert Edwin Lee was an American playwright and lyricist. With his writing partner, Jerome Lawrence, Lee worked for Armed Forces Radio during World War II; Lawrence and Lee became the most prolific writing partnership in radio, with such long-running series as Favorite Story among others.-Life and...

 was loosely based on this trial. The play turned Darrow and Bryan into characters named Henry Drummond and Matthew Harrison Brady. In its preface ("disclaimer") the play claims to be both unbiased and not based on any actual event. The play was made into a 1960 film
Inherit the Wind (1960 film)
Inherit the Wind is a 1960 Hollywood film adaptation of the play of the same name, written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee, directed by Stanley Kramer....

 directed by Stanley Kramer
Stanley Kramer
Stanley Earl Kramer was an American film director and producer. Kramer was responsible for some of Hollywood's most famous "message" movies...

, with Spencer Tracy
Spencer Tracy
Spencer Bonaventure Tracy was an American theatrical and film actor, who appeared in 75 films from 1930 to 1967. Tracy was one of the major stars of Hollywood's Golden Age, ranking among the top ten box office draws for almost every year from 1938 to 1951...

 and Fredric March
Fredric March
Fredric March was an American stage and film actor. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1932 for Dr. Jekyll and Mr...

 as Drummond and Brady. There have also been a trio of television versions, with Melvyn Douglas
Melvyn Douglas
Melvyn Edouard Hesselberg , better known as Melvyn Douglas, was an American actor.Coming to prominence in the 1930s as a suave leading man , Douglas later transitioned into more mature and fatherly roles as in his Academy Award-winning performances in Hud...

 and Ed Begley
Ed Begley
Edward James Begley, Sr. was an Academy Award-winning American actor.-Biography:Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Begley began his career as a Broadway and radio actor while in his teens. He appeared in the hit musical Going Up on Broadway in 1917 and in London the next year. He later acted in...

 in 1965, Jason Robards
Jason Robards
Jason Nelson Robards, Jr. was an American actor on stage, and in film and television, and a winner of the Tony Award , two Academy Awards and the Emmy Award...

 and Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas is an American stage and film actor, film producer and author. His popular films include Out of the Past , Champion , Ace in the Hole , The Bad and the Beautiful , Lust for Life , Paths of Glory , Gunfight at the O.K...

 in 1988, and Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon
John Uhler "Jack" Lemmon III was an American actor and musician. He starred in more than 60 films including Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, Mister Roberts , Days of Wine and Roses, The Great Race, Irma la Douce, The Odd Couple, Save the Tiger John Uhler "Jack" Lemmon III (February 8, 1925June...

 and George C. Scott
George C. Scott
George Campbell Scott was an American stage and film actor, director and producer. He was best known for his stage work, as well as his portrayal of General George S. Patton in the film Patton, and as General Buck Turgidson in Stanley Kubrick's Dr...

 in 1999. The Scopes trial did not appear in the Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
The Encyclopædia Britannica , published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia that is available in print, as a DVD, and on the Internet. It is written and continuously updated by about 100 full-time editors and more than 4,000 expert...

until 1957, when its inclusion was spurred by the successful run of Inherit the Wind on Broadway, which was mentioned in the citation. It was not until the 1960s that the Scopes trial began to be mentioned in the history textbooks of American high schools and colleges, usually as an example of the conflict between fundamentalists and modernists, and often in sections that also talked about the rise of the Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

 in the South.

Since 1987, the city of Dayton has staged a reenactment of the trial using the original transcripts, performing it in the same courtroom in which the trial took place. The annual event occurs during Dayton's Scopes Trial festival with several performances showing over the weekend. In 2007, Bryan College
Bryan College
Bryan College is a Christian liberal arts college in Dayton, Tennessee. It was founded in the aftermath of the 1925 Scopes Trial to establish an institution of higher education that would teach from a Christian worldview.-History:...

, the institute founded in memory of Bryan, purchased the rights to the production and made a filmed version for DVD release using the same performers entitled "Inherit the Truth" in an attempt to clear up any misunderstandings regarding the trial due to Inherit the Wind
Inherit the Wind (play)
Inherit the Wind is a play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee. The play, which debuted in 1955, is a parable that fictionalizes the 1925 Scopes "Monkey" Trial as a means to discuss the then-contemporary McCarthy trials.-Background:...

.

In September 2009 and October 2009
Alleged, a movie based upon an original screenplay about the trial, was filmed in the living history Crossroads Village in Genesee County, Michigan
Genesee County, Michigan
-Interstates:* I-69* I-75* I-475-Michigan State Trunklines:* M-13* M-15* M-21* M-54* M-57-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 436,141 people, 169,825 households, and 115,990 families residing in the county. The population density was 682 people per square mile . There were 183,630...

. Brian Dennehy
Brian Dennehy
Brian Mannion Dennehy is an American actor of film, stage and screen.-Early years:Dennehy was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the son of Hannah and Edward Dennehy, who was a wire service editor for the Associated Press; he has two brothers, Michael and Edward. Dennehy is of Irish ancestry and was...

 will portray Clarence Darrow and Fred Thompson will play William Jennings Bryan.

Related cases

  • Epperson v. Arkansas
    Epperson v. Arkansas
    Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97 , was a United States Supreme Court case that invalidated an Arkansas statute that prohibited the teaching of human evolution in the public schools...

    - 1968
  • Daniel v. Waters
    Daniel v. Waters
    Daniel v. Waters was a 1975 legal case in which the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit struck down Tennessee's law regarding the teaching of "equal time" of evolution and creationism in public school science classes because it violated the Establishment clause of the US...

    - 1975
  • Hendren v. Campbell
    Hendren v. Campbell
    Hendren et al. v. Campbell et al. was a 1977 ruling by an Indiana state superior court that the young-earth creationist textbook Biology: A Search For Order In Complexity, published by the Creation Research Society and promoted through the Institute for Creation Research, could not be used in...

    - 1977
  • McLean v. Arkansas
    McLean v. Arkansas
    McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education, 529 F. Supp. 1255, 1258-1264 , was a 1981 legal case in Arkansas.A lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas by various parents, religious groups and organizations, biologists, and others who argued that the...

    - 1981
  • Edwards v. Aguillard
    Edwards v. Aguillard
    Edwards v. Aguillard, was a legal case about the teaching of creationism that was heard by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1987. The Court ruled that a Louisiana law requiring that creation science be taught in public schools, along with evolution, was unconstitutional because the law...

    - 1987
  • Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District
    Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District
    Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al. was the first direct challenge brought in the United States federal courts testing a public school district policy that required the teaching of intelligent design...

     - 2005

See also

  • Creation and evolution in public education
    Creation and evolution in public education
    The status of creation and evolution in public education has been the subject of substantial debate in legal, political, and religious circles...

  • Evolution
    Evolution
    Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

  • Creationism
    Creationism
    Creationism is the religious beliefthat humanity, life, the Earth, and the universe are the creation of a supernatural being, most often referring to the Abrahamic god. As science developed from the 18th century onwards, various views developed which aimed to reconcile science with the Genesis...

  • George William Hunter
    George William Hunter
    George William Hunter wrote Civic Biology, the text at the center of the Scopes "monkey" trial. in Civic Biology Hunter advocated both eugenics and segregation. "The Remedy. - If such people were lower animals, we would probably kill them off to prevent them from spreading...

  • Inherit the Wind
    Inherit the Wind (play)
    Inherit the Wind is a play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee. The play, which debuted in 1955, is a parable that fictionalizes the 1925 Scopes "Monkey" Trial as a means to discuss the then-contemporary McCarthy trials.-Background:...

  • On the Origin of Species
  • Monkey Town
    Monkey Town
    Monkey Town: The Summer of the Scopes Trial is a 2006 novel written by American author Ronald Kidd. The story is set in summer 1925 in Dayton, Tennessee and is based on the Scopes Trial.-Plot summary:...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK