George Rappleyea

George Rappleyea in June 1925

American metallurgical engineer and the manager of the Cumberland Coal and Iron Company in Dayton, Tennessee.

- George Rappleyea
George Rappleyea in June 1925

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Dayton, Tennessee

City and county seat in Rhea County, Tennessee, United States.

City and county seat in Rhea County, Tennessee, United States.

The Rhea County courthouse is home of the famous "Monkey Trial".
Downtown Dayton, 1925

John T. Scopes, the defendant in the trial, was a local science teacher who was recruited by George Rappleyea to begin to teach evolution in his science class, and at the provocation of the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), despite it being against Tennessee law at that time.

John Scopes

Scopes Trial

American legal case from July 10 to July 21, 1925 in which a high school teacher, John T. Scopes, was accused of violating Tennessee's Butler Act, which had made it unlawful to teach human evolution in any state-funded school.

American legal case from July 10 to July 21, 1925 in which a high school teacher, John T. Scopes, was accused of violating Tennessee's Butler Act, which had made it unlawful to teach human evolution in any state-funded school.

John Scopes
Clarence Darrow in 1925, during the trial
H. L. Mencken in 1928
William Jennings Bryan in 1925
Darrow (left) and Bryan (right) during the trial
The Rhea County Courthouse is a National Historic Landmark.
Cartoonist Rollin Kirby depicts fundamentalist education in Tennessee taken to an extreme
Spencer Tracy (left) as Darrow surrogate Henry Drummond, and Fredric March (right) as Bryan surrogate Matthew Harrison Brady in the trailer for the film Inherit the Wind; Harry Morgan (in the background) plays the judge.

On April 5, 1925, George Rappleyea, local manager for the Cumberland Coal and Iron Company, arranged a meeting with county superintendent of schools Walter White and local attorney Sue K. Hicks at Robinson's Drug Store, convincing them that the controversy of such a trial would give Dayton much needed publicity.

Scopes in 1925

John T. Scopes

Teacher in Dayton, Tennessee, who was charged on May 5, 1925 with violating Tennessee's Butler Act, which prohibited the teaching of human evolution in Tennessee schools.

Teacher in Dayton, Tennessee, who was charged on May 5, 1925 with violating Tennessee's Butler Act, which prohibited the teaching of human evolution in Tennessee schools.

Scopes in 1925
c. 1925

A band of businessmen in Dayton, Tennessee, led by engineer and geologist George Rappleyea, saw this as an opportunity to get publicity for their town, and they approached Scopes.

Sue Hicks

Sue K. Hicks

American jurist who practiced law and served as a circuit court judge in the state of Tennessee.

American jurist who practiced law and served as a circuit court judge in the state of Tennessee.

Sue Hicks

One of the conspirators, George Rappleyea, swore out a warrant for Scopes' arrest on May 5, and charges were filed the following day.

Eva Parker Ingersoll

American freethinker, activist, and the wife of Robert G. Ingersoll, said to have been a significant influence on the development of her husband's own humanism.

American freethinker, activist, and the wife of Robert G. Ingersoll, said to have been a significant influence on the development of her husband's own humanism.

Eva Parker Ingersoll (front row, right) at the International Anti-Vivisection Congress, 1913. Also pictured is her younger sister, Sue M. Farrell (top row, left).

Eva Ingersoll Brown's daughter, Eva Ingersoll Brown Wakefield (1892–1970) was, alongside John Dewey, Albert Einstein, Julian Huxley, Thomas Mann, and George W. Rappleyea, an early member of The First Humanist Society of New York, founded in 1929.