Scopes Trial

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.

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.

- Scopes Trial
John Scopes

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William Jennings Bryan

American lawyer, orator and politician.

American lawyer, orator and politician.

Bryan's birthplace in Salem, Illinois
Attorney Mary Baird Bryan, the wife of William Jennings Bryan
A young Bryan
"UNITED SNAKES OF AMERICA" "IN BRYAN WE TRUST" political satire token of 1896, known as "Bryan Money"
Bryan campaigning for president, October 1896
1896 electoral vote results
The United States and its colonial possessions after the Spanish–American War
Conservatives in 1900 ridiculed Bryan's eclectic platform.
1900 electoral vote results
William J Bryan in 1906 as Moses with new 10 commandments; Puck 19 sept 1906 by Joseph Keppler. Tablet reads: l-Thou shalt have no other leaders before me. II—Thou shalt not make unto thyself any high Protective Tariff. Ill—Eight hours, and no more, shalt thou labor and do all thy work. IV—Thou shalt not graft. V—Thou shalt not elect thy Senators save by Popular Vote. VI—Thou shalt not grant rebates unto thy neighbor. VII—Thou shalt not make combinations in restraint of trade. VIII—Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's income, but shall make him pay a tax upon it. IX—There shall be no more government by injunction. X—Remember Election Day to vote it early. P.S.— When in doubt, ask Me.
Bryan speaking at the 1908 Democratic National Convention
Presidential Campaign button for Bryan
1908 electoral vote results
Bryan attending the 1912 Democratic National Convention
Bryan served as Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson
Cartoon of Secretary of State Bryan reading war news in 1914
Villa Serena, Bryan's home built in 1913 at Miami, Florida
Charles W. and William J. Bryan
At the Scopes Trial, William Jennings Bryan (seated, left) being questioned by Clarence Darrow (standing, right).
Statue of Bryan on the lawn of the Rhea County courthouse in Dayton, Tennessee

He opposed Darwinism on religious and humanitarian grounds, most famously in the 1925 Scopes Trial.

Butler Act

1925 Tennessee law prohibiting public school teachers from denying the Biblical account of mankind's origin.

1925 Tennessee law prohibiting public school teachers from denying the Biblical account of mankind's origin.

The law was challenged later that year in a famous trial in Dayton, Tennessee called the Scopes Trial which included a raucous confrontation between prosecution attorney and fundamentalist religious leader, William Jennings Bryan, and noted defense attorney and religious agnostic, Clarence Darrow.

Mencken in 1928

H. L. Mencken

American journalist, essayist, satirist, cultural critic, and scholar of American English.

American journalist, essayist, satirist, cultural critic, and scholar of American English.

Mencken in 1928
Sara (Haardt) Mencken
Mencken photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1932
Mencken is fictionalized in the play Inherit the Wind (a fictionalized version of the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925) as the cynical sarcastic atheist E. K. Hornbeck (right), seen here as played by Gene Kelly in the Hollywood film version. On the left is Henry Drummond, based on Clarence Darrow and portrayed by Spencer Tracy.

His satirical reporting on the Scopes Trial, which he dubbed the "Monkey Trial", also gained him attention.

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Test case (law)

Legal action whose purpose is to set a precedent.

Legal action whose purpose is to set a precedent.

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2) Tennessee v. Scopes (1925)

Darrow in 1922

Clarence Darrow

Darrow in 1922
Clarence Darrow in 1902
Darrow in 1913
Clarence Darrow c. 1925
Henry Drummond (left), a fictionalized version of Clarence Darrow, as portrayed by Spencer Tracy in Inherit the Wind.

Clarence Seward Darrow (April 18, 1857 – March 13, 1938) was an American lawyer who became famous in the early 20th century for his involvement in the Leopold and Loeb murder trial and the Scopes "Monkey" Trial.

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

He was tried in a case known as the Scopes Monkey Trial, in which he was found guilty and fined $100.

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

Dayton was the site of the Scopes Trial in 1925 dealing with the creation–evolution controversy.

Austin Peay

American politician who served as the 35th governor of Tennessee from 1923 to 1927.

American politician who served as the 35th governor of Tennessee from 1923 to 1927.

The law barred the teaching of the theory of evolution in public schools and led to the Scopes Trial.

Princeton Seminary in the 1800s

Christian fundamentalism

Religious movement emphasizing biblical literalism.

Religious movement emphasizing biblical literalism.

Princeton Seminary in the 1800s
A Christian demonstrator preaching at Bele Chere
J. Gresham Machen Memorial Hall
Jerry Falwell, whose founding of the Moral Majority was a key step in the formation of the "New Christian Right"

William Bell Riley took the initiative in the 1925 Scopes Trial by bringing in famed politician William Jennings Bryan and hiring him to serve as an assistant to the local prosecutor, who helped draw national media attention to the trial.

Cumberland School of Law

ABA accredited law school at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, United States.

ABA accredited law school at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, United States.

Cumberland University c.1858. Burned during the American Civil War.
George W. Harkins, a Choctaw chief and graduate of Cumberland University
Cumberland School of Law – Corona Hall – Law School from 1873–1878
Caruthers Hall, from the Phoenix in 1903
Memory Leake Robinson Hall in 2006
Judge John L. Carroll, former dean of Cumberland, addressing Cumberland's 2006 graduation ceremony
Cumberland School of Law's John L. Carroll Moot Court Room – Cordell Hull's Portrait at head of room
Bird's-eye view of the campus
The Center for Biotechnology, Law and Ethics – 2006 Biofuels Conference
Justice Tempered by Mercy – Statue located in the Courtyard of the Law School
Cordell Hull – Nobel Peace Prize, U.S. Secretary of State, Father of the U.N.
Howell Jackson – Supreme Court Justice, Justice for U.S. Sixth Circuit, U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative
George Doherty Johnson – Civil War general and superintendent of The Citadel (military college)
Carl Hatch (D) – U.S. Senator from New Mexico, author of the Hatch Acts of 1939 and 1940
Thomas G. Abernethy (D)- U.S. Representative from Mississippi
Robert Aderholt (R)- U.S. Representative from Alabama (1997– )
William Parker Caldwell – American politician and a member of the United States House of Representatives for the 9th congressional district of Tennessee
Goldsmith W. Hewitt (D) – U.S. Representative from Alabama
Evan Jenkins (R) - U.S. Representative from West Virginia

Tom Stewart (D) – U.S. Senator from Tennessee, chief prosecutor during the Scopes Trial