Science Teacher John Scopes Arrested for Teaching Evolution in Tennessee Public School, May 5, 1925
Soon after Tennessee passed a law (The Butler Act) criminalizing the teaching of evolution in public schools in March of 1925, the ACLU began searching for a defendant to challenge the law. John Scopes, a science teacher in Dayton, TN agreed to be indicted. The Scopes trial captured national attention as famed defense attorney Clarence Darrow and noted politician and anti-evolutionist William Jennings Bryan squared off against each other. Scopes was convicted. On appeal, the Tennessee Supreme Court found the Butler Act constitutional but reversed Scopes’ conviction on a technicality. Tennessee did not repeal the Butler Act until 1967.
To learn more:
• In the Beginning Fundamentalism, the Scopes Trial, and the Making of the Antievolution Movement, Michael Lienesch (UNC Press 2007) eBook available via the Primo catalog.
• Summer for the Gods : The Scopes trial and America’s Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion, Edward J. Larson (Harvard U. Press 1998) LAW-Culp Collection (3rd Floor-Range A) KF224.S3L37 1998
• Going Ape: Florida’s Battles over Evolution in the Classroom, Brandon Haught (Univ. Press of Florida 2014) eBook available via the Primo catalog.
• Inherit the Wind (Film) (Director: Stanley Kramer) LAW- Reserve (Videos) VC I014 (2001 DVD).